Contact management

Learning About Your Email Campaign Unsubscribe Rate

Learn all you need to know about the email campaign unsubscribe rate


Creating and implementing a successful email marketing campaign can take a great deal of time, trial and error. Is the email informative? Does it include an attractive offer for your audience? How about your unsubscribe rate? Is it too high and are you struggling to understand why? Read on to find out more about creating a successful email campaign with low unsubscribe numbers.


The role of the unsubscribe button

Put simply, the role of the unsubscribe button is to cleanse your database. Those who are interested in you and your products or services will continue to engage and interact work you. Those who are not, will unsubscribe. This could be for a number of reasons – your services are no longer required, a person may have moved to a different job or could even have a brand new email address. With all this, it’s important to consider the number of unsubscribers you may be seeing – the more unsubscribed you have, the more damage you’ll make for your sender reputation.


What is the average unsubscribe number?

You may be wondering what is the average unsubscribe rate for emails? Many businesses choose to ignore their email unsubscribe figures – this is the biggest mistake any business can make. A high unsubscribe number can tell a business in a fairly certain way that the audience is not interested in the message you try to convey, and that they have essentially switched off from your business. In turn, this can cost you dearly, in both sales and reputation. With time, your emails could be going to your audience’s spam boxes, which could have a detrimental effect on your business.

Generally, the average unsubscribe number is 0.5%. Anything below this is considered to be very effective. If you consistently lose more than this figure, it may be time to improve and work on your campaigns. Look at the design and consider refreshing your template, consider the tone of your content and you could even send out a survey to ask for feedback. Take this into account to improve your average unsubscribe rate for email campaigns. With the improvements made, you may be looking at a new, lower rate of 0.2% which is considered a highly successful campaign.


How to calculate unsubscribe rate?

Your chosen email campaign platform will be able to calculate your unsubscribe number for you – this way you are easily able to understand the data. This metric is measured by dividing the number of people who unsubscribed with the number of emails sent and then times this figure with a hundred. This is the method you can use to calculate other aspects of your email campaigns such as the click through rate, bounce figure or the number delivered. Knowing how to calculate these figures manually can give you the confidence to know that the figures provided are correct.


Decrease your unsubscribe figure

There a few ways you can decrease your unsubscribe figure. You should take the time to segment your subscribers into relevant lists – this way, you can send targeted and relevant emails depending on the list. For example, if you have an offer for subscribers who are repeat customers, then a tattered email can be sent to those in this list. The subscribers in each list should be engaged in your activities and are therefore much less likely to unsubscribe from your emails. With a segmented email database, you should have higher click through rates, open rates and higher revenue.

Another consideration is the frequency of your emails. Send to many and you risk being marked as spam and send too little, you risk being forgotten. This is another benefit of asking your subscribers for feedback. You should also be realistic in terms of the quality of emails you can send with regards to time. Email campaigns require a great deal of research, effort and quality so sending too many may impact some or all of these aspects.

Have you also thought about the subject line? This may be an oversight, however the subject line you choose is imperative to unsubscribers. A subscriber who is constantly emailed with a subject line they deem full or irrelevant is almost certainly going to unsubscribe. Keep text relevant, enticing and personal. It should also be short, no more than five words and really think about what would make a reader excited about your business.

The final way to decrease unsubscribers is by offering a double opt-in – this way you’ll know that your audience is really interested in what you have to offer and will be much less likely to unsubscribe. Double opt-in simply means that a user will include their email address to the contact form on your website, they’ll then receive a confirmation email asking them to click a link to be taken back to the site. This shows that a user is interested and invested in you.

You may have thought that understanding your unsubscribe rates were pointless but in actual fact, they’re considerably important for securing sales, reputation and trust. Understanding how to calculate the figures manually is an added benefit as well as knowing what your subscribers wants to read. You should also consider personalized emails as well as the double opt-in do that users really do feel that they’re at the forefront of your marketing strategy.

With patience and research, you can work on decreasing your average unsubscribe rate for email marketing and really make the most out of your exciting email campaigns.

