Are you seeing a lot of email unsubscribes lately? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. At some point, many businesses see a significant decline in email subscribers. This blog post will explore why customers might be unsubscribing from your email list and, more importantly, how to prevent unsubscribes from happening in the first place.

Top Reasons Why Customers Unsubscribe From Emails

It’s best to build your email list organically and have an engaged audience with great metrics such as high open and conversion rates. To ensure that your email campaigns are successful, you should keep an eye on the key email marketing metrics and tweak your email marketing strategy as needed. Let’s dive into potential reasons for high unsubscribes. 

Irrelevant Emails

This is the number one reason customers unsubscribe from email lists. If your emails are not relevant to them, they will likely unsubscribe. Research your audience to get the best idea of what they’re interested in. 

Not all emails should go to every subscriber. A common issue is that out of 100 marketers, 89 of them make the same email mistake: they send an email to their entire database rather than segmenting their database

Few, if any, emails apply to all subscribers. Make sure you are personalizing your content and targeting it to each subscriber to prevent unsubscribes before they happen.

Too Many Emails

Did you know that 35% of emails are left unread? This percentage was based on more than 91 million inquiries analyzed by Mailbird. The data suggests that users read an average of 63 emails a day, so that number, combined with the 35% percent of unread emails, shows just how big the email total can be day-to-day. 

If you’re sending subscribers too many emails, they might get upset and start to unsubscribe. This is one of the direct results of sending so many emails.

Try sending emails only once or twice a week to prevent unsubscribes from overwhelming recipients. Collecting feedback from subscribers can also help you determine the right email frequency for them.

Poor Content

On average, American workers receive an average of 126 emails a day. Make sure your content is worth reading and keeping in the inbox because subscribers are not shy about deleting emails as soon as they see them.

If your content is not good, subscribers will unsubscribe. Make sure you are putting effort into creating quality content that your readers will enjoy. You could even ask your readers for feedback to ensure you’re on the right track. Moreover, you should also have an appealing Instagram feed aesthetic and Facebook banners in case email receivers check out your social media pages.

Prevent unsubscribes by adding more variety to your emails and including different types of content, such as videos, images, and articles, and make sure that your content is engaging. You could use free video editing software to create a good-looking video and increase your engagement.

Poor Design

60% of emails are opened on mobile devices, according to IBM. This, of course, depends on the industry but think about how often you might check your email. Surely it is over your mobile device.

Imagine what might happen when someone opens their email on the phone, and the content is not mobile-friendly. Do you think they’ll stick around? Likely not.

Are your emails mobile-friendly? A bad email design can be a major turn-off for subscribers. Make sure your emails are attractive, follow the principles of good design, and are easy to read to prevent unsubscribes right off the bat. Here’s a great example of a well-designed email from JCrew.

 Source: J.Crew

Cluttered Inbox

If your emails are competing with other essential emails in the subscriber’s inbox, they might unsubscribe. Try keeping your email design clean and simple, and make sure your subject line stands out.

Broken Links

If you include links in your emails, make sure they are working correctly. Nothing is more frustrating for a subscriber than clicking on a link and getting an error message. Before your email goes out, double-check your links to prevent those unsubscribes due to dead clicks.

Newsletters Too Lengthy

If your email newsletters are too long, subscribers might not bother reading them. Try keeping your newsletters short and to the point.

One thing to consider is that emails generally have about 430 words on average, based on a study of 1,000 emails by AWeber. On average, emails can take about three and a half minutes to read.

It may benefit you to make your emails shorter, however. Sometimes it may be a benefit to have a longer email. It comes down to the email and your audience, which is why segmentation is important. Understand your audience and find the length that best works for them to prevent needless unsubscribes. Here’s an example of a well-designed newsletter from PandaDoc.


Unprofessional Appearance

Let’s face it – we all judge a book by its cover. If your email looks unprofessional, subscribers will unsubscribe. Make sure you’re using a professional template and graphics to create a polished look.

