6 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe (and What to Do About It)

6 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe (and What to Do About It)

6 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe (and What to Do About It)

Understanding why readers might hit “unsubscribe” can be crucial for maintaining a strong email list, so we’ve gathered insights from content marketers and digital strategists to help. From managing email frequency and being authentic to avoiding email spam triggers, explore six expert strategies to keep your subscribers engaged and prevent them from leaving.

  • Manage Email Frequency and Be Authentic
  • Provide Value-Driven Content
  • Nurture Kindred Spirits, Avoid Sales Pitch Overload
  • Personalize Beyond First Names
  • Optimize Emails for Mobile Devices
  • Avoid Email Spam Triggers

Manage Email Frequency and Be Authentic

One prevalent cause for email unsubscribes revolves around the sheer volume of messages bombarding inboxes. Surprisingly, 78% of users opt out when they feel inundated by emails, as per a recent study.

Businesses can avert this by meticulously managing their email frequency, allowing users the autonomy to select their preferred communication cadence. Moreover, a lack of authenticity in content can also lead to disengagement. This is where leveraging user-generated content (UGC) comes into play. Incorporating genuine content from users not only adds authenticity but also enhances the overall email experience.

Striking a delicate balance in communication frequency and integrating authentic content ensures not only subscriber retention but also establishes a more meaningful connection with the audience.

Adrija MilanAdrija Milan
Content Marketer, Tagbox

Provide Value-Driven Content

People unsubscribe because they don’t see value in your content. Always try to think of your audience first and what they’ll find valuable. It can be tempting to want to focus on your new product and all the fancy bells and whistles, but if you don’t relate it back to your audience and why they should care, you’ll lose them. Instead of ‘our product does X,’ reframe it as ‘we just solved your pain point.’

Liz KelleyLiz Kelley
Content Marketing Manager, Focus Lab

Nurture Kindred Spirits, Avoid Sales Pitch Overload

An unpopular truth is that not every lead is worth keeping. In chasing broad appeal, we water down our vision and strain to contort it for the wrong fits. Readers sense when our message rings hollow and tune out.

Rather than bend over backward trying to retain each subscriber, we should nurture only kindred spirits who resonate with our core ethos. This allows us to create truer connections and deepen engagement within that tribe.

Beyond that, readers flee from relentless selling. They seek enrichment, not conversion with each email. We prevent unsubscribes by leading with value, not pitches. Share what inspires you and brings more light to readers’ lives.

If your editorial calendar revolves around product launches, promos, and profit, expect bounces. Instead, cultivate engagement through impact and meaning.

Organizations so often obsess over scale when niche focus breeds truer success. Our tribe may be smaller, but engagement runs far deeper. And isn’t that what we’re all truly chasing?

Mona Kirstein, Ph.D.Mona Kirstein, Ph.D.
Digital Strategist, Holistic Coach & Consultant, The Wholehearted Path

Personalize Beyond First Names

A lack of personalization within the email is a huge reason why readers unsubscribe. While having their first name is a great start, software makes it quite easy nowadays to customize an email further, for example, to include content narrowed down to a topic of interest.

For our e-commerce websites and clients, for example, we ask the subscriber for the types of products they’re interested in and email them only about these products rather than a larger email with less personalization.

Germaine MullerGermaine Muller
Founder & Managing Director, Futuretheory

Optimize Emails for Mobile Devices

Not optimizing email correspondence for the requirements of mobile phones is one reason many internet users decide to unsubscribe.

Society, dependent on smartphones, values clear, immediate, and user-friendly communication. An individual has no time for second-guessing. So, if the message does not adhere to the specifications needed for display on mobile devices, one can be sure their recipients will lose interest in their content.

The market is saturated with businesses that want to captivate the audience’s attention. If you don’t want to lag behind due to unsuitable technicalities, consider hiring a professional. An experienced UX designer will optimize your content to meet the expectations of mobile users. They will ensure the message you want to share is legible and plausible at first glance.

Losing subscribers is the worst scenario for any marketer. Time is money, so make sure your correspondence does not require further deciphering.

Martyna SzczesniakMartyna Szczesniak
Community Expert, MyPerfectResume

Avoid Email Spam Triggers

One main reason readers unsubscribe is when the email content triggers spam filters, making the whole email look like spam. To prevent this, focus on avoiding spam triggers in your email campaigns. Create concise and relevant subject lines, use a balanced mix of text and images, and avoid excessive use of all caps or exclamation points.

By being mindful of spam filters and delivering valuable, non-intrusive content, you can increase the chances of keeping your audience engaged and reducing unsubscribes.

Johannes LarssonJohannes Larsson
Founder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com

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