man in the distance walking away

We Hate to See You Go: Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email

Susan Vorodi Best Practices

No one likes rejection, and isn’t that exactly what you feel when someone unsubscribes from your emails? I mean you put a lot of thought and creativity into your email just to have someone dismiss it out of hand, right?

Typically, there are a handful of common reasons people unsubscribe from emails. So, while you may not be able to stop unsubscribes entirely, you can stem the flow by paying attention to the following items when creating your emails.

They didn’t sign up

The most common reason that people unsubscribe from emails is that they didn’t ask or give their permission to receive them. This is a result of poor list management. Remember when you thought buying that third-party mailing list was a great idea to increase reach? Think again. Also, that sneaky copy you added on a landing page that told people they were (inadvertently) signing up to receive emails also can result in higher unsubscribe rates.

The best defense is to go on the offense by building and managing your mailing lists so that you are emailing prospects and customers who want to hear from you and who, as a result, are most likely to convert.

You email them too often or not often enough

You’ve likely given some thought to your email cadence – how much and how often you will email a list. Finding this sweet spot is critical to reducing unsubscribes. Obviously, if someone feels they are being, spammed, or their email inbox is flooded with emails from the same company, they are more likely to disengage and unsubscribe.

However, the opposite is also true. If they only receive an email from you when you want something, or they don’t feel a relationship with your business because of sporadic communication, they also are more likely to unsubscribe. Offering people the opportunity to select their email topic and timing preferences can help reduce unsubscribes due to frequency.

They can’t see your email

More than half of emails are now being read on smartphones. That means just because your email looks good when you test it on your own accounts doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect on all of your audience’s devices or email platforms.

Optimizing your emails for mobile viewing should be a no-brainer nowadays, but surprisingly many companies skip this step. For example, mobile devices are notoriously picky about rendering images and displaying columns. If your audience can’t see your email or its content, they are more likely to delete it or unsubscribe altogether.

Following responsive email design and coding best practices ensures your message will be viewable and clickable on all devices, reducing the risk of unsubscribes.

It is poorly designed or looks unprofessional

If an email looks cluttered or unprofessional, people will think of it as spam and unsubscribe. Not everyone is a coder or a designer, but that doesn’t mean you have to send out emails that look amateurish, dated, off-brand, or are a nightmare to read.

Again, most people read their emails on mobile devices, so your email should look as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop. To alleviate this problem, try using a responsive, branded email design and coding platform like BrandBlox that provides brand-compliant templates that work on all devices and email clients.

The content is irrelevant to them

It seems like a simple idea: People subscribe to your emails to get information that is relevant to them. But, even knowing this, sometimes companies fail to deliver. If your reader doesn’t care about what your email says or your content does not resonate with them, they will unsubscribe.

The easy solution to this problem is to take the time to segment subscribers based on their preferences and campaign activity. Remember, it’s about what your reader wants, not what you want to promote.  So, personalize content with targeted offers and content that is valuable to them.