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Professional Email Marketing

How to Stop Your Email Newsletter Readers from Unsubscribing

by Alyssa Rice

Subscribers opting-out of your mailing list is an inevitability. It’s a part of the email marketing world that is bound to happen, but can be reduced.

Recently, we had posted an article about why subscribers opt-out of our newsletter mailings. This post gives three major reasons why customers unsubscribe from your newsletter. We’ve had various questions from clients on how to counteract it these reasons people opt-out. Here are eight strategies.

1) Segment your lists

Your readers aren’t all the same. They all have different reasons why they are receiving your emails. Think about those reasons, and write emails specifically targeting segmented groups. Some of the easiest segments to create and use are:

  • Current Clients
  • Past Clients
  • Prospects
  • Purchased From Us
  • Never Purchased
  • Purchased over $1,000
  • Purchased under $1,000
  • Purchased Before Promotion
  • Purchased During Promotion

2) Ask for Feedback 

There are two different ways to do this. You can create a poll and ask current subscribers what content they enjoy receiving the most. Throw in a gift card prize for the participants! This will let your readers know that you care about the content they’re receiving.

Another route of asking for feedback is conducting an exit survey. When users are unsubscribing, give them boxes to check of reasons why they’re unsubscribing, like the picture below. This will give you an idea of why users are unsubscribing, so you can find a solution.

If you have an ESP, they may have an exit survey generated. Reach out to them frequently for your results. If you don’t use an ESP, make sure to actively check your feedback so you can understand why readers are unsubscribing.

3) Be mobile-friendly

Studies have shown that over half of emails are read over the phone. You need to make sure that your emails and websites are all user friendly. A bad design or visual will deter your readers. Poppulo, an employee communications platform, has a detailed guide on how to make your emails compliant.

4) Send fewer emails

Readers often get annoyed that they are receiving too many emails. As your readers are in the process of subscribing, tell them exactly what frequency of emails they will get: daily, weekly, monthly, etc. If you set up expectations up front, they will be less likely to get annoyed and unsubscribe.

5) Provide valuable content

Why do subscribers read emails? They want to receive some sort of value from it. Whether that be a coupon, an industry tip, or a current event, readers want something that they can take away from it. Define your strategy, decide who cares, and craft your message.

6) Provide exclusivity

Give your email readers something exclusive that others won’t receive. When they think about unsubscribing, they will think about all the offers they would miss out on.

7) Use a variety of content

Readers get bored of the same-old, same-old. Add interest to your emails with icons, images, videos, fonts, and GIFs. Test it out and see what your readers enjoy. Humor works, too!

8) Require double opt-in/confirmed opt-in when new readers subscribe          

DOI/COI is when a user signs up for an email marketing list and an email is sent to the user that includes a confirmation to the subscription. This way, you’ll know the email address is for a valid inbox that is being frequently monitored. By using this instead of single opt-in, you will have interested readers that will, most likely, not unsubscribe.

9) As a final strategy, we've seen, but not one we recommend, you can always reduce unsubscribes by giving people an unsubscribe link like this one.