The Unsubscribed User
An unsubscribed user is someone previously subscribed to a business that chooses to remove themselves from their mailing list. Afterward, they no longer receive emails from that business.
Contrary to popular belief, not all unsubscribes are bad.
The following will help you to understand why.
Good Vs. Bad Unsubscribers
Surprisingly, a bad unsubscriber is one that never unsubscribes. Bad unsubscribers sit in your mailing list, but never engage and never buy. Hence, they are bad for business.
In contrast, good unsubscribers are those who leave because they are no longer interested in your products or services. Marketers can learn from them and that is why they are good.
What Unsubscribed Users Tell You About Your Email Marketing
So, what exactly do marketers learn from unsubscribers? The following shows what an unsubscribe tells you about your email marketing.
Who Your Market Is
Let’s be frank. Marketing to uninterested parties is like pouring money down the drain.
You want to be sending emails to people who engage.
Unsubscribes, thus, help your mailing list to “self-clean”. In other words, unsubscribes help to get rid of uninterested users.
Therefore, your list will contain only your most qualified prospects.
Cost-effective email marketing should focus on bonding with subscribers. This bond occurs through an exchange of value.
However, if your mailing list is full of cold leads neither party benefits.
Why People Unsubscribe
Many companies use unsubscribe links to redirect subscribers to a landing page. Here, they can gain feedback on why users are opting out.
The following are common reasons for unsubscribing from email marketing.
1. Too Many Emails.
According to Statista, the number of emails sent and received per day is roughly 293.6 billion. So, users get bombarded by emails daily. It’s no wonder they want to declutter their inbox!
That is why it’s important to avoid spamming and make your emails count.
For instance, you can adjust your email frequency to fit your subscribers’ needs. In fact, comparing email performance with email frequency can tell you how often you should send emails.
On the other hand, why not give subscribers a say? Your opt-in process can let subscribers choose how often they want to hear from you.
2. Unexpected Content.
People will unsubscribe if the content they sign up for isn’t what they expect.
Luckily, this factor is within your control.
Verify that your initial offering is clear and sets the right expectations.
3. Irrelevant Content.
Often people subscribe to email marketing for an initial offer or discount. Once they get what they want, they no longer find your content relevant.
Other times, marketers lose sight of their audience’s interests.
Leverage what you know about your subscribers. If you need to know more, consider sending out a survey.
In fact, including a poll in your opt-in form can give prospects control over their content. In turn, you can segment your audience accordingly. Thus, ensuring your emails are always relevant.
Below are more tips on how to use opt-ins and segmentation to minimize unsubscribes.
4. Changing Email Addresses.
Your content might not be the problem! Users may change their email address to clean out their inbox. Meanwhile, your emails could simply be lost in the fray.
In that case, you can include an option to update email addresses on your unsubscribe landing page.
How to Improve Your Email Marketing
Exit surveys can help you find out why users choose to unsubscribe.
Polls, for example, are the quickest and most convenient method. More importantly, they show consideration for the user’s time.
However, open-ended input could give you insight into other uncommon reasons for unsubscribing.
Assess your market to determine which feedback method works best for you.
Your most important key performance indicators (KPIs) in email marketing include:
- Open rates
Keep a close eye on your click-through reports to see which links get the most attention. Then, determine what offers or content subscribers are most interested in.
Thus, you can use what you learn in your email marketing strategy.
In short, unsubscribes are not always bad.
So long as you are seizing the opportunity to learn why and how to improve.
A healthy unsubscribe rate will sit somewhere between 0.2% and 0.5%. If your unsubscribe rate is any higher, try the following tips to help you improve.
How to Minimize your Unsubscribes
1. Consider your Opt-in Form
If you rely on pen and paper to collect emails, you need to add them to your mailing list pronto! Otherwise, waiting too long can lead to prospects forgetting they ever signed up.
In contrast, web sign-up forms are ideal because the process of adding emails is automated.
That being said, there are two types of web sign-ups: single opt-in or double opt-in. The pros and cons of each should be assessed when choosing what works best for your business.
Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in
Single Opt-ins often require an email and one-click to subscribe. So, this method is the fastest and easiest for users.
However, single opt-ins increase the chance of bad data from email addresses. This risk could potentially damage your sender reputation.
Additionally, single opt-ins require more steps to segment your list if no other information is provided.
Regardless, including a survey in your welcome email, can help. A survey can tell you more about your subscribers and help you segment them.
Conversely, double Opt-ins will require subscribers to verify their desire to sign up. This might include a redirect to a verification landing page or an automated email.
The benefits to double opt-ins include a better-quality list of valid subscribers. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to re-establish your value.
However, double opt-ins can slow down the subscribing process for users. The additional steps may risk prospects losing interest, and thus losing their emails.
You should evaluate which opt-in to use based on your audience. Getting the opt-in process right can make a difference in your unsubscribe rate.
2. Match Content to Users
There are a couple of ways to customize content for your users.
First, you can allow users to opt-in to specific topics. This way, they only receive content relevant to them.
You could also use a survey in your welcome email to gather information on your subscribers’ preferences.
Lastly, consider giving your subscribers a way to adjust their preferences in the future. Interests can change so be sure you can adapt!