Result analysis

Moving an email campaign past the average open rate

tips to improve the average email campaign open rate


According to studies, the average open rate for email marketing in 2019 was 17.8%. You may think these annual figures will continually increase, but interestingly not all sectors grow year on year. Some, including the retail industry, experienced a lower email open rate in 2019 than they did the previous year. The rate for retail in 2018 was 14.98%, but this fell slightly to 13.9% in 2019. Non-profit organizations, government departments and educational organizations had higher open rates that were constantly improving. The fall in email open rates for some sectors can be explained in part by the fact that they are often part of the most competitive industries.


Why is the average open rate for email marketing so significant?

Open rates are amongst the key metrics to monitor when running a campaign, or even checking the progress of a weekly newsletter. This isn’t simply to find out whether you’ve managed to meet the global average, it’s also to ensure that people on your list are actually opening the emails you send. The exact figures are usually available from any good email provider, as many calculate open rates automatically. Alternatively, there is a simple way of establishing the rate yourself. Start by dividing the number of opens by the number of emails you’ve sent out. Next, minus the bounce figure and you have the average open rate.


What is the average open rate for email marketing in my industry?

There is no single open rate score that every business should aspire to, because each industry is different. It’s worth bearing in mind that even industries with the highest open rates, such as child care and animal services remain under 30%. To find out more about the open rates for your industry, take a look at the statistics provided by email marketing companies such as Mailify. Many businesses mistakenly believe that their open rates are low compared to those of their competitors, but as long as yours are in the same general area there’s no cause for concern. On the other hand, if you discover that you don’t measure up as well as you’d hoped, just put in place reasonable targets for increasing your average open rate.


Effective ways to boost your average email campaign open rate

Whether you are promoting a product, informing your subscribers or making an important announcement, average open rates on email campaigns are hugely significant. If you decide that your email open rate could do with a boost, there are practical steps you can take to get more people reading your messages.


Use targeted campaigns

Sending every email to every person on your list is a particularly ineffective way of reaching out. To be in with a better chance of getting them opened, divide up your subscribers based on the data you have, be it their location, buying history or personal interests. By sending people news they care about, you have a much higher chance of engaging them.


Ensure your subscribers are qualified

It makes no sense to build an email list that contains anyone who’ll give you their details. Instead, try to attract people who are interested in what you have to offer, then tailor your deals, samples and offers to include what they want. Think quality, not quantity, fewer subscribers who care are worth more than numerous low-quality leads.


Say goodbye to inactive subscribers

Your average open rate will decline if there are a high proportion of inactive subscribers on your list. It’s safe to say that after six months of zero engagement people need to either be won back or removed. Try sending a re-engagement email at this time and then move them onto a different list, or unsubscribe them altogether if you get no response.


Use quality content and a familiar brand name

Readers who don’t recognize an email address are far less likely to open up the message, so use the ‘From’ field to let them know it’s you. Also avoid using too many exclamation marks or capital letters to emphasize your point, as this attracts the attention of spam filters and will actively lower your average newsletter open rate.


Set reasonable targets for increasing open rates

However hard you work, no business, new or established, can expect 50% average open rates on email campaigns involving very high numbers of subscribers. Instead, concentrate on small attainable goals that you are more likely to achieve.


Identify what your subscribers want more of

It’s almost always the case that each email you send off has a different open rate, therefore you’ll need to focus on the variables. When a single email has an open rate of 20% compared to an average of 15%, it makes sense to figure out why it did so well. Was it the subject, a special offer or the promise of more information on a certain topic that made it so successful? In a similar vein, there will be some emails that only have a 10% open rate and it’s just as important to learn more about why they had so little impact. This helps you avoid making a similar mistake in future.


Invest time in processing the raw data

Look at the past month but also the past few quarters to see what kind of trends are emerging. Rather than glancing through it’s best to take notes, or ideally input the data onto a spreadsheet so you can produce visual aids like graphs or charts. Once you pinpoint a pattern, you’ve struck gold. It may be that your open rates increase when emails are sent after 3pm, at the weekend, or over holiday periods. Whatever you discover, act on the information to enjoy consistent levels of improvement.