If you ask anyone who does email marketing what metrics they care about, there’s a good chance they’ll say their open rate, followed by their click rate. It’s also very likely that they’ll pay attention to unsubscribes. For most people, wanting to keep their unsubscribe rate as low as possible is at the top of their priority list.
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While it initially makes sense that people get caught up in worrying about unsubscribes, once you start digging into this topic, it becomes clear that most people simply jump to conclusions when they see even just a few recipients unsubscribing. To clarify why that’s an overreaction, let’s look at exactly why this doesn’t need to be a source of concern:
It’s Going to Happen
For sites with large lists, it’s not uncommon for their long-term unsubscribe rate to exceed 50%. Whether it’s the frequency of their emails or people eventually getting all the information they need, when it comes to developing relationships with leads and customers, it’s helpful to think of email marketing as a stop on a trip instead of a permanent destination.
Not All Subscribers are Created Equal
A common mistake businesses make is assuming that when someone signs up for their email list, it 100% means they’re an ideal lead. While it’s true that a large percentage of the sign-ups will be great leads, there will also be some that aren’t. They can be anything from the type to sign up for every list they see or are interested but never intend to actually purchase anything. Although there’s a very good chance that most people who fall into this category will eventually unsubscribe, it’s not actually any type of loss for the business.
Allows You to Stay Focused
Once you accept that not every person who signs up for your email list is an ideal prospect, you’ll instantly take a major burden off your shoulders. Instead of feeling that the goal of every email should be keeping your unsubscribe rate as low as possible, you’ll be able to focus on the two things that actually matter most.
First, you’ll be able to use the emails you send to build a relationship with new prospects. Once you establish rapport and trust, the second thing you’ll be able to do is actually pitch them. What’s great is because just about every subscriber at this point is highly qualified, your ultimate conversion rate will be higher than if your list hadn’t been naturally pruned over time.
In the End, It’s All About Balance
If a business sends out an email and the majority of their list unsubscribed, it would be a clear indication that they did something very wrong. However, that type of scenario is very rare. Since the general rate for unsubscribes is fairly low, it’s not something that businesses should invest a lot of time into worrying about. Instead, by understanding the dynamics behind why people unsubscribe, it’s actually possible to craft a strategy around this action and use it in a beneficial manner.