Why Are People Unsubscribing From My Email List? - Five Minute Fridays

In the last part of our email marketing series, we discuss some mistakes you might be making that are causing more people to opt out of your email list than usual.



Hi guys, and welcome back to another Five Minute Friday!  My name is Caroline, and I’m the Digital Content Specialist here at Launch.  This week, we’re on the final part of our 3-part email marketing series, so if you haven’t watched our last two videos, go back and start with those!

In last week’s video, we talked about how you can use content to meet your subscribers at the Interest and Consideration stages.  We also talked about how you can use your content to move them all the way through to the Purchase phase.  Finally, we talked about how if your content isn’t valuable or relevant, it can cause people to unsubscribe.

But what are some other reasons that people might unsubscribe from your list?  Stay tuned to find out.


Why People Unsubscribe

Unsubscribe rates vary by industry, but there are some mistakes you could be making that could lead to more opt-outs.  Let’s go over a few.


Poor List Building Practices

There’s a good reason not to use poor list-building practices:  it can actually lead to higher unsubscribe rates.  If you can avoid it, don’t buy email lists, and if somebody needs to enter their email address to download something from your website or enter a contest, make sure that you’re communicated that they are also subscribing to your email list.  You can also use double opt-in emails, meaning when someone subscribes, you send them another email to confirm their subscription.  That’ll help you ensure that those people actually do want to receive your updates.


Too Many Emails

A survey by the email marketing system Constant Contact found that 69% of people will opt out of a list  if a business is sending too many emails.  Remember when we told you that just 15% of people want to receive daily email updates from businesses?  It’s important to balance your marketing goals with your subscribers’ desires.  You might want to send them more frequent emails but remember that they’re probably subscribed to dozens of other email lists at the same time.  When in doubt, send fewer emails each month.


Content Isn’t Relevant

As we said last week, subscribers are also likely to opt-out of your list if your content just isn’t valuable or engaging.  By using list segmentation, you can increase your click-through rates by over 100%.  People love personalization, so a generic, one-size-fits-all email marketing approach just isn’t going to give you the same results and can lead to higher unsubscribe rates. 

If you’ve noticed an uptick in opt-outs, assess your content.  Is there is anything you can do to make it more relevant and personalized?  Along those same lines, is your content getting stale or unoriginal?  All these things will factor into whether a prospect wants to stay subscribed.  Remember:  the quality of your content is key.


Emails are Hard to Read

Another reason why people might opt out of your list is because your emails are hard to read on their devices.  As of 2017, 56% of all emails are read on mobile phones

You’re opening an email and you want to get to the bottom of it…and you’re still scrolling…and scrolling.  That gets annoying pretty quickly.  You need to test whether your emails work across a variety of devices, and you need to take into account things like the amount of images you’re using, your font size, your button size, and the amount of white space you use.  If email text is really small and hard to read or if your design appears cluttered, then people are going to opt out.


So, what have we learned from all this?  Well if you want to keep those subscribers subscribed, you need to do a few things:  1) use good list-building practices and make sure people know what they’re signing up for, 2) don’t send too many emails, 3) make sure your content is relevant, engaging, and personalized, and 4) make sure you format your emails for a variety devices and not just desktop computers.  Keep those things in mind, and you’ll keep those opt-out rates low.