5 Reasons Customers Unsubscribe from Your Email List

By Emily Suess

There’s more to a great email marketing campaign than expanding your mailing list. You have to provide content that your subscribers want to read in order to prevent them from unsubscribing later. And the best way to prevent readers from opting out of your emails is to consistently deliver the content they want without irritating them along the way.

To keep your subscribers’ interest, try to understand why people leave lists in the first place. Do your best to avoid these common pitfalls, and your email lists should grow consistently.

1. You’ve Got the Frequency Wrong

This is probably the most common reason why people unsubscribe. If you send email too frequently, you risk annoying your subscribers. Be sensitive to the growing number of emails people receive, and send only messages that are absolutely beneficial to readers.

Another way to deal with the frequency problem is to further segment your mailing lists, letting each subscriber select which emails they’d like to receive. For example, you may have a list for industry news, another list for promotions and deals, and yet another list to keep readers informed of important changes and updates within your business.

2. Your Emails Aren’t Optimized for Mobile

With so many people using smartphones and tablets to check email, it’s a good idea to make sure your email design is optimized for easy mobile reading. If your emails don’t render properly on these popular devices, your subscribers may leave.

3. Your Content Is Irrelevant

Boring, impersonal messages that fail to inspire action are a big no-no. The subscriber’s wants and needs should be the focus of every email you send, so resist the temptation to send a message just because you want to make an announcement. Make emails enticing by keeping them brief and punchy and packing them with content that makes life more fun and more convenient for your readers.

4. You Keep Sending the Same Thing

Unless you have good reason to repeat a message, it’s a bad idea to keep forcing the same content on your email recipients. Emails that have no new value and keep repeating the same tired calls to action will very likely prompt subscribers to leave your list or mark your messages as spam. If you don’t have anything new to say, it’s safe to assume you need to drop the frequency of your mailings. Try going from a monthly email to a quarterly email, for example.

5. You’re Not Recognizable

Have you changed your business name? Updated your company logo? Completed an entire rebranding effort? If you change your small business in a major way, your customers might mistake your new emails for spam. If you update your business in any of these ways, make sure your customers know that changes are coming.

It’s impossible to please all the people all the time, so don’t get to worried when you lose a couple of subscribers here or there. However, you’ll know you’re doing it right when you see a steady increase in subscribers over time.

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.
  1. Emily – thanks for the blog – it’s funny I totally know why I unsubscribe to an email list. My biggest beef is when it feels like there’s a lot of “ACT NOW!!” or “DON’T MISS OUT THIS OFFER WON’T LAST.” But…that being said if you are up to it, can you write about 5 best examples of relevant content?

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