Creative Unsubscribes: How to Minimize Opt-outs to Your Email List

by Kathryn Aragon

Last updated on January 5th, 2018

Fact: More than a third of email subscribers who opt out of a list do so because they’re unhappy with the sender’s obnoxious frequency zeal.

Let’s face it, our email address is valuable. We don’t want brands flooding our inbox with promotions that aren’t relevant or useful.

As a marketer, it’s hard to get it right. Even if you nail the frequency, you’ll still have people unsubscribe from your list for other reasons. But any CRO worth his salt will do his best to keep unsubscribes to a minimum… and provide a stellar user experience in the process.

This infographic, courtesy of EmailMonks, shares smart tips for creative unsubscribes and building relationship even if your emails don’t hit the mark.

Creative Unsubscribe & the Email Relationship Crisis

emailmonks - creative unsubscribesSource: EmailMonks

Let’s review…

As a marketer using email marketing, one of your primary goals is to keep unsubscribes to a minimum. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Make sure you follow optimum email sending frequency. In most cases, that’s going to be 2 to 3 promotional emails a week at the most. The rest should be content based.

2. Send targeted, personalized emails for better results and engagement.

3. Pay attention to why people unsubscribe. Use that information to optimize your email marketing, so fewer people feel the need to unsubscribe.

4. Manage expectations. If you promise something prior to sign-up, you must deliver.

5. Make your emails readable on any device. Google found that people use as many as 4 devices to access their media. It’s vital that you make your emails readable on all of them.

6. Keep it clean. One of the smartest uses for email is relationship building. But for that to happen, you need to talk in the “native language” of your core market. Don’t be rude. Don’t be offensive.

7. Use automated workflows carefully. Don’t bombard your subscribers with system-generated emails. No matter how hard you try, they come off as canned.

8. Measure the unsubscribe rate constantly to ensure your strategy is working. If unsubscribe rates go up, it’s time to come up with a new strategy. Here are 8 email metrics that matter.

What about you?

As CROs, we realize that a lot goes into conversion rate optimization. On your site, you need to be providing the right information—targeted to your ideal customer—at precisely the right time. Your efforts must include usability, copywriting, layout, design, and more.

Most of these same tactics apply to your emails. What do you do to reach your email marketing goals? Have you found a particular strategy that helps you minimize unsubscribes?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Kathryn Aragon.



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Kathryn Aragon

Kathryn Aragon is the former editor of The Daily Egg. She's a content strategist, consultant, and author of The Business Blog Handbook. Learn more at Follow her on Twitter.


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  1. Edward Jones says:
    September 18, 2015 at 5:10 am

    I’m glad that I found your article Kathryn! I create my newsletters with a help of GetResponse platform and now I know how to create better content. 🙂

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      September 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. (That’s always the goal.)

  2. David says:
    January 5, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Well written and impressive post.This it the first best which i have read in this new year.Loved it.

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      January 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thanks, David! 🙂

  3. Brian says:
    January 3, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I was hoping to just browse through…nope. Took lots of notes. Good insights and suggestions. Well done, Kathryn!

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      January 4, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Thanks, Brian! Appreciate the kind words. 🙂

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