In sum, the more you personalize content, the more engaged subscribers will be. Make your incentives personal to minimize unsubscribed users.
3. Segment Your Mailing List
Once you’ve learned a bit more about your subscribers, the next step is to segment them.
Depending on your needs, you can segment your mailing list based on:
- Leads and customers
- Desired email frequency
- Or all four
Segmenting ensures your content will always be relevant, useful, and timely. Hence, minimizing the number of unsubscribed users.
For example, Grammarly’s unsubscribe landing page offers plenty of alternatives to segment by.
This is great for users to edit their preferences and will allow you to segment accordingly.
4. Ask for Feedback
Check-in with subscribers to reaffirm the type of content they like and don’t like. Then, adjust your strategy accordingly.
Even if subscribers still choose to unsubscribe, take the opportunity to find out why and what you can do better.
Alternatively, exit emails could help gain feedback from unsubscribed users. They also offer users alternative content. Remind them of the value they are leaving behind!
Incidentally, some users may unsubscribe by mistake. A follow-up could help to correct the error.
Tip: Be careful with using exit emails. Worst case scenario, you risk irritating unsubscribers that are still potential or recurring customers.
5. Keep Adding Contacts
That is, make sure to add contacts at the same rate as you may be losing them. You’re never done growing your mailing list.
Here are a few resources to help you:
- Gravity Forms: Our company relies on this tool to create simple forms with WordPress.
- Optin Monster: Create popup forms optimized for mobile use.
- Sumo: A free popup creator to capture emails as a WordPress Plugin.
- Seynd: Seynd’s one-click subscribe method makes building your marketing list fast and easy. Check out the sidebar to learn how Seynd Web Push Notification pairs best with email marketing.
6. Leverage Other Communication Channels
Leaving social media icons on your unsubscribe page offers an alternative for prospects to stay in touch with you. Think of it as a safety net for recapturing unsubscribers.
In fact, social media can help grow your email list. You can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to invite followers to join your mailing list for more personalized content.
Web Push Notification
Additionally, Web Push Notifications is great to send quick messages to subscribers.
Push Notifications can be used with your email campaign or instead of email.
For instance, you can use web push notifications to notify subscribers of your latest newsletter or limited-time offers.
So, rather than emailing subscribers about a time-sensitive discount (and risk them missing out by not opening your email), a web push notification’s alert-style technique will guarantee a 100% open rate.
Now your subscribers won’t miss a thing!
These are just a few examples of how other communication channels can minimize your unsubscribed users.
7. Stick to a Schedule
Consistency can set brand precedence and create anticipation. Set the right expectations for subscribers by sticking to a specific day and time to send emails.
The key to creating a good schedule is to determine the frequency that works best for your segments.
Consider using surveys, A/B testing, or other trial-error methods to find times that work for your audience.
8. Optimize for Mobile
According to research by EmailMonday, 41.9% of emails are open through mobile. Thus, to minimize unsubscribes, be sure to optimize your emails for mobile.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Keep subject lines around 25-30 characters. Mobile devices will cut off subject lines that are any longer.
- Pay attention to your pre-header text. Your pre-header text is the first line of your email copy often used as a preview in most people’s inboxes.
- Be Concise. Strive for short and simple body text for your emails.
- Think about your images. Images can look very different on mobile. Some mobile devices may not display images at all.
- Emphasize your CTA buttons. Keep your call-to-action front and center. Likewise, you’ll want to leave enough space around your button so mobile users have room to click.
Get more tips from Campaign Monitor’s Essential Tips to Creating Mobile-Friendly Emails.
CAN-SPAM Act: Why You Need an Unsubscribe Link
The CAN-SPAM act is another reason why you need unsubscribes.
Including a method to unsubscribe from email campaigns are required by law under the CAN-SPAM Act.
Additionally, not having a way to unsubscribe (typically an unsubscribe link) could hurt your sender reputation. More importantly, it can get you blacklisted.
An unsubscribe link allows subscribers to opt-out of your email marketing. The link is often placed in your email footers and redirects to a landing page.
The following are what to avoid when it comes to your unsubscribe link.
- Make sure that your link works. Links should redirect to an unsubscribe page and NOWHERE ELSE.
- Don’t ignore unsubscribe requests. Avoid asking whether users are sure and process requests immediately.
- Make the process hassle-free. Don’t leave “subscribe” checkboxes already checked on your landing page. This will only irritate your prospects. Instead, ask for their feedback.
- Make your unsubscribe link easily visible. Changing the font size or color to obscure a user’s readability will only hurt your brand.
Sadly, many businesses will go out of their way to obscure the unsubscribe process. This is the wrong way to minimize unsubscribes.
If there is anything you should take from this article, it’s that unsubscribes are NOT bad.
It’s better for users to unsubscribe as opposed to flagging your email as spam. In other words, unsubscribes will help you avoid getting sent to spam and will keep your spam rate low.
A good spam rate will be anything less than 0.1%.
In conclusion, providing an unsubscribe link is simply good customer service.
Remember, just because a user unsubscribes from your email marketing doesn’t mean they’ve unsubscribed from your business. You can provide great customer care even through your unsubscribe process.