5 Reasons Why Customers Unsubscribe

Email marketing is an effective tool when it comes to marketing your business. A recent blog by HubSpot found that the average return on investment for email marketing is 4,200%. That means every $1 invested in email marketing returns about $42 to your business. With this incredible potential, businesses of every size use email marketing to engage their customers.

One of the most dreaded parts of any email marketing campaign is seeing who unsubscribed. The feeling of watching someone unsubscribe from your list is difficult, but it offers an opportunity to see why they unsubscribed. Most email marketing apps give users an opportunity to specify why they’re opting out of future emails. Here are the 5 most common reasons customers unsubscribe from your email list.

  1. Too many emails: The most common reason customers unsubscribe is because you’re sending too many emails. The frequency of your emails has to balance between keeping your audience engaged without monopolizing their inbox. Reading email takes time out of your customer’s day.
  2. They only signed-up for a great offer: New York Times best-selling author and marketing expert Neil Patel points out that incredible offers such as a freebie (example: e-book, webinar or whitepaper), or a great discount are great motivators to get new subscribers, only to have them quickly unsubscribe a short-time later.
  3. Irrelevant content: Customers opt-into your list because of the value you’ve advertised to them. If subscribers don’t feel like your content provides them value, unsubscribes are inevitable. The cause could be overly sales-y content, or topics your audience just isn’t interested in learning.
  4. Display issues: If your customers have a difficult time reading your emails, they might unsubscribe. Consider that your customers check their email on a number of devices, including their smartphone. If the template you’re using doesn’t adapt for the device your customers are using, it could be costing your subscribers.
  5. Too sales-y: Nobody likes to be sold-to. If you’re only sending promotions, sales and offers, you’re likely driving your customers away. Yes, sometimes these emails are acceptable, but you also have to provide content that entertains and educates your customers.

5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing

  1. Clean your email list: Inactive and unresponsive subscribers are just taking-up space in your email list. By keeping inactive subscribers, you’re tanking your open and click rates, and possibly event causing your email to everyone to go to the Spam folder. Clean out your list at least quarterly to remove those who have not interacted with your content.
  2. Write short subject lines: Keep in mind that most people check their email from their smartphone. If your subject line is too long, it will not fit on the subscriber’s screen. A great rule is to keep your subject line to 50 characters or less and customize the subject line whenever possible.
  3. Have 1 Clear Call to Action: You should never send an email without a single, defined goal for your campaign. Whether its sharing your latest blog, or a special offer for your customers to claim, give your customers one clearly-defined next step for them to take.
  4. Clean, responsive template design: Design a clean, professional looking template for your emails. Before using this template, preview it on as many different devices as you can. Extensive testing and previewing your design means fewer potential display issues when you send your email.
  5. Build segments of subscribers: One-size does not fit all. Create segments within your email list to help dial-in the right message for the right customer. For example, if your business serves both consumers and business, create a segment for each. This allows you to create messages that speak directly to your target audience, which will increase the success of your email marketing.

Getting Started with Your Email Marketing

Starting an email list for your business is as easy as asking your existing customers and connections if you can add them to your list. In my personal experience, most of your contacts will happily let you add them.

Once you’ve created your list, there are countless options to choose for email marketing. I personally recommend checking out Mailchimp, or MailPoet if your website is built on WordPress. Both have a comprehensive free plan, which helps when your marketing budget is minimal, or non-existent.

If you need help starting, or improving your email marketing campaigns, we offer one-to-one help! You can schedule your appointment here.

References & Further Reading

Schiff, J. L. (2015, March 24). Top 7 Reasons People Unsubscribe from Your Email List. CIO. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://www.cio.com/article/2901255/top-7-reasons-people-unsubscribe-from-your-email-list.html?page=1

Bump, P. (2021, June 10). Why Consumers Subscribe and Unsubscribe from Email. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-consumers-subscribe-to-email

Brian. (2015, June 26). 6 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe From Your Emails. 6 reasons why people unsubscribe from your emails. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://journeys.autopilotapp.com/blog/why-people-unsubscribe-from-emails

Patel, N. (2021, August 28). High email unsubscribe rate? here’s why that’s a good thing. Neil Patel. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://neilpatel.com/blog/high-email-unsubscribe-rate

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