3 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe From Emails

Posted by Krista Moon on May 15, 2018

3 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe From Emails

When I talk to business owners (and some marketers) about email marketing, the first thing they say is “I don’t want to send too much email to my list. I just want to do once a quarter, or once a month.” People are very protective of their inbox. They’re already overloaded with work and overwhelmed with the amount of information flowing their way.

So, the thought of “burdening” them with more email newsletters makes a lot of business owners and marketers uncomfortable. What I wonder is: why do they think their email newsletters are a “burden” in the first place? If you don’t feel that the email you’re sending is truly of value to your subscribers, then yes, it probably is a burden to them.

Unfortunately, I think this mindset comes into play because most of the email we get is promotional junk we’re not interested in. (But it doesn’t have to be that way!) Here are three main reasons why email people unsubscribe from emails:

1. Trying Too Hard to Sell

Most everyone knows that people don’t like to be “sold” to. We like to make our own decisions on our own time.

When companies send promotional emails that scream “Buy my stuff! Buy my stuff!” we feel frustrated and unsubscribe.

For example, let’s say I got on a clothing store’s email list, and all they ever sent me was ads about their sales. Sounds boring.

However, I do want to dress nice, and I’m not that educated about how to do that. If they sent me educational articles about how to pick out fashionable outfits that make me look savvy when I’m out and about, that would intrigue me.

Sure, they could throw in some coupons or sale dates, but if they’re focused first on helping me, and second on selling their stuff, that will show through in their messaging.

2. Sending to the Wrong People

It’s true; email marketing is a numbers game. No matter what you do, at any point in time, only a percentage of people you send to will read your stuff. However, if all you care about is getting people on your email list regardless of whether or not they fit your ideal customer, you’re email newsletters will quickly become a “burden.”

The people you send to have to be interested in your topic. Here’s an example: Let’s say I’m planning a trip. At that point in my life, I probably would jump on a variety of travel-type newsletters. After my trip is over, I might not be interested in that topic anymore so I’ll unsubscribe.

However...someone else might love to learn about travel all the time, so they’ll be a loyal subscriber long term. Just depends on the person.

If you’re sending the right content to the right people at the right time, your emails will never be a “burden."

3. Poor Email Content and Design

I know this may seem trivial, but if your email visually looks bad or is physically hard to read, it will be “burdensome.” It’s really important to make sure your emails look professional, clean, and easy to read.

Also, if you have too much information in your email, people won’t know what to do. You may think you’re doing them a favor by providing “lots of helpful information,” but you’re probably just confusing them, which will make them avoid you all together.

Here is a great resource for free newsletter templates that will help you create a newsletter people will actually want to read.

Email Newsletters Can Be Enjoyable

Think about your own inbox. Are there certain newsletters you subscribe to that you regularly read?

For example, I have a handful of email newsletters I regularly get from companies I trust (trust is the operative word). I might only read one out of every three or five emails they send, but I don’t unsubscribe, and I stay engaged. I truly value the information they provide me overall, even if I don’t read every single word.

It’s unrealistic to think that every email you send is going to strike a chord. Sometimes the receiver may say “Oh, I already know that.” Or, “I don’t care about that right now.” It’s important to be comfortable with that.

There are numerous ways people get information today. Email marketing is just one mode to share your thought leadership content and build relationships with your network. If you play your cards right, you can become a trusted resource in your industry.

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