All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I have been thinking about unsubscribes this week.

Clients tend to look at unsubscribes from a very personal perspective. They fail to take into account any number of factors - such as how the database was gathered in the first place. If it came together through an incentive programme, then a good percentage of the database will be there because of their interest in the incentive, not the subject the client wishes to communicate to them. It's only natural to get a high unsubscribe rate with that.

Audiences usually fall into 3 categories - regular readers, occasional readers and grey readers - those who don't really read client emails at all, but can't be bothered to unsubscribe - reader lethargy. Those are the ones you want to unsubscribe, and a healthy number would be 0.2% per send out. Any less than that, and the audience are either very passionate about the subject (you can check this by looking at open rates), or are simply deleting the email in large numbers, unread.

Unsubscribes can be as good a metric for judging interest as can opening rates and click thrus. Email metrics are about trends, and a sudden fall or rise in unsubscribe rates can tell you a lot about the impact of the content of that particular email.

So don't take unsubscribes personally - they can tell you a lot.