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Why Consumers Unsubscribe & How to Fix It

95% of millennials say they do other things while shopping, and it’s forecasted that by 2021, there will be four networked devices and connections per person globally. That’s a whole lot of distraction—and if brands cannot continue to keep consumers focused, they’ll be lost for good.

When it comes to email, unsubscribes are one of the biggest costs for B2C companies because they lose the opportunity to consistently engage with and convert new and existing customers. Beyond that, an abundance of unsubscribes can quickly hurt deliverability, as email clients will be less likely to put your emails in the inboxes of your customers. According to Forrester, unsubscribe rates cost the industry over $5.8 billion per year! Ouch.

On a mission to find out how to decrease this problem, we asked 1,100 consumers why they unsubscribe from a brand’s emails. Here are the results and tips to combat their frustrations:

83% said “Brands send me too many emails” 

According to our Millennial Report, consumers only want to receive 1-3 marketing emails per month, but B2C companies are sending 8-10 on average. Marketers must get more strategic with their email programs instead of continuing to increase frequency. Make these few emails count by sending customers behavioral messaging with products and categories you know they’re interested in based on their previous activity, and suppress them from rest.

58% said “Brands send me products I would never buy” 

Brands have an abundance of customer browse and purchase data available to them via their website and brick-and-mortar locations—but they may not be collecting or using it effectively. The trick is to identify and connect your customers’ online, offline, and various channel interactions in order to understand how to cater to their unique interests and needs.

Once you do that, include personalized product recommendations in your bulk email sends and trigger emails that nurture customers with the specific products or categories they have engaged with on your site or in-store.

28% said “Brands send me too many discounts and sales”

Everyone loves a good sale, right? Not all the time. Sales can quickly become annoying if they’re too frequent or not applicable to them. Instead of blasting discounts to your entire list, make sales exciting again by only targeting customers who have shown interest in the specific products or categories that are now on sale. 

Behaviorally targeted sale notifications make it easier for consumers to buy from your brand and make purchases quicker. And the best part? Sales frequency in the minds of your shoppers will decrease because you are alerting only those who will actually care about the sale. This means sales are no longer white noise and become a revenue booster again!

24% said “Brands send me items I already bought”

That’s embarrassing… and a waste of one of those important 1-3 emails consumers only want to receive per month. Suppress buyers from your email blasts and campaigns that have already purchased those items online or in-store. And for those customers who have bought from your brand recently, build their loyalty through a welcome series specifically targeted to those who have purchased—featuring product recommendations, touting in-store returns and nearby brick-and-mortar locations, or giving them a discount on their next purchase. 

Want to know more about how you can create engaging, revenue-driving emails that customers actually want to read? Check out our Behavioral Marketing Playbook. For more email deliverability best practices, watch this webinar