The Hidden Opportunities in Email Unsubscribes

When you’re reviewing your email marketing metrics and checking the number of unsubscribes from a big campaign, don’t overlook the benefits of saying goodbye to a former subscriber.

Many businesses don’t realize there actually is some value in having a list of unsubscribers after each send. While it’s still a good idea to modify your email approach and figure out what might have triggered a sudden departure, there are some hidden opportunities in this type of activity.

Here’s a closer look at some of these benefits:

Improve Deliverability Rates

As long as your emails are not being marked as spam by those who no longer wish to receive them, your email deliverability status will remain intact. Many email service providers flag or make note of accounts that have a high number of spam reports. You can be grateful that the person who unsubscribed simply cut ties without any major repercussions.

Email Unsubscribes Save Your Reputation and Marketing Dollars

When a recipient is no longer interested in being on your email list, they will either delete the email without opening it or unsubscribe. Those who don’t unsubscribe but have no interest in receiving your emails are harming you in several ways:

  1. Your Inbox Placement: Mailbox providers like Gmail look at how each recipient responds to messages from a given sender. If they see that a user is consistently deleting emails from a sender without opening, they will automatically start to place those emails in the Spam folder. This hurts your inbox placement and is challenging to recover from.
  2. Your Money: By not unsubscribing, recipients waste your money, since you’re paying to deliver the email into their inbox.
  3. Open Rate: Recipients who simply delete the email without opening it are also affecting your open rates since your reports will show the email reached the recipient’s inbox but wasn’t opened.

Viewed from this perspective, you can think of it this way: if a subscriber truly has lost interest, it is better for your inbox placement, budget, and your open rate KPI that they unsub.

Determine Value of Email Campaigns

A high number of unsubscribes from any single campaign could mean your content turned many of your former subscribers away. If this starts to become a trend, you can use the unsubscribe rate as a metric for determining the success of a particular campaign. Keep a close eye on those numbers to see which types of emails perform the best and which ones tend to push people off your email list. The reason could be something as simple as an image you used, certain messaging, or a confusing layout.

Re-engaging Recipients

Those who have taken the time to find the link to unsubscribe might end up staying on your email list if you give them some options. For example, you could set up a preferences page for those who click on the unsubscribe link so they can manage how often they receive emails from you or what types of emails they receive from you. This might prevent someone from dropping off the list completely and give you a chance to make note of any trends — if the majority of unsubscribe requests end up requesting fewer emails per week or month, you can adjust your email campaigns accordingly so that more of your recipients stay engaged.

Email unsubscribes don’t necessarily have to be a negative element of your email marketing initiatives. By analyzing them correctly, they could hold important data that can help you optimize your operation!

While you don’t want to lose your hard-earned subscribers, you will end up with a cleaner email list because you are no longer sending emails to people who won’t engage. A high number of unsubscribes could also be a sign that you need to revisit your copy, design, or email campaigns as a whole to ensure you are truly catering to your subscribers.

Consider some of the hidden opportunities in email unsubscribes so that you can maximize your marketing resources.

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