Saturday, 12 August 2017

Why I Unsubscribed From Your Email Newsletter

Ok, so not you specifically. But if you have an email newsletter and you're having trouble retaining people, check out my top list of reasons why I unsubscribe below, along with a few bonus comments from my fellow bloggers.

So, your email newsletter is all set up. Awesome font? Check. Dazzling graphics? Check. Super duper written content? Check! So why do people keep hitting the unsubscribe button?!

I've unsubscribed from many a newsletter in my time, and it's not something I do casually- partly because you have to do the whole search for the teeny tiny 'unsubscribe' text in the email and then go through ten thousand steps to finish unsubscribing. But sometimes I have to- here are my reasons.

The old 'YOU'VE WON' fake out

I love entering competitions. It's a good distraction when I'm feeling blue, and there's the added bonus of the occasional win dropping through my letterbox. But every so often I get an email with a headline saying something like "Congratulations- you've won!" My heart pounds, I start smiling- yay, I've won something! Except I open the email, and it turns out my huge win is a 20% off voucher. Yes, I'm a 'runner up' and I've 'won' a discount voucher.

This is an incredibly sneaky way of getting people to open your email, and additionally I doubt that the ASA classifies a 20% discount voucher as a prize. Result? Unsubscribe.

An email a day keeps the subscriber away

Unless I've signed up to some sort of daily news bulletin and explicitly asked to be bothered every day, please stop sending me an email daily. I get so many newsletters that send me their 'deals' and discounts every day. The problem is, I start to get a tad fatigued after a while. So even if I absolutely loved the products you were selling at the start, by the time 8 weeks have passed I've been bombarded by them and I'm probably seeing the darn stuff in my dreams. Additionally, you are surely running out of meaningful and helpful things to say at this point, and it's now become purely a sales exercise. Again- unsubscribe.

Click bait makes me cross

You know what I'm talking about- you're scrolling Twitter/Facebook/etc, and you see a link: "This woman found a HAMSTER in a cardboard'll never guess what happened NEXT!" You click the link and the article itself is the most sinfully boring anticlimactic thing you've ever read. When I see click baity email subjects, my face just falls. This will make me open your email, but only to find the link to unsubscribe.

And here's a little from a few fellow bloggers, about their bugbears:

  • Mel, from Raise The Waves says "If a newsletter is nothing but recaps of old posts then I'll eventually unsubscribe as chances are, I've probably read all of their posts and don't need a summary. I'll also unsubscribe and probably blacklist anyone who adds me to their newsletter without my knowledge."
  • Angela, from Cosmic Kick says "I can't stand it when a brand sends out a newsletter titled 'Winner announcement!' when I'm not actually the winner. I took myself off the mailing list of a large company recently after they sent a newsletter titled 'Congratulations!', but inside the email read ' what we would be saying to you if you won our competition'. It's a low tactic to make you open their emails and a complete waste of my time!"
  • Jenni, from By Jenni says "I unsubscribe when companies send an email, then send another a few hours later saying, 'Sorry, we made a mistake in the last email we sent - here's the correct link/info'. It's being done deliberately as a marketing tactic to get people's attention and as an excuse to send more emails - it's just annoying and unprofessional!"
  • Ally from Slimsights says "[I unsubscribe] when it's just paragraphs of writing. No pictures to break it up".
  • Erica from Nine to Three Thirty says "I hate it when you unsubscribe & then they send you another email to tell you that."

Looks like it's not just me who groans at the "You've won" trick! Eek- please stop doing it, marketing people!

I hope that this post has given some insight into some common pet peeves of email newsletter recipients, whether you're a marketing professional or a newbie to the newsletter game.

Do you agree/disagree with any of the unsubscribe reasons listed here? Have you got any of your own I haven't listed? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Down with click bait titles I say! Thanks for including me ^_^ !

  2. The number of times that I have gone to unsubscribe and there is an option for getting emails less often. Sadly the least often option is never less than once a week and there are some I'd have stayed on the list for if there was a once a month option. Thanks for featuring me - I've done a little sharing.

  3. Really interesting! I definitely relate to a few of these and good to hear other people's perspective of I ever get around to creating a newsletter has been on my list for a while now!

  4. Haha, love this post, it's spot on! It's SOOOOOOO annoying to keep getting emails like this, especially after I've unsubscribed - or thought I had.

    Lisa |

  5. you guy's are missing a trick. does all the hard work of unsubscribing you from newsletters that will hit your inbox, before ,you don't have to have to open and unsubscribe each e-mail individually


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