4 Things You Need To Know About Having People Unsubscribe From Your Email List

4 Things You Need To Know About Having People Unsubscribe From Your Email List

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.

Post By Craig Klein (1 Posts)

Craig Klein is the CEO of Sales Nexus which is an online sales CRM and email marketing company. Follow Craig on Twitter or Google+ to learn more.


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  • avatar

    Great article. So the next time someone unsubscribes from your email, donโ€™t take it personally. Unless they unsubscribe for any of the reasons I first mentioned above, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, you should thank them for opening up a space on your list for someone who is truly interested in receiving your content.

  • avatar


    I bet most people unsubscribe when there is too much content going out. People probably find this a bit spammy and that could be the reason for this. Nice post! I didn’t know the rate for larger sites would be so high, maybe my theory is right.

  • avatar

    Very informative article! I completely agree with the part that says that eventually people will get what they came for, and unsubscribe.

  • avatar

    Very good way to look at it, has to be a balance to everything!

  • avatar


    I totally agree with the information above. “It’s going to happen” majority of subscribers would definitely be inactive for a while, and sometimes it’s hard to accept it. Good job for a very truthful and straightforward article.

  • avatar

    This is very helpful. Instead of interpreting your unsubscription rate as a negative thing, turn it into something positive by reassessing the emails you send out and probably even your whole website.

  • avatar

    I agree with your points here. Very often I send out emails with the unsubscribe button at the beginning because I rather have people unsubscribing than people complaining and marking my emails as spam.
    In case some readers here don’t know… When you have a high percentage of complaints in your autoresponder account you can get your account suspended. That’s not a good thing for business.

  • avatar

    The one thing that makes me, as a subscriber, unsubscibe from lists is mainly spam. They mail you 10 times a day with the smallest tidbits of news. Only send out mails when you’ve got something to say, otherwise people get bored.

  • avatar

    This is great information! It’s true that we shouldn’t get too caught up with unsubscribers. We should focus on the content we are producing. The way I see it is that subscribers come a dime a dozen. As long as I’m producing good work, there will always be people who want to follow it.

  • avatar

    Good article!
    IT is all about balance, like you said.
    Subscribers will come and go. There is a certain flow to it.

  • avatar

    Yes, the reason why a strategy fails is clear cut if we look for it. Knowing why people have unsubscribed is a wonderful way of approaching the problem. I think one should look into it right before effecting the strategy in the first place.

  • avatar

    Good points. When people feels that getting newsletters is a nuisance and are sure they wouldn’t look into it, they would decide to unsubscribe. I had an experience of unsubscribing all the newsletters which comes to my inbox and then went on to subscribe again what I feel is needed.

  • avatar

    I agree with consumers looking for a certain thing in emails that are regularly sent out. If a mass email is sent with little to no pertaining information, I’m more than likely going to unsubscribe. On the other hand, if the email has good information or even a couple of deals, I’ll stay subscribed since it benefits me.

  • avatar

    Thanks for giving us this information Craig! I haven’t gotten much into email marketing, but hope to in the future! ๐Ÿ˜€

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