Why Do Your Email Subscribers Unsubscribe?

21/Aug/2019 · 3 MINS READ

With so much focus on social media and video, you might think email has gone the way of the dodo. Not so! It remains one of the most successful marketing strategies available. Recent data from McKinsey shows that the buying process on email happens three times faster than on social – even in 2019!

But with more competition and more ‘noisy’ advertising, consumers are switching off from emails that aren’t relevant to their interests. So, if you’re seeing your subscriber numbers dipping, here are some ways you can stop the rot.

Why are your subscribers unsubscribing?

It’s easy to get down on yourself when people start hitting that ‘unsubscribe’ button, but this could actually be a positive turning point. If you’ve noticed your email list decreasing then you’re already measuring that engagement, which is a great first step.

Now it’s time to figure out why they are turning their back on your emails. There are plenty of reasons why your open rates might be declining, from uninspiring subject lines to a lack of consistency. Once you understand the problem, you can rectify it – and hopefully get that subscriber rate back up.

Here are five ways you can retain your email subscribers.

Get the timing right

There’s such a thing as ‘list fatigue’, where you oversaturate your email list with communications and they, inevitably, unsubscribe. At the other end of the spectrum, too many businesses fall into the trap of only sending an email sporadically. So when one finally lands in your customer’s inbox, they’ve forgotten who you are – inevitably, they hit the unsubscribe button as well. Or worse, ‘flag as spam’.

You want to find that sweet spot between the two: not too much, but just enough so that it excites your audience when they see an email ping from you. It will probably take a bit of time and A/B testing to nail down, but start by creating a schedule of content and sticking to perceived norms for email frequency.

Keep your IP healthy

Are your emails somehow ending up in your customers’ trash or spam folders? You might think your technology is top notch, but what lies underneath may not be so healthy.

Luckily there are a couple of tools that can really help you out. Sender Score measures the health of your IP and gives you actionable insights into how to improve it. ReputationAuthority, on the other hand, will show whether your eDMs are more susceptible to end up in spam folders. Best of all, it’ll show you the percentage of your emails that were good and bad.

Be relevant

It should go without saying, but it’s important to reiterate that your readers are subscribed to receive promotions, news and general information about your business. So don’t treat your emails as a place to compile all the latest industry news. Your audience can find that themselves.

Instead, give them something unique – something that will drive them to an action. It could be some new stock that’s arrived, a special promotion for this week only, a free webinar you’re providing, or a social media competition that drives them directly to your Facebook page.

Ask for feedback

Maybe you’ve scoured your email list, checked the health of your IP and really believe you are offering your readers useful content. But still the unsubscribes are coming in thick and fast. What are you supposed to do then?

It could be as simple as reaching out and asking them what’s wrong. Feedback should be an integral part of your business growth. After all, consumers’ needs change over the years, and so should your marketing strategy.

So, ask for feedback on your social media accounts or on your latest EDM. Perhaps you could offer a 10% discount code to anyone who fills out a feedback survey. People will tell you the truth if you just give them the opportunity to do so.

Make it easy to engage

We’re all time-poor these days. And consumers don’t want to waste their precious time. In a market where they’re often being ‘screamed at’ from advertisers, they want to consume the most relevant content in the shortest amount of time.

Could you provide them with something visual instead of just a block of text in your e-newsletter? Maybe a quick recap video that you upload to YouTube and embed in your eDM. Or perhaps a visually enticing infographic will get your point across and boost open rates. What about a podcast – it could be an entry point to a new market and help connect you with like-minded business owners in the same space.

Finally, make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Providing them with your contact info and social platforms in every email. This will help build up a sense of trust and let them interact with you how they want, when they want.

It’s about the people

The bottom line? It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the people. Once you start engaging them the way they want to be engaged, you’ll see that subscriber count start to rise again.

We’d love to know what are some of your tips to keeping your email subscribers from leaving? Let us know in the comments below.