How to Make a Good Average Unsubscribe Rate?


Anton Shabatov - November 1, 2018 - 0 comments

The reality of email marketing includes the fact that people can opt out of your email. And this is not an extraordinary situation but a norm. We cannot provide content suitable and interesting for everyone. Moreover, people change as well. So you will always have at least an average unsubscribe rate.

But marketers still worry about this numbers and work on improving open, click, complain and other rates as well. Today we will find out how to deal with unsubscribing and how we can get benefits from it.

What Is Unsubscribe Rate and Its Average Numbers?

It may sound obvious, but let’s define what we mean when talk about unsubscribe rate. It is a metric that shows what percentage of your subscribers opted out. Usually, marketers take into account the average numbers. Depending on the industry, it can be between 0% and 0.5%. However, there is no definite answer whether 1% is too much as we need to keep in mind that numbers are under the influence of many factors.

Before making any conclusions, study the average numbers in your industry. For instance, according to reports from MailChimp, in marketing we have 0.26% average unsubscribe rate (updates from March 2018). So you can use this number as a norm in case of your campaigns.

How to Calculate Your Unsubscribe Rate?

Usually, email marketers do not have to do this as the top providers of the email service have a feature of automated calculation of the main metrics. But if you want to have a deeper understanding of how it is calculated, you can keep in mind this formula:

Unsubscribe rate = Unsubscribe number/delivered x 100

This metrics includes various cases of unsubscribing: when the person uses the special link in the email footer or inbox unsubscription option. Now you know for sure how to calculate unsubscribe rate.

Reasons for a Low Open Rate

As we have already specified, people will always opt out from your emails as this is a common thing in email marketing. However, we can predict and analyze the situation if we know the main reasons for such actions of your audience. Bellow, you will learn some issues that can cause low open rates and make readers unsubscribe:

  • Subscribers opted in to get a particular benefit. An attractive offer can make people subscribe as they will consider this as an advantageous deal. However, as soon as they get what they want, it turns out they have never been interested in your materials. So you need to keep in mind that free stuff and discounts are one of the most frequent reasons for opting in and soon opting out.
  • Bad segmenting of your email list. Without proper segmenting of your list and targeting your campaign you risk getting more unsubscribers and low open rates in the nearest future.
  • Improper email frequency. Sending emails too often or too seldom can be bad equally. In both cases, your email may be considered as spam. Daily letters can annoy while delivering one newsletter per month cannot maintain the interest of the reader. So the person either considers you as a spammer or forgets the reason he or she has opted in in the first place.
  • Inactive subscribers in your list. Your open results are in danger if your email list contains a lot of old and abandoned addresses.
  • Subject lines are not interesting. Without grabbing readers attention you can lose their interest and eventually they will stop opening your letters causing low open rates, and then can eventually opt out (which will be the best case in this situation).

Working on these aspects will help to improve your situation.

How to Reduce an Opt-Out Rate?

Here are some tips that will help you in lowering opt-out rates and improving deliverability and keeping up with an average unsubscribe rate in email marketing:

  1. Inform your subscribers about what they will receive. Your task is to build the trustful relationships with your audience. So provide them a dependable info on the frequency and type of materials you are about to send.
  2. Divide your email list into segments according to interests. As you already know, bad segmentation can lead to low opens and high unsubscribes. With targeting your campaign will reach the relevant audience and you will have a loyal audience.
  3. Work on your subject lines. Avoid spammy words and fake lines in order to attract attention. If you want to have a good business reputation, you need to work on your own normal style that will inform and intrigue your readers, but not mislead them.
  4. Change your approach to the copy. Some email marketers have a creative approach to the opt-out function requirement. Instead of using the “Unsubscribe” button, they use the text like “Update my interests” that makes people rethink their decision to opt out and maybe change the type of materials they receive from you.
  5. Do not neglect following-up. Some practices show that this method is working as well. Do not give up on your readers forever. You can offer them to re-subscribe or to follow you on social networks instead (maybe they just want to clean their mailbox).

What High Unsubscribe Rate Can Tell You?

As you can see, high unsubscribe rate cannot be solely the problem, but you need to consider it as an indicator of what you need to improve in your work. As soon as you start noticing that the number of your subscribers decreasing, you can start analyzing your approach. Moreover, this process is just a natural list cleaning as well. It is better to have a smaller list but with more engaged and interested subscribers.

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