Boring Subject Lines

Dull subject lines can be another reason why customers unsubscribe from email lists. Also, subscribers will not open if your subject lines are confusing or don’t make any sense. If the subscriber doesn’t know what the email is about, they will likely unsubscribe. Make sure your subject lines are exciting and capture the reader’s attention. Be sure to include clear and concise subject lines in your emails. Email subject lines also play a very important role in increasing open rates

Annoying Ads

Subscribers will unsubscribe if their emails contain too many ads. Nothing is more annoying than being bombarded with advertisements in your inbox. Try including a limited number of ads and ensuring they are relevant to the subscriber.

Negative Tone

If your emails have a negative tone, subscribers will unsubscribe. Keep your emails positive and upbeat to maintain a good relationship with your readers. Also, try to avoid spammy and negative language in your emails. What happens if you open a spam email or email that sounds too negative? You unsubscribe from it right away.

Cannot Find Unsubscribe Link

If the unsubscribe link is hard to find, subscribers will likely unsubscribe. Make sure it is easy for readers to unsubscribe from your list if they no longer want to receive your emails. It may seem counterintuitive, but providing an unsubscribe link can increase your email list’s engagement.

Too Much Promotion

Subscribers will unsubscribe if you’re constantly promoting your company in your emails. Try including different content in your emails, and only promote your business occasionally. Share helpful tips, industry news, and other types of content that your readers will enjoy.

There could be a sweet spot as far as the number of emails you can send per month. The Loop Marketing has a thorough guide as to the number of emails that can be sent depending on the size of your email list. For example, with a subscriber base of 10,000 or more users, daily emails could be useful, while smaller lists of 1,00 to 5,000 may only require emails twice a week. 

Promotion is important, but overpromoting can be a real problem.

No Personalization

Customers appreciate it when you personalize your content. If you’re not personalizing your emails, they will likely unsubscribe. Make sure you address each subscriber by name and include personalized content that is relevant to them. Consider segmenting your audience to customize your message for each recipient depending on where they are in the customer journey. Given the wealth of data available today, there is no excuse for not personalizing your content. Here’s a great example of a personalized email that works from OpenTable.

Source: Hubspot

Unclear Subscription Process

If the subscription process is unclear, subscribers will unsubscribe. Make sure you provide clear instructions on how to subscribe to your email list. Sometimes, customers may not have realized they subscribed in the first place. Adding a double opt-in process can help to avoid this issue.

Poor Customer Service

90% of Americans factor customer service into their decisions on whether to do business with a company or not. Furthermore, 58% of Americans will also switch companies they are working with due to poor customer service as well. It matters how you treat customers and their concerns.

Likewise, subscribers will unsubscribe if you’re not providing good customer service. Make sure you are responding to customer inquiries promptly and addressing their concerns. When there are irate customers because of a negative experience, sending emails directly to them apologizing and trying to make it right can help salvage the relationship.

Cannot Engage

If subscribers aren’t engaging with your content, they might unsubscribe. Try including more interactive content in your emails, such as quizzes, surveys, or contests. This will help to keep subscribers engaged with your content. Add value to their inboxes by sending various content, including videos, infographics, and articles.

Emails are Infrequent

If you’re not sending enough emails, subscribers might unsubscribe because they’re not getting enough content from you. Try sending emails at least once a week to keep subscribers interested in your content. To streamline the process, automate your email series with customer relationship management services. They will send the right message to the right audience at the right time.

As your audience grows, so too can the number of emails you send. For example, content also dictates the number of emails you should be sending. Coupons and offers may be a daily email topic, whereas generalized blogs and newsletters may only need to be shared once or twice a month.

Timing is Off

If you’re sending emails at the wrong time, subscribers might unsubscribe. Make sure you are timing your emails correctly and targeting the right audience. You can experiment with different times to see what works best for your customers.

As you can see, there are many reasons why customers might unsubscribe from your email list. Making small changes to your email marketing strategy can help you retain more subscribers and keep them happy. By following these tips, you can create an email campaign that your readers will love!

Amrapali is a digital marketing consultant who blogs about business and marketing at Bazaar Expert