What is a good unsubscribe rate?

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Chart of the Day: Understanding subscriber loyalty – Part 1 of 2

This is the first of a two-part blog, covering subscriber loyalty and unsubscribing.

What will be covered:

  1. Unsubscribe Rate
  2. Unsubscribe-to-open Rate

Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Well in email marketing, there is only one: unsubscription.

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Customers can move jobs, not feel engaged by the messaging or can just change their minds. In fact, I cannot think of one company that I have been subscribed to and stayed subscribed to. Having a unsubscribe/update preferences link is a legal requirement for all marketing emails. It’s important to give your customers a simple and easy way to change their preferences/choices.

In today’s chart, I look at unsubscribes by sector. The average unsubscribe rate is 0.49%. But the sector with the highest unsubscribe rate is B2B (non-retail) is displaying at 1.08%. While the best performing is Public Relations at 0.10%.

If you have a high unsubscribe rate, it’s an indication that there is some customer dissatisfaction. There are a few things you can do if you are having a trend of high unsubscribes:

  • Survey: send a survey to those who are still subscribed to find out how they are finding your communications
  • Double-opt in: set up a double-opt in for all new subscribers, so you are certain that your clients want your communications
  • Test: try sending different email styles, more/less content or less/more often.

Email Benchmarking is discussed in greater detail in our post, Email Statistics – 2017 update.

What is a good unsubscribe rate?



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