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Why Do People Unsubscribe from Email Marketing Campaigns?

Email is used by almost everyone, but only a few companies do it well. Most business people get more than 122 emails every day, and that number is only going to go up as more and more marketers start using email marketing.

Add to that the fact that people feel more stressed out than ever before because of a focus on goals, a lack of close community ties, and technology, of course.

It may not be a surprise, then, that “getting too many emails” is the main reason most people stop getting emails.

  1. You can’t have too much of a good thing.

Even if your subscribers love and know your brand, getting a lot of emails from you can be annoying. Statistics show this again and again, as “too many emails” is the number one reason why people unsubscribe from a list.

There is such a thing as having too much email in your inbox, and there are a lot of articles about how to deal with it. What are some of the most popular ideas? Unsubscribe from email lists in bulk, set up filters to block certain emails, and turn off notifications from social media.

To keep your brand from being blocked from people’s inboxes, you should send emails less often. Using the chart below from Marketing Sherpa, you can figure out how often you should send emails:

Or, you can let your subscribers decide how often they want to hear from you by including a simple survey. One great example is this one from 1-800-FLOWERS:

This survey not only asks about how often customers want to hear from you, but it also gives them the chance to change their email address, which can help you avoid hard bounces.

If you let subscribers choose how often they want to hear from you, they will look forward to your emails instead of being annoyed by them.

  1. Content that doesn’t make sense

People want content, but it has to be tailored to their needs. If you’ve broken down your list well, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Still, letting subscribers choose the content they want to see is a good idea. Here’s how Spotify makes this happen:

Customers of Spotify can choose what they want to get in their emails, and they can also decide if they want to get push notifications.

LeCreuset shows another great way to meet the needs of each customer by sending this email to anyone who signs up for their list:

They’re actually asking the customer what kind of content they’d like to see. This will help them make a more accurate list segmentation and keep customers from leaving.

Le Creuset is dividing its customers into groups based on the type of cook, the type of cookware, their color preferences, the type of food they like to cook, and how often they cook.

You can divide in any way that makes sense for your brand. Some examples of characteristics that can be used to divide groups are:

Location on Earth





How often you buy something


By dividing your subscribers into groups, you’ll be able to send them more relevant content that will keep them interested and on board.

  1. Emails with ads

Email is often ranked as the best way to get new customers, keep old ones, and turn them into paying customers. Still, many email marketing teams are a bit too pushy with their advertising, sending sales email after sales email to people who might be interested in buying.

On our list of “reasons to unsubscribe,” getting too many emails about sales is tied for third place, and for good reason. Instead of sending out promotional emails all the time, use this flexible channel to get your customers involved and connect with them on a personal level.

Giving them content they can trust will make you look like an expert and, as a bonus, boost your sales.

Here’s an email that gives DIY tips and tricks to give subscribers more value:

And here’s one that tells the person who gets it how to hang art and has a link to more information.

Framebridge doesn’t just sell frames; it also sells knowledge and experience.

They spend time with their customers by giving them tutorials and other interesting information. So, when their subscribers want to buy a frame, they’ll know exactly where to go.

  1. Telling, not asking

Too many businesses send emails that only talk about themselves. After all, you want people to know the story behind your brand, right?

Yes, you do, but they don’t care about what your business needs and wants. They care about what they want.

So, go ahead and tell the story of your brand, but use emails to include your customers in the story. Glossier does this by putting customer testimonials in their emails:

Or, use humor (and the words of your customers) to show how your product can help people, like Brooklinen does:

When you combine channels, like when you share something from social media, you can get people involved and continue a conversation that started on one channel on another, which gives you more benefits.

No matter how you use it, putting the focus of your emails on your customer will make them more interesting and earn their trust, all while telling your brand’s story.

Wrap up

Why do people stop receiving marketing emails?

Most of the time because they get too many emails or content that isn’t interesting or useful.

This problem is easy to solve if you make a list with clear sections and use customer engagement to make the content more relevant.

What’s great about that solution is that your email marketing can directly help you create the personalized personas and content that drive engagement, reduce list churn, and increase ROI.

So, choose a few of these ideas and use them in your next email marketing campaign. As your customers tell you what they want, you’ll be able to give them content that is both relevant and interesting.

And the more you tweak how often you post and the quality of your posts, the better your results will be.