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Social Media Marketing for Business

Andreea Ayers


July 10, 2013

Why People Unsubscribe From Your List and What To Do About It

July 10, 2013 | By | 5 Comments">5 Comments

If you have an email newsletter for your business, you often have to face the fact that some subscribers decide that they no longer want to receive your newsletter – so they hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button and they’ll never hear from you again.

You’re left wondering why people unsubscribe, but read on to find out some reasons why they might do so and what you can do about it.

At first, you might take this personally, especially if it’s someone you know, a friend or family member, a former client or customer or someone who really loves your products or services. You might think that they don’t like YOU, so you start thinking about what you did wrong to “upset” them and make them leave. I know when a friend told me she unsubscribed to my newsletter, at first I was confused. But then I realized that she’s not my ideal customer and my content was irrelevant to her business, so it make a lot of sense!

And now I’m here to offer you a different perspective – getting people to unsubscribe from your email newsletter is actually a GOOD thing! Why, because it means that you’re only keeping people on your list who truly see the value of your content and who are still interested in hearing what you have to say. It also means that your open & click-through rates will be higher and your list will be a lot more receptive to what you have to say or offer. And that can only translate into more sales!

Here are a few reasons why people unsubscribe:

  • You send out irrelevant content – if you are not writing about topics that your audience is interested in, you can be losing out on a lot of subscribers.
  • You send out newsletters too frequently – people can get overwhelmed if they hear from you more than a few times per week, so try to limit your newsletters to once or twice per week.
  • You send out newsletters too infrequently – believe it or not, if you send out your newsletters too infrequently (a few times per year, for example), people will forget that they subscribed and they won’t remember you, so they’re more likely to unsubscribe.
  • You make it all about YOU – if all you constantly talk about in your newsletters is your latest sale or your latest products, you can be turning people off because you might come across as too “sales-y.”
  • You send newsletters that are too long – if you include a lot of content in your email newsletters, your subscribers will get overwhelmed, so they’re more likely to not read your newsletter and then unsubscribe. If you have a few stories or things you want to share with them, publish those as a blog post first and then link to those posts in your newsletter (this is also a great way to get more traffic back to your website).
  • The content is not what they expected – if you set expectations for a certain type of content and you don’t deliver, your subscribers will feel that it’s not what they signed up for, so they’re more likely to unsubscribe.

Those are some of the main reasons, but what if you still get unsubscribes and you are not breaking any of the “rules” above? Here are some of the reasons why people unsubscribe (but these reasons have nothing to do with you):

  • They might feel overwhelmed with all of the emails in their inbox
  • They might have used your products in the past, but they no longer have a need for them
  • They might come back later when they are ready to buy or to hear from you

Usually, email unsubscribe rates hover around 2% for an email campaign, so if your numbers are at or below this level, you don’t have anything to worry about. In fact, you should take that as a good sign that you are only attracting the people why truly want to receive your content. Another benefit is that you can keep your email marketing costs reasonable because the more people you have on your list, the more you usually have to pay to your email marketing provider. So keeping only people who truly want your content is a great way to keep your costs down as well.

So the next time someone unsubscribes from your email, don’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.

Have you experienced frustration when someone unsubscribed from your newsletter? Did you take it personally? If so, I’d love to hear all about it. Just leave a comment below and share your experience.

This post was originally published on the Launch Grow Joy blog. Reprinted with permission.

Andreea Ayers


About the Author >>The mission at Launch Grow Joy is to be your #1 fan! Whether you are starting your business, wanting to get your products in more stores or wanting to have your products featured in magazines and on celebrities, you’ll find all of the tools you need to do that right here!