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There are few things more frustrating to email marketers than seeing a large group of contacts unsubscribing from your emails. It’s especially troublesome when you can’t figure out the reason why.

Why is my unsubscribe rate so high?

Read on to help you get to the bottom of why your unsubscribe rate is so high and what you can do to fix it.

Understanding the unsubscribe rate

Your unsubscribe rate shows how many people are opting out of receiving any more emails from you. On the surface, this might seem like a bad thing, but unsubscribes do have some benefits. To maintain a good email list, you want to remove inactive and unengaged contacts, and, when these contacts opt out on their own, your list quality will improve.

Just like with all email metrics, your average unsubscribe rate can vary by your specific field. According to original Campaign Monitor research, the average unsubscribe rate is 0.17%.

Try aiming for unsubscribe rates less than 2%.

It’s probably a problem with your audience, not your email

If you have a higher than average unsubscribe rate, your first instinct might be to think there’s a problem with your email. While there’s a chance the contents of your email could be playing a factor, your problem is more likely with your audience.

The first thing you should do is check your email segmentation. This tactic is essential for email marketing, but it can cause problems if there are mistakes. Remember, your goal is to send the right message to the right people at the right time. If you’re sending to the wrong audience, the email is irrelevant and could cause more contacts than normal to unsubscribe.

Also, make sure you are only sending to contacts who have opted in to receive your emails. If your recipients are not expecting your email, they are more likely to unsubscribe. Under no circumstances should you ever send to a purchased email list.

How to measure unsubscribe rates

The easiest way to measure the number of people who unsubscribe from your email is through your ESP’s campaign dashboards. Here, you’ll be able to see the total number and percentage of contacts who opted out.

Why is My Unsubscribe Rate so High?

Source: Campaign Monitor

While your unsubscribe rate is essential, it’s not the only metrics you should focus on. It’s important also to track your open and click rates.

Does it really matter?

A high unsubscribe rate can’t be ignored. Not only is it an indication of a problem somewhere with your email campaign, but it can also have long-term negative impacts on your email marketing as a whole.

What now?

Understanding why your email unsubscribe rate is so high is the first step you can take to fix the problem.

If it’s an issue that suddenly popped up, you need to go back and see if you made any changes to your campaign that might have influenced the mass opt-out. It could be anything from adding in a new audience to something as simple as changing the day or time of your email send.

If your high unsubscribe rate has been a more long-term problem, you might need to review the larger aspects of your email strategy. While you’re evaluating your campaigns, you should also look to see how your high unsubscribe rates may have impacted your email sender reputation.

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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