Email unsubscribe rate

Email Unsubscribe rate is a power metric for marketers.

An unsubscribe rate that's lower than the industry average means your email marketing has great content, better than average open rates, awesome email subject lines, high-enough relevance, and other benchmarks that show the recipients aren't too frustrated with them. On the other hand, a ratio that's higher than the industry average could mean your subscribers are tired of you without you even knowing it. This can lower your sender's reputation, increase spam complaints, and can do more harm than good if you don’t pay attention. Let's talk more about why this is such a useful KPI to keep in mind as we do our marketing campaigns.


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What is the email unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate is a commonly used digital marketing KPI that measures the number of unsubscribed emails divided by the total number of emails sent in a specified time period. Many marketers view high email unsubscribe rates as a negative action, but it can have positive implications as well.

In fact, an unsubscription is just an indication of what your email subscribers are doing with your email campaigns. All marketing emails require an unsubscribe link and when email marketing campaigns are causing high unsubscribe rates, it’s a sign to update your strategy. No one wants to spend their time marketing to an email list that will not result in good email open rates or high click-through rates. So having a number of unsubscribes is good to keep your email marketing strategy as effective as possible.

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How to calculate the unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate is the number of recipients who have unsubscribed divided by the number of recipients and multiplied by 100.

Unsubscribe Rate formula

(Total recipients who unsubscribed / total number of recipients ) X 100 = Unsubscribe rate

What is a good unsubscribe rate?

According to Mailchimp, the average email unsubscribe rate across all industries is about .26%. Any number below this would generally be considered good. This means that for every 100 hundred people you send an email to you should expect to have 2 or 3 unsubscribe from that email content. Unsubscribes can be seen as a healthy way to make sure you are providing relevant content to your target audience and demographics. This also ensures that your best email doesn’t suffer from high bounce rates or low ctr. If you’re creating optimized email templates and your subscribers are organized using the right segmentation, then when they go through the double opt-in process to subscribe, they will receive the best content possible. Email service providers want email deliverability scores to be high. They want you to attain high click rates and conversion rates, so it is to your advantage to trim the fat from your email lists.

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What is a bad unsubscribe rate?

A higher than average unsubscribe rate would generally be any score over .26%, but whether that is good or bad can depend on your industry. A bad unsubscribe rate would contain other red flags in your email marketing metrics. For example not optimizing your emails for mobile devices or not including an unsubscribe button or link which is required by law in many countries can cause low engagement and poor metrics.

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Email unsubscribe rate KPI examples & templates

Your unsubscribe rate report can be added to our email report template :

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Email report template Email report template

Our email marketing report template has everything you need to get started quickly: it’s pre-built with the standard KPIs you need, and it’s fully customizable so that you can visualize the data you want, the way you want. Track metrics like open rates, unsubscribe rates, click-through rate, and deliverability rate.

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Unsubscribe rate best practices

Here are a few best practices. 

Bounce rate best practices

step 1 icon Stay connected to your audience

Email frequency is important. Ask your new subscribers what they want to hear about and how frequently they want to hear from you. That way, you'll only be reaching out to them with relevant content, and you'll be doing it in a way that doesn't feel spammy or annoying.

step 2 icon Personalize your content

Personalization is key when it comes to email marketing success. Make sure that each of your emails is personalized so that people know why they are getting them and what value they will receive by reading them instead of just seeing a generic message. Don’t forget to add a nice call to action (CTA) to bring people to your website or a specific landing page. Also, to save some time, you can also use a marketing automation email tool like campaign monitor, Hubspot, or Mailchimp.

step 3 icon Give your unsubscribes options

Make it easy for people to unsubscribe. Don't bury the link in tiny type at the bottom of the email. Include an obvious “unsubscribe” button at the top of your message so that it's easy for people who don't want to hear from you anymore to unsubscribe quickly and painlessly. At the same time, some people may not want to be removed from all of your lists, they may just want to receive certain types of emails. If you have an option that includes email preferences, it’s more likely they’ll stay and engage more with the content they receive.

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