6 Tips to Reduce Unsubscribe Rates

reduce unsubscribe rates

Picture this scenario: you’ve invested months of time and resources into building your email list, only to see a spike in unsubscribes. What gives? If you’re following our list growth best practices, odds are you won’t face this dilemma. That said, however, maintaining a healthy email list and unsubscribe reduction, while related, are not one and the same. So, here are six tips to reduce your unsubscribe rates:

  1. Segment, Segment, Segment

Segmentation is your strongest defense against unsubscribes. When building your signup forms, consider allowing new subscribers to choose the frequency at which they’d like to receive emails. Using this information, create weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly newsletter segments to ensure that you’re not overwhelming your subscribers. You can also allow subscribers to choose what type content they’d like to receive (newsletters, product releases, men’s vs. women’s products, etc.) so they know what to expect from you.

  1. Be Consistent

Along with allowing your subscribers to choose the frequency of the emails they receive, you should make sure they know when they’re going to be receiving them. If someone chooses to subscribe to your weekly newsletter, they should be receiving emails on the same day every week, and at the same time (Tuesdays at 11:00 AM, for example). When collecting email addresses, you can even allow subscribers to choose what time of day they’d prefer to receive emails and use Klaviyo’s Send by Timezone feature to make good on your promise.

  1. Make it Hard to Say No
    Chubbies Unsubscribe Link
    [via Chubbies]

But first, one thing you shouldn’t do: don’t hide your unsubscribe link. If recipients can’t find where to go to unsubscribe, they might just mark your email as spam, which is much worse. While your unsubscribe link should be somewhere clear and visible at the bottom of the page, however, you shouldn’t make it one-click-easy to unsubscribe, per se. On the unsubscribe page, include an option to adjust email frequency to reclaim all those who are on the fence about unsubscribing.

  1. Offer Exclusive Deals or Content
    Huckberry Home Page
    [via Huckberry]

Nothing motivates people like FOMO (fear of missing out). If your subscribers are going to lose access to exclusive sales or information by unsubscribing, they’re going to be much less likely to do so. Some companies, like Huckberry and Rue La La, put their entire websites behind an email wall to really drive this point home.

  1. Make Sure Your Emails Are Easy to Read

And by easy to read, we mean responsive with fast load times. People are impatient, and no one wants to sit at his or her computer for upwards of 15 seconds waiting for an email to load. To ensure that your emails don’t load too slowly, don’t include huge images and test them out beforehand. Similarly, use an email testing service like Litmus to make sure your emails look great across all ISPs and devices.

  1. Survey Those Who’ve Unsubscribed

Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do. By surveying those who’ve unsubscribed, you can pinpoint weaknesses in your email marketing strategy and work to remedy them. If people complain about the frequency of your emails, for instance, make it more explicit that they can alter this by including a link to the email preferences page at the bottom of all of your emails instead of just your initial signup confirmation email.

Unsubscribe links are also a great opportunity to get creative with fun copy, like the above example from Chubbies. Have you seen any clever unsubscribe links recently? If so, what were they?

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