7 Reasons Consumers Unsubscribe From Email Lists

Originally published on LeadUpMarketers.com on February 15, 2016 By Vladimir Nagin
7 Reasons Consumers Unsubscribe From Email Lists
For most companies, email marketing is the strategy they call on when engaging with customers. Considered low-cost and highly effective, email campaigns allow small businesses to nurture leads with ease and steadily grow their customer bases. Emails can also be used for direct marketing where you send subscribers messages about current discounts and new arrivals in a bid to “push” them to buy now.
But as most email campaigners have come to find, things are not always as rosy as they appear. One of the biggest challenges you often have to deal with is users unsubscribing from your email list.
In order to deal with this challenge, you first need to find out why a contact may want to unsubscribe. Below, we round up seven of the most common reasons why customers opt out of email lists and possible strategies that could keep them around for longer.

  • They didn’t subscribe in the first place

Usually, it’s either this or they may not have been informed that they were subscribed to an email list. Experts say that there is not a faster way to get people to unsubscribe from an email list than to add them to a list without their permission. Sometimes the user thinks that they’re just subscribing to a charity sweepstake and then the following day they realize that they have a few emails from an unknown company. They will unsubscribe immediately and probably even mark you as spam.
Solution: The best solution here is to communicate clearly with the consumer before you start sending the emails. Make it very clear that they are subscribing to an email list and that from henceforth they will receive emails from company X.

  • You’re sending them too many emails, too often

Subscribers may also opt out of your email list if they feel that you’re sending them too many emails, too often. According to one survey by Campaign Monitor, 54 percent of respondents said that they received emails too often with only 44 percent saying that they received emails at the right frequency.
Solution: There are two things you can do here. First, during the subscription, ask the consumer how often they would like to receive your emails. This puts power in their hands. Secondly, you may conduct surveys from time to time to determine whether your contacts are happy with the current mailing frequency and, if not, what needs to be changed.

  • Your emails are rendered poorly (difficult to skim through)

It is also possible for a subscriber to opt out of your list if your emails are not easy to read. One thing you need to be particularly careful about is images. Considering that over 50 percent of emails are opened on mobile, heavy images might not be rendered properly. Imagine if your value proposition was all hidden in the image and now the image isn’t clearly visible! Yikes.
Solution: For this, the key lies in thoroughly testing your emails before you send them. Send it to a simple mobile device and see if the images are rendered well. Also, use tools such as Litmus to test whether your emails as well as images are mobile friendly.

  • Your email is cluttered

You’ve probably heard the one message per email mantra. Well, this is where the mantra comes in handy.  When something is cluttered, it means that there is too much stuff packed there which makes it difficult to pick out the prevailing message.
Solution: First, stick to the one message per email mantra. More importantly, always read your emails before sending them, or have somebody proofread them for you. If you feel that the message isn’t clear enough, sit down and make a few tweaks.  You can always bring in a designer to help you put the text and images together.

  • Your content is boring or repetitive

You might see this as an insult but it’ not. Sometimes consumers can’t help but opt out if they think that your emails don’t cheer them up in any way. For example, if the consumer is always hearing the same thing from you or if they’ve received the same email from a different brand, then they may not be excited at all.
Solution: The key here is to be original and provide value. You don’t always have to offer a discount or a $1,000 coupon, but also don’t send a flat email. You know what these people need. That’s why you call them your customers. So, give them something they can chew on.

  • You’re always selling something

One thing brands need to understand is that consumers also have personal lives; they are not always trying to make a purchase. So don’t promote your products at every available opportunity thinking that it will get them to buy sooner. In fact, consumers show greater appreciation to businesses/brands that take a moment to think about their private lives.
Solution: There is a simple but very important rule in email marketing called the 80/20 rule. Basically, it means that 80 percent of your emails should be about providing helpful tips and other free information to the consumer. Then, the remaining 20 percent should be sales emails.

  • Right content to the wrong people

While it should be pretty obvious for business owners to know what their consumers need and the type of content they love to feed on, some still struggle with this. The moment you send irrelevant content to a consumer, it doesn’t matter how great the content was; that consumer will get the impression that you’re not the right person to solve their problem.
Solution: There is no other way around this; you just have to understand your customers and provide the right content. Consider creating buyer personas which you can refer to and if you’re still struggling, find an email pro to help.
If you can avoid these mistakes and heed the solutions recommended here, you will definitely see a decrease in your unsubscribe rate.
Free download: An Introduction to Email Marketing
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Written by
Vladimir Nagin
Entrepreneur | CEO | Inbound Marketing Expert | B2B Marketing