For digital marketers, unsubscribes are an inevitable part of the email wooing game. If someone is no longer interested in your content and offers, you have to accept it with an easy heart but certainly not ignore it. It’s important to examine and understand your unsubscribers’ reasoning because ultimately that will help you retain the rest of your subscribers.

Taking care of the final stage of your subscribers’ journey can effectively make the difference to your entire email marketing strategy.

Do I have a problem?

The first step in building an effective unsubscribe program is monitoring your unsubscribe rate. By building and checking monthly (or even weekly) unsubscribe reports, you can immediately gauge whether your rate is going up or down, if it’s a good rate compared to others in the industry, and which campaigns receive the most unsubscribes. In short: whether or not you have an email unsubscribe problem.

Using StoneShot, you can easily build and export unsubscribe reports.


Why do people unsubscribe?

It’s important to consider that not everyone who clicks the unsubscribe link really wants to leave, that’s why a one-click “exit” is rarely a good idea.

People could click the unsubscribe link because they just want to reduce the frequency of the emails, or they would be more interested in other topics; maybe they would like to personalize the content they receive, or simply change their email address.

This is why the most prevailing trend in the industry is to move away from a one-click unsubscribe link in their emails.

What’s the solution?

Having a well-segmented database is, of course, essential in email marketing and it makes the difference to all of your metrics, including the unsubscribe rate. Other than this, the best way to manage your “unsubscribers” is by building an all-encompassing preference center. This gives recipients alternatives from fully unsubscribing, helps them update their segmentation and helps you understand/avoid your mistakes.

A good preference center can give recipients the possibility to change their email address, reduce the frequency of emails received, opt out of just some of your mailings, add or change channel preferences or, at least, it should ask the recipients why they decided to leave.

Don’t hide the exit

Wherever your unsubscribe link points to, it is never a good call trying to hide it. It would be more or less like removing the exit from a shop to make people carry on shopping. Not a good strategy.

A recipient who wants to unsubscribe from your mailings and can’t find the link will probably hit the spam complaint button, which is definitely a worse option to someone simply unsubscribing.

We can help

If you want to discuss preference center options, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to help.