Working with email automation and customers sending website content to their subscribers, we see lots of questions about high unsubscribe rates and what our best tips for reducing unsubscribes on routine content emails are. Gaining lead subscribers is one thing, keeping them can be just as difficult for marketers.
The first step to reducing unsubscribes is to know why people unsubscribed in the first place. Was it the content? The email design? Just too much static in their inbox? Here, we’ll walk through the 3 common reasons we see for unsubscribes and how to prevent them.
1. Email Design
Anyone who’s ever manually created a content email knows how difficult and sensitive HTML can be to work with. If you’re HTML email template isn’t coded well it can cause major issues in the styling and look of the email in your subscribers’ inbox.
Email design can also differ between email browsers. Whether your subscriber has their emails in dark mode, or using Outlook vs. Chrome, it can change the way your subscriber sees your email and may not look the way you created it. The best way to see how your email will look in your subscribers’ inboxes is to test the email design in a tool like Litmus or Email on Acid.
These tools let you preview the email design in all the most common email browsers to ensure your email looks exactly the way you want it to. You can also create a shareable link to share with your team, and make edits to the code and see live changes as you work.
2. Mailing Frequency
All of us have tons of marketing emails flooding our inbox on a daily basis. If you’re sending too much or hardly at all, subscribers may feel they aren’t getting what they asked for. As soon as subscribers are getting antsy about all the emails in their inbox they may start unsubscribing.
For the sake of reducing unsubscribes on your emails ask yourself: How often are your subscribers getting these content emails? Are they also getting this content from a different automated campaign? How often do your subscribers need/want this content in their inbox?
Marketing is all about hitting your target with the right content at the right time. One great way to ensure you’re sending content when your subscribers want it is by using an email preference center and asking your subscribers how often they want to receive your content. The important thing to remember is to always honor your preference center and make sure your subscribers are getting what they opted in for.
3. It’s Time to Clean Up Your Mailing List
Usually we think the more subscribers to our content the better, but if your content stops being something they’re interested in it may be best to remove them before they hit the unsubscribe button. The important thing to remember with cleaning your mailing list is the goal is always to make sure your subscriber is seeing the content they want, when they want it.
It’s best to clean your mailing list every year or so, but a good indicator is checking your unsubscribe and open rates and making sure those numbers are staying in a normal range.
Check Inactive vs. Disengaged Subscribers
Are they clicking on any links? Did they open an email from you in the last few months? Is there a chance for reengagement?
You’ll need to decide on some of the criteria above and how you’ll define completely inactive subscribers and disengaged subscribers. Reducing unsubscribes starts with removing inactive subscribers that are most likely to start unsubscribing from your content. Then, you can segment disengaged subscribers and try something different to reengage them with your content. If they’re still disengaged after your reengagement efforts, it may be time to mark them inactive and remove them from your mailing list.
Removing hard bounces from your mailing list is important to keeping a clean mailing list and keeping your bounce rates and email deliverability in check. Be sure to check if it’s a hard bounce or soft bounce before removing them from your list. A soft bounce could just be a temporary issue such as a full inbox, meaning there’s a chance for reengagement with your content still.
Checking Spam Filters
Spam filters hurt your email deliverability and your reputation. Anyone who marks your email as spam should be removed as soon as possible.
Unsubscribes are difficult to see on our content emails. Reducing unsubscribes can be easy using these few tips and making sure to clean your list about every year. The most important takeaway should be to always deliver on your content promises and give subscribers the content they want, when they want it.