7 Strategies to Reduce Email Unsubscribe Rates and Engage Subscribers


[sc name="copy-post-url"][/sc]

Oluebube Anukam



As the term suggests, the email unsubscribe rate is a measure of unsubscription by your subscribers from your mailing list. It’s a slightly disheartening but normal occurrence to have people opt out of receiving emails from you. It is slightly disheartening because we all know the degree of effort it takes to create awareness of your service that gains the attention of your potential customers and leads them to a point where they are subscribers to your mailing list. Normal because, in the same way people sign up to receive emails for several reasons, they also choose to opt out for some reasons. They may have been interested in your product or service but the content didn’t match up to their expectations; they may no longer be interested in receiving updates via email (or receiving updates at all), or they might have erroneously signed up to your mailing list, and so on.

Though it’s normal, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of a subscriber unsubscribing. We’ll look at that further down in this article. For now, let’s look at how to calculate the email unsubscribe rate.

In this article:

» Introduction

» How To Calculate Email Unsubscribe Rate

» 7 Effective Strategies To Reduce Your Email Unsubscribe Rate

    » Avoid Spamming

    » Provide Email Frequency Customization Options

    » Use Double Opt-ins

    » Optimize Emails For Various Devices

    » Segment Your Email List

    » Avoid Purchasing Subscribers

    » Collect Feedback

» Conclusion

How To Calculate Email Unsubscribe Rate

Email unsubscribe rates are important KPIs that should be monitored whenever an email marketing campaign is launched. A high unsubscribe rate will significantly reduce your email deliverability because email service providers register this (i.e., a high unsubscribe rate) as proof that your emails are unwanted by their users and therefore belong in the spam folder. 

To understand what is generally viewed as a low email unsubscribe rate, you’ll have to take into account what industry your business falls under. Per Campaign Monitor, a normal unsubscribe rate is under 2% but this varies from industry to industry. In 2019, the average email unsubscribe rate for the beauty industry was 0.30% (Source: Mailchimp). Therefore, if you are in the beauty industry and your email unsubscribe rate is 0.30% or lower, you have a good to excellent unsubscribe rate.

To get your email unsubscribe rate, take the total number of unsubscribes and divide this by the total number of emails delivered (note: emails delivered are emails that made it into your subscribers’ inbox). Then, because the email unsubscribe rate is a percentage, multiply the result by 100. 

For example, if 2,000 emails from your email marketing campaigns were delivered and 50 people unsubscribed, your unsubscribe rate would be:

unsubscribers        X 100

emails delivered

= 50         X   100        = 2.5%


This percentage is not as good of an unsubscribe rate as we have seen, so read on to gain insight on how to effectively reduce it.

7 Effective Strategies To Reduce Your Email Unsubscribe Rate

 InsightSquared’s research shows that the cost of acquiring new customers is 5–25 times more than the cost of retaining your already existing customers. This business research by Harvard Business School shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. In other words, having strategies in place to reduce your email unsubscribe rate is a cost-effective, effort-saving measure.

1. Avoid Spamming:

Having an overflowing inbox is one of the most irksome things for the majority of email users. It is also one of the reasons people choose to unsubscribe from receiving emails. Spammy emails are annoying at best and malicious phishing emails at worst, and if a customer entrusts you with their email address, sending oftentimes unsolicited emails to them quickly sours whatever loyalty you may have built between you and your customer.

Spamming also reduces your email deliverability and puts your brand in a negative light as far as email service providers are concerned. Therefore, reduce the frequency of your emails. You can send 2 to 3 emails a week to make sure your subscribers are engaged and your business remains top of mind without being inconvenient. Also, make certain that your email content is relevant to your subscribers’ interests.

2. Provide Email Frequency Customization Options:

To minimize unsubscription, you can put the choice of email frequency in the hands of your subscribers. They get to choose how often they want to receive emails from you, and it’s a great boost to your relationship with your subscribers. It creates a belief that you care about their needs and interests and also allows you to send personalized and targeted emails to them. This reduces your email unsubscribe rate and improves your customer or subscriber retention rate.

You can pair this with the option for your subscribers to choose what type of content they would like to receive as well. This usually falls under the “Manage Your Subscription” or “Update Your Preferences” options and is more widely known. Sometimes, the option to adjust email frequency is also available in these other options to make it more convenient for your subscribers.

3. Use Double Opt-ins:

A double opt-in is usually sent via email, and it is a confirmation by whoever put in the email address of their subscription to receive emails from you. Implementing a double opt-in measure ensures that the subscriber wants to receive those emails, and this, in turn, ensures that your email unsubscribe rate remains low. 

You can do this by sending emails that contain a link for each subscriber to verify their email address or confirm their subscription. It can be challenging, however, to get your subscribers to confirm their subscriptions. Campaign Monitor discovered that up to 20% of people who sign up to receive emails won’t confirm their emails. You can endeavor to reduce this number by crafting your confirmation emails so they prompt your subscribers in a way that grabs their attention enough to trigger an action from them.

4. Optimize Emails For Various Devices: phone ,

At least 50% of emails are opened on a mobile phone, so your emails must display correctly on mobile. As you craft your emails, make sure the fonts are legible; make the calls-to-action easy to find, visually appealing, and touch-friendly; make sure the content is aesthetically pleasing and fits proportionally on the screen; and optimize your images to avoid triggering spam filters. Doing these removes the frustration your subscribers will feel when they don’t receive emails that properly display on their screens, thereby reducing your email unsubscribe rate.

Your subscribers also view their emails on other devices, so don’t focus all your attention on mobile phones; ensure that your emails are responsive across all devices. You can check for responsiveness by running a\b tests to ascertain if all your subscribers’ devices display your emails correctly.

5. Segment your email list:

Segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted and personalized emails to your mailing list. This guarantees that your subscribers will only receive emails that are relevant to them, thus reducing their likelihood of unsubscribing. Using email service providers like MailDrip, you can segment your email list based on categories like demographics, interest, purchase history, etc. and send emails that effectively keep your subscribers engaged.

6. Avoid Purchasing Subscribers:

A mailing list that contains purchased email addresses is more than likely to cause your unsubscribe rate to skyrocket. Those email users don’t know you or your business, and they never signed up to receive your emails. Your emails constitute a nuisance to them, and most will be quick to click the unsubscribe button or even block your address from ever contacting them. Worse still, sending unsolicited emails is considered spam and, as such, can trigger the spam filters of email service providers to blacklist your emails and send them to spam even if the subscriber chose to receive emails from you.

Instead of purchasing emails, you can collaborate with another business or creator to advertise your product or service to their subscribers and prompt them to sign up to receive emails from you as well. 

7. Collect feedback:

This century has proven without a doubt how important data is. To reduce your email unsubscribe rate, find a way to gain feedback from your existing—and even former—subscribers. You can distribute forms or surveys via email or any other channel to your subscribers to understand what works for them so that you can keep implementing them and what may deter them from your emails so that you can either improve on it or bin it completely. For your unsubscribers, though you will likely not get them back, the feedback you will obtain regarding why they chose to opt-out can inform your next steps in your email marketing campaigns so that you can retain future and existing customers and reduce your email unsubscribe rate.


Always keep in mind that you can’t annihilate unsubscription from your emails (if you find a way to do that, please inform us); you can only reduce the likelihood of it occurring.

If you’re wondering what’s next, you can take the next steps by signing up for MailDrip. MailDrip supports creators to make money from email marketing and increases subscribers’ engagements by reducing email unsubscriptions. You can find out more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *