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Since the start of the outbreak, businesses have had to make tough decisions.

For email marketers, it’s also required changes in strategies and what content you send out to your subscribers.

One area marketers need updated information on is if email unsubscribe rates are better or worse during COVID-19. We’ve decided to study some of the numbers and provide a coronavirus-specific email benchmark report for the first few months of 2020.

What do email unsubscribe rates look like during COVID-19?

As more people had to shelter in place during the pandemic, we noted an increase in the send rates over April.

March had similar numbers, compared to previous years. It showed just how organizations still depend on emails to communicate with their staff or business partners. The same rules still apply to email marketers. Email campaigns remain one of the best channels available to promote your products or services.

Opens increased over April, compared to previous years, showing that email is still the preferred method for consumers to get information from brands.

Source: Campaign Monitor

The pandemic lockdowns also led to more opens in April, with an average increase of 20% over 2019. Unsubscribe rates were mainly the same, with some industries receiving fewer than previous years. Emails from companies and industries involved in healthcare, financial services, or government agencies had a 38% lower unsubscribe rate year on year.

You should note that, on average, there were no changes in unsubscribe rates. In April, the average unsubscribe rate totaled 0.14%, with no change from previous years.

Campaign Monitor Statistics for Unsubscribe Rates during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Campaign Monitor

What unsubscribe rates show you

Although unsubscribe rates are one of the worst statistics for email marketers, you should be keeping track of them, regardless.

Marketers spend a lot of time testing campaigns and improving their content, so a high unsubscribe rate remains a concern. You can use this information for positive insights, so you may want to read this guide on the subject.

How to measure your unsubscribe rates during COVID-19

On Campaign Monitor, you can track your unsubscribe rates using our reporting tools. We calculate unsubscribe rates as a percentage of opens versus opt-outs.

The percentage will give you a good indication of whether your content is valuable to your subscribers. If you notice a steady increase in your unsubscribe rates, you’ll need to change your campaign strategies.

Watch our COVID-19 Benchmarks webinar below:

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Does it really matter?

You must keep track of your unsubscribe rates. Building a subscriber list takes time, effort, and a bit of creative flair. Every email you send is an opportunity to engage with your subscribers. Subscribers want information about your brand, product, or company that helps them to deal with the pandemic.

To keep your content engaging, follow these tips:

  • Always focus on your subscribers and the content they’ll want from you when designing your emails.
  • Use regular A/B testing to find a campaign design that works for you and your subscribers.
  • Wherever possible, use dynamic content and optimize campaigns for mobile devices.
  • You should also use list segmentation and personalization in your campaigns.

The main reason for unsubscribes, according to one of our surveys, was due to recipients feeling that they never signed up to the list in the first place. For that reason, always ensure you use double opt-ins when adding subscribers to your list.

What now?

Unsubscribe rates remained mostly unchanged during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. For marketers that noticed an increase in their unsubscribe rates, you’ll want to make changes to your strategy.

Although many subscribers want more information during the coronavirus pandemic, you can use our research to stop you from sending out too many updates.

Always use the best practices to maintain your current engagement levels when creating new campaigns. Keep an eye on your different metrics and make sure you adjust your strategy, based on the information you have available.

Now that you have an idea of how the COVID-19 pandemic influences your unsubscribe rates, read this guide on elevating your email engagement.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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