How to Win Back Email Subscribers

Date: 2022-08-04 | Time of reading: 7 minutes (1271 words)

How to Win Back Email Subscribers

It is okay when people unsubscribe. Although the average unsubscribe rate from email newsletters for different industries is only 0.1%, this indicator is also worth working on. There are many reasons why users unsubscribe. This may be caused by the quality or quantity of messages, a change of interest, or a new email address. About 333 billion emails are sent every day, and one person receives dozens of messages a day. It is difficult for companies to break through such a flood of messages, so marketers are looking for new solutions to keep customers from unsubscribing. One of them is to save a subscriber who has already clicked on the ‘Unsubscribe’ button.

In this article, we will explain why people unsubscribe and give 10 examples of how to get back customers who are about to leave.

Why people unsubscribe from email newsletters

Here are different reasons:

Too many messages from the company. Even the most loyal and engaged clients will get tired if you send them an email every day.

Total number of inbox messages. If there are a lot of subscriptions, users simply don't have time to read everything. They delete emails that are less important and not the most relevant.

Change of interests. People could change their profession. For example, they leave HR for marketing. In this case, emails with tips on working with staff and invitation to HR-events become irrelevant. Some topics just stop being interesting.

Another email address. Sometimes users change their email address on their own or leave their work email to receive newsletters. When an employee is going to quit, he can unsubscribe and resubscribe to the newsletter from his personal mailbox.

Low-quality or uninteresting content. Another reason is unsubscribing from content that didn't live up to expectations. If you send too many advertisements in emails instead of the promised useful content, the user will want to unsubscribe very soon.

Random unsubscribe. It is important to leave the subscriber a chance to go back to your contact list immediately if they have unsubscribed by mistake.

How to find out why people unsubscribe? You need to ask them. Some companies conduct short surveys before unsubscribing.

Example of a survey after an unsubscribeExample of a survey after an unsubscribe

How to prevent users from unsubscribing

Firstly, your newsletter should be useful and interesting for subscribers. Improve your emails, add interactive content, test options, segment the audience by interests, analyze the reasons for unsubscribing.

Secondly, it is possible to return the client when he is going to unsubscribe.

It is important not to complicate the process:

  • Make sure that the unsubscribe link is visible, otherwise you will receive a spam complaint;
  • Don’t require to log in on the site or write an unsubscribe letter;
  • Don't force the user to take too many steps to unsubscribe.

Don’t remove a user from the list as soon as he clicks the ‘Unsubscribe’ button. Design the unsubscribe page so that the person doesn't want to leave it. Read below about how to do it.

10 ways to convince a subscriber to stay

1. Check whether the user has really decided to unsubscribe

This will make a person think and keep them from unsubscribing by mistake. The first way is to add ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ options.

The second way is to personalize the answers. For example, sign buttons with first-person response options.

Example with personalized buttonsExample with personalized buttons

This example with a single ‘Unsubscribe’ button is more likely to motivate the client to unsubscribe, because it is inconvenient to return to the newsletter.

Unsubscribe page anti-exampleUnsubscribe page anti-example

2. Change newsletter settings and reduce the number of emails

This method will work if the reason for unsubscribing is the number of letters. Make it so that the user can leave some newsletters.

Manage your subscription

The more flexible the subscription settings, the more accurately the company segments users. At the same time, it is more convenient for customers to communicate with your business and receive only what is really interesting.

3. Offer a bonus on the unsubscribe page

This will help distract the user from thinking about unsubscribing. The client will feel obliged to the company and will want to thank her for the bonus.

Pop-up with a bonusPop-up with a bonus that appears on the unsubscribe page

4. Remind customers of benefits

Remind users about the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter. They can receive bonus gifts, special offers, access to closed sales, etc.

Remind customers of benefits

5. Express regret

When you push for pity, that can work too. The unsubscribe page often uses crying or upset characters, which humanizes the brand.

6. Suspend subscription for a while

Try to give the subscriber a break from your information. Set the number of days, after which letters will start coming to the user again. Maybe after a while, he’ll change his mind and stay.


7. Resubscribe those who unsubscribed by mistake

Some users click on ‘Unsubscribe’ by accident and most likely won't go to your site to resubscribe. Add a resubscribe button to make it easier to return.


8. Stay one step ahead

It is better to prevent than to remedy the consequences. If you know that the audience most often unsubscribes because of the number of messages, add the newsletter settings button to the email. Then, perhaps, the user won't even reach the unsubscribe page.


9. Communicate with the user

Pressing on pity or manipulating lost profits are not always a good option for keeping subscribers. Try to engage in dialogue with them. Add creativity, as the company Seeso did in its newsletter.

Communicate with the user

10. Engage the user

Perhaps the emails don’t show all the benefits of the product and information for the client. Try taking the user to the site or other pages to convince them to stay.

P.S. If the user still unsubscribes, offer him to stay with you on social networks.


People unsubscribe from email newsletters because they receive too many messages or because these messages contain poor quality content. They may also lose interest in a topic or change their email address. Sometimes users unsubscribe by mistake, so it's important to make it easy for them to resubscribe. For example, add a button to the same page where they unsubscribe.

If you want to keep a customer from unsubscribing, don't delete them right away, but at the same time don't make it too hard to unsubscribe. Ask users if they really want to unsubscribe, offer to change the newsletter settings: reduce the number of emails, change topics, or stop sending emails for a few days. Another way is to remind about the benefits of the newsletter and tell what people lose when they unsubscribe (closed sales, special offers, promotional codes, etc). Don’t be afraid to express regret. Start a dialogue with the user and offer bonuses. This will help keep the client in the list of subscribers.

Add creative, but never hide the unsubscribe button, or you'll get a spam complaint.







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Author: Lyudmila Kovalenko






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