Unsubscribes: Who they are and how to re-engage

Are you struggling with an increase in unsubscribes, or are just generally frustrated with how your unsubscribe rate has yet to decrease? We know the feeling. 

Think you're doing enough to engage your audience with valuable email marketing, only to discover they're turning out out of their inboxes?

If you and your team have frequent frustrations with unsubscribes, we’re here to help you get to the bottom of this very common problem. 

This post will go over some of the most valuable insider tips to reach inside your audiences’ mind in order to provide relevant and valuable content for their consumption. 

First, you need to understand both how the worldwide email market is increasing, and second, who your unsubscribers are.

The email marketplace is increasing

Currently, the email market stands at 3.9 billion users worldwide. At the end of 2023, the market is projected to reach 4.9 billion users—an increase that’s not worth missing out on. 


Source: Radicati

Image Source: Radicati

With email marketing numbers rising each year, there is even more potential for customers to unsubscribe from your email marketing campaigns. 

Putting in the work to understand, re-engage, and psychologically inspire your audience are all essential parts of an email marketing strategy. These three things encourage your audience to take part in your email marketing campaign. It will also help you “call dibs” in the ever-growing, worldwide email marketing landscape. 

Identify your unsubscribers

So, who are these people who unsubscribe to your emails? What’s going through their heads and why don’t they want to receive your emails anymore?

Users who unsubscribe to emails are commonly people who have grown tired, forgotten why they receive your communications, or are no longer interested in them. They’ve often grown tired of incessant marketing emails, more lengthy newsletters, and products that just don’t interest them, and perhaps they never did.

You’ve been there, she’s been there, he’s been there—we’ve all been on the other side of the email marketing strategy—in the user’s point of view. 

The fact is, your audience can tend to become worn out from the blaring marketing noises that bombard them every day. They want to hear from someone who will stand out, help solve their problems and relate to them on a personal level. Someone who has something to say that they want to hear. Easier said than done, right? We know it’s not, but we do believe that empathy can help email marketers go a long way in this day and age.

4 reasons why people unsubscribe to your emails

The reasons consumers don’t stay engaged with company emails could look like many things. Often, they boil down to four main reasons most customers can relate to on one level or another.

1. You’re spamming their inbox.

Companies and organizations can certainly fall into getting overzealous with email campaigns. They send emails to users every day or even multiple times a day. Anyone with an email account, whether personal or for business, is (assumably, for the most part) well aware of what they receive in their inbox and who it’s from. So if they’re getting multiple messages from you in one day, that’s too much (unless they asked for it) and they will notice. 

2. You’re constantly selling.

If there’s one thing customers loathe, it’s the pressure to buy a product or service they are not interested in or don’t need. Even worse if it’s repetitive pressure. These types of emails lack smart salesmanship and don’t offer any value to dissatisfied customers. 

3. You’re sending content deemed irrelevant, boring, or repetitive by your audience.

Nothing is nothing more annoying to a customer than opening an email to realize they read the same message a few days ago. Only, it’s rearranged into different sentences and words. If your customer wasn’t interested in what your company email said the first time, it’s likely they won’t listen to a regurgitated version later.

4. Your emails aren’t mobile friendly.

Most people use mobile devices to open their emails. If a customer opens an email that’s incompatible with their mobile device, they are more likely to delete the email, even before scanning it for its content. In fact, we know that emails that display incorrectly on mobile are likely to be deleted within three seconds

The reason for this is design and formatting. When emails aren’t compatible with mobile devices, it’s hard to read words and view images. These two things are what make up great emails, so when customers must zoom in to read your email, that’s a problem. You also risk rendering issues, images or text getting cut off, and worst of all, accessibility issues. 

How can you fix these email problems?

So, you understand the reasons why your audience may unsubscribe to your emails. But now you’re wondering, “What can I do about these problems?”

The answer is not so simple. While you cannot get those unsubscribes back, you can learn from your loss and work to deepen your engagement with your remaining audience.

Personalize your emails.

Tailoring email campaigns to fit each individual may seem an impossible task. But there are tricks to make this task seem a lot less daunting. After incorporating email personalization steps, your company will see this is a smart way to incorporate brand trust among customers.

Use personal names. 

Remember when your parents told you that remembering people’s names is an important skill to practice?

Well, this same name tactic can apply to email marketing, though your email subscription system is the things doing the name remembering.

Most people love the sound—or the look—of their own name. Adding their name to the subject line or greeting is a powerful tool to implement. This is what gets customers excited to open their emails or to keep reading on.

Most people love the sound—or the look—of their own name. Adding their name to the subject line or greeting is a powerful tool to implement

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Though your audience may not personally know a single person in your company, their brains still receive the same psychological impact as if your company greeted them in person. Ditching the general audience greetings and turning them into personal greetings is a subtle, yet personal way to grab your audience’s attention. It makes them feel special and listened to, in a small way. 

Segment your customers for a better strategy. 

There is a smart way to better personalize your customer’s experiences. It’s called customer segmentation. This strategy divides your audience into specific groups based on needs, likes and dislikes, and company activity. Remember, not all of your customers have the same needs.  

customer segmentation strategy divides your audience into specific groups based on needs, likes and dislikes, and company activity.

Image Source: Pinterest

You can also segment your audience into groups of job type, preferred device, and even birthdays. What segmentation brings is an additional tailoring tactic to your email marketing campaign. It will help you decide who engages and who leaves for good. 

Incorporate a double opt-in system by email verification

A way to make sure your unsubscribed customers want to stay engaged with you is to incorporate a double opt-in system into your subscription emails. After a subscriber submits their email (either on your website or through your app), send them an email asking them to verify their email. 

A way to make sure your unsubscribed customers want to re-engage with you and stay engaged is to incorporate a double opt-in system into your subscription emails.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Double opt-ins are beneficial in two ways. The first benefit is that this two-step process ingrains the idea into your audience’s mind to keep an eye out for your emails. It also adds extra security for your company from fake emails and spammers. 

This process is similar to cases where search engines ask users to check the, “I am not a robot,” while browsing the internet. This ensures the system that the receiver of the message is using their services properly and with good intention. 

Wrap up

  • Numbers in the email market increase each year.

  • Understand the reason why consumers unsubscribe from your marketing emails.

  • Re-engage your email audience to show that your company cares about its consumers.

  • Send email re-invites.

  • Personalize your company emails.

  • Segment your audience into groups.

  • Incorporate a double opt-in system re-subscribing

The way you strategize your email campaign is important. Interested in learning more about email marketing? Check out these 10 email marketing hacks that will save you time and money on your email marketing campaign.

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. Unlike other email providers, Emma puts their customers first. It's email marketing that works for you.

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