How To Deal With Unsubscribe Rates

How To Deal With Unsubscribe Rates

The subject of this article is how to deal with unsubscribe rates, that is, the percentage of people who cancel their subscriptions after signing up for one. Some studies show that as many as two out of three people may unsubscribe after just one email. This article will give tips on reducing your unsubscribe rate to below 30%.

  • Personalize Your Emails

As a publisher, you always look for ways to attract more clients to your product or service. One way of doing this is through email marketing and regular emails to your subscribers. These emails can be highly personalized, as you have their contact details and they have shown some interest in your product or service, but they can also be highly relevant and targeted to the customers. For example, you can send them updates on your products or services, special offers, discounts, and more. The key is keeping things interesting and ensuring that your subscriber opens your communications. The more they open, the more valuable they are to you as a lead.

  • Avoid The “Hurry Up And Cancel” Emails

No one likes getting an email that is just a single sentence with a hyperlink to a deal that they may or may not be interested in, especially when that email comes with a time-sensitive offer that they may or may not want to neglect. These are just a few examples of “hurry up and cancel” emails that you should avoid. 

The key to effective email marketing is to make it look like there is much more content beyond your website’s limited preview. Make sure you have a clear call to action in your emails, and more importantly, ensure they respond to that action. For example, if you send out a “hurry up and cancel” email to encourage them to purchase before the end of the month, make sure they can find that offer on your website first.

Some email marketing platforms, like MailChimp, allow you to put a “click here to read more” link at the end of the email. This is a great way to draw the eye of the reader to more content and encourage them to stay longer within your email marketing campaign. These “click here to read more” links can also double duty as a clear call to action for your social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.

  • Create A Compelling Reason To Stay

There is also the “sticky” issue, which happens when someone visits a website and doesn’t leave, even though they have other pressing matters to attend to. This is referred to as “site stickiness” and is one of the biggest challenges companies face when getting people to leave and subscribe to their email list. 

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The first trick to getting more people to stick around is to give them a good reason to stay. The best way to do this is through the personalization of your emails. As discussed above, ensure your emails are relevant, interesting, and full of valuable information. 

One important thing to remember is that the more you can do to make the experience personal, the more likely your subscriber is to remain engaged. Your email should not just be about pushing products; it should also provide the information they value. 

Then, whenever you send out an email with a product or service announcement, include something personal, such as an article about a similar product or service they might be interested in.

  • The “Scared Money” Theory

Another frequently discussed theory about unsubscribe rates is the “scared money” theory. This theory states that people are more likely to subscribe to your email list if they are afraid of missing out on something valuable. 

In traditional email marketing, this is usually manifested as a spam email or something similar, but it can also take the form of a phishing scam. In a nutshell, the theory is that people are more likely to think twice about unsubscribing if they are worried that they may miss out on something valuable. This could mean they will check off a box to indicate their interest, which is all you need to start receiving their emails.

  • Keep Your List Clean

If you have been acquiring new subscribers at a good rate, it’s probably time to clean out your list. You can do this by sending out a friendly email with a link to unsubscribe, or you can send out a mass email to everyone on your list explaining why you are taking this step and what will happen next (e.g., you may lose contact with them or they may never hear from you again). 

Either way, make sure that everyone is aware that this is something you are doing and why you are doing it. By keeping your list clean, you may also be able to reduce unwanted distractions and improve the quality of your communication.

  • Reduce The Number Of Email Communications

Depending on your industry, you are probably used to receiving numerous emails daily, some of which you may want to keep, while others may be useless. If you manage an email list, it’s probably time to pare down your daily or weekly email communications to those you deem most important.

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There is an easy way of doing this through a simple dashboard on your website, which you can use to check off the emails you want to keep and then archive the rest. This way, you may only receive important emails from time to time while keeping a mental note of those you want to keep and then delete the others.

  • Use The “Unsubscribe” Button

When you receive an email, you should always have the option to “unsubscribe.” This way, if someone sends you an email with a link to a product you didn’t want to receive, you can click the “unsubscribe” button, and it will take you to a page that will allow you to unsubscribe from that particular email. When you use this option, you are taking the burden of deciding whether or not someone should be on your list off your shoulders. 

Suppose you find that you are continually ignoring the “unsubscribe” option or decide to take the risk and allow people to send you content that you may or may not want to receive. In that case, you can set up alerts within your email management platform, like MailChimp, to notify you whenever someone sends you an email that is categorized as “spam.”

  • Make Sure Your Email Looks Legitimate

As discussed above, make sure that your email includes a clear call to action in some form. This could be in the form of a button that says “click here,” or it could be in the form of a link that says “click here.” Ensure you use a legitimate email service provider, such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. 

Also, be careful when you sign up for an email list, as some companies are more interested in your wallet than your email list, especially if you are using an unsecured form. Last but not least, make sure that your emails don’t go to spam. Many email marketing tools like the ones discussed above can help you with this.

Reducing your unsubscribe rate is relatively easy

It just takes a little bit of effort and strategy. By taking the time to figure out what is causing your unsubscribe rate to go up, you may be able to find the root of the problem and fix it. 

Then, when subscribers have a good experience and feel they benefited from the content you sent, they are much less likely to unsubscribe. Ultimately, this will help you get the most out of your email marketing and establish yourself as a legitimate source of information that people can trust. Good luck!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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