What does Unsubscribe mean?

In email marketing, to unsubscribe means to remove your email address from a company’s mailing list so as not to receive any further emails or communications. Every email campaign must include an unsubscribe link to provide subscribers an option to remove themselves at any time.

What is Unsubscribe Rate?

The unsubscribe rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who opt out from an email list. An unsubscribe rate that is less than 1% is considered within industry standard.

The unsubscribe rate percentage is calculated by dividing the number of people who unsubscribed by the number of emails delivered times hundred (Unsubscribed number/Emails delivered x 100 = Unsubscribed rate %).

What is a reasonable Unsubscribe Rate?

The average unsubscribe rate will largely depend on the niche you are in, but anything below 0.5% is considered good, while 0.5-1% is regarded as reasonable but could be improved. A high unsubscribe rate can indicate various problems – you might be targeting the wrong people, the quality of your email content might be poor, your emails might not work on mobile devices or they might be sent at the wrong times. There are numerous email marketing techniques you can use to lower the number of unsubscribes, but a fluctuating or steadily increasing unsubscribe rate should always be taken as a red flag.  

What happens when someone clicks Unsubscribe?

To unsubscribe from an email list, a recipient has to click on a unique unsubscribe link at the bottom of an email that is immediately recorded in the sender’s email system. The subscriber’s status is then automatically changed from active to unsubscribed and he appears as unsubscribed in the campaign report.

Tips to reduce your Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is a critical statistic to track during every email campaign, as it helps you to measure the success and gauge consumer interest into your products and promotions. It is also one of the most unpleasant metrics that marketers need to deal with, but there are ways you can improve it:

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Justas Markus: CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL and a blogger at Entrepreneur.com, Observer.com, Influencive.com and others. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.