How to decrease your newsletter unsubscribes

When putting effort in your email marketing, you hope to get positive feedback in terms of a good open rate, click through rate and conversions. Having put time and energy into creating good content and a lean design, it can be a disappointment to see people unsubscribe from your newsletter.

Knowing how to interpret your newsletter unsubscribes can give hints in how to deal with them. In this article, I will discuss reasons people unsubscribe and how you could prevent it.

Customers who unsubscribe

When you notice an unsubscribe, you probably want to know why the email subscriber unsubscribed and if it’s something personal towards your email marketing or not.

The answer is, it could be both. It possibly has something to do with the type of newsletters you’re sending, but it definitely doesn’t have to. Analyze the reasons people give when unsubscribing can bring insight into the ‘why’. Besides that, it’s always a good idea to have a close look at your newsletters right now: how can you improve the quality of your email marketing?

Focus on customers who do read your newsletter

Always stay focused on the customers who do read your newsletter. Be critical, but don’t forget the majority of customers actually doesn’t unsubscribe. By keeping your focus on what you want to achieve, you already improve the quality of your email marketing.
• Ask for your subscribers’ opinion concerning the emails you send. You can easily do this with a survey functionality
• Keep the content of your emails interesting

Reasons to unsubscribe

The reason of customers unsubscribing from your newsletter could be because of personal or impersonal reasons. Personal in this case means that people don’t want to receive the emails of your specific company any longer. Impersonal reasons mean that people just don’t want to receive emails anymore, but not specifically towards your company.

Personal unsubscribe reasons

• Your email subscriber doesn’t like the content of your emails (anymore)
• Your email subscriber thinks your company sends too many emails
• The time at which you send your email is not appreciated

Impersonal unsubscribe reasons

• Your customer gets so much email on a daily basis, so they don’t have time to read your emails any longer
• The person no longer uses this email address

Finding out why people unsubscribe

When people unsubscribe to your newsletter, they can tick the reason for unsubscribing.

Don’t make unsubscribing unnecessary hard

When someone has decided to unsubscribe, don’t make it more complicated than necessary. People should be able to unsubscribe for your email marketing without logging in first.
Recently, it has been made easier for email clients to unsubscribe to a newsletter. For instance Gmail has integrated an unsubscribe link directly in the Gmail interface. At the top of the email, email subscribers can choose to unsubscribe immediately. Therefore, it has become easier for people to unsubscribe for your newsletter.


To get a better understanding in the unsubscribe reasons of your customers, look at the unsubscribe reasons and the quality of your email marketing. Be critical, but also stay focused on the majority of people who actually do read your emails and are positive about it.

Image via Jeannette E. Spaghetti

Charlotte Scheiberlich

Charlotte is Content Manager at Hello Dialog. Hello Dialog is a Dutch email service provider (ESP) with over 12 years of experience in email marketing and works for clients such as Mkbasics, Basiclabel, 1DayFly, VVV Nederland en Rob Peetoom. Charlotte previously worked as a marketeer in the field of online marketing and obtained a Masters degree in Persuasive Communication at the University of Amsterdam.