Definition of Email Unsubscribe Rate

The Email Unsubscribe Rate is a metric used in digital marketing to measure the percentage of users who choose to opt-out or stop receiving email communications from a particular sender or campaign during a specific time frame. It is calculated by dividing the number of people who unsubscribe by the total number of emails delivered, then multiplying that figure by 100 to get the percentage. A high unsubscribe rate could indicate issues with email content, targeting, or frequency, and it provides an opportunity for businesses to reevaluate and improve their email marketing strategies.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Email Unsubscribe Rate represents the percentage of people who choose to opt-out from your mailing list after receiving a promotional email, providing insights into email campaign effectiveness.
  2. A high Email Unsubscribe Rate may indicate that your content, targeting, or frequency is not resonating with subscribers and should be reconsidered to improve engagement and reduce attrition.
  3. Monitoring and analyzing Email Unsubscribe Rate can help in identifying issues and making necessary improvements to your email campaign strategy, ultimately increasing overall open and click-through rates, and fostering customer loyalty and retention.

Importance of Email Unsubscribe Rate

The Email Unsubscribe Rate is an important digital marketing metric as it directly affects the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

It measures the percentage of recipients who choose to opt-out of receiving further communications from the sender, serving as a key indicator of your campaign’s relevance, content quality, and audience targeting.

A high unsubscribe rate may point to issues such as poorly crafted content, unmet subscriber expectations, or excessive mailing frequency, all of which can negatively impact your brand’s reputation and customer engagement.

Consequently, tracking and optimizing your email unsubscribe rate is crucial for maintaining strong relationships with your target audience and ensuring the success of your email marketing objectives.


Email unsubscribe rate plays a crucial role in understanding the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns and gauging the level of audience engagement with a particular brand or product. In essence, it represents the percentage of recipients who have chosen to opt out of receiving future emails from a marketer.

The primary purpose of monitoring this metric is to analyze the relevance and value provided by email campaigns, and subsequently, make data-driven decisions to refine the content, frequency, or targeting strategies to better cater to the subscribers’ interests and preferences. At the same time, the email unsubscribe rate also serves as an indicator of the overall health of an email marketing list.

A high unsubscribe rate may be a warning sign that the content being sent does not resonate with the audience, or that the emails might be overwhelming their inboxes. By keeping a close eye on this metric, digital marketers can identify areas of improvement and create more tailored and engaging email campaigns.

It is crucial to maintain this rate at an optimal level, as consistently losing the audience’s attention and trust can have long-term negative effects on a brand’s reputation and ultimately hinder the success of any digital marketing initiative.

Examples of Email Unsubscribe Rate

Example 1: A monthly newsletter from an e-commerce website has an overall email unsubscribe rate of5%. Out of the 10,000 subscribers who received the newsletter, 50 of them unsubscribed that month, prompting the company to reevaluate their content strategy and improve their newsletter to better cater to their audience’s preferences.

Example 2: An online learning platform witnesses a sudden spike in its email unsubscribe rate from an average of8% to 3% after launching a daily promotional campaign for their courses. The increased unsubscribe rate suggests that the frequency of promotional emails was too high and might have been perceived as spam by the recipients, leading to more people opting out of the subscription.

Example 3: A non-profit organization sends out a biannual newsletter updating its donors on the progress of its initiatives and projects. The email unsubscribe rate is consistently just1% which indicates a high level of interest and engagement from the subscribers. The low rate could be due to the infrequency of the emails, the relevant and curated content, and the connection between the donors and the organization.

Email Unsubscribe Rate

1. What is an email unsubscribe rate?

An email unsubscribe rate is a metric that measures the percentage of subscribers who choose to opt-out or stop receiving emails from your email marketing campaigns. It’s calculated by dividing the number of unsubscribes by the number of emails sent, then multiplying by 100 to express the result as a percentage.

2. Why is email unsubscribe rate important?

Email unsubscribe rate is important because it provides insight into the effectiveness and relevance of your email marketing campaigns. A high unsubscribe rate might indicate that your emails are not delivering value or meeting the needs of your subscribers, causing them to opt-out. Monitoring this metric helps ensure that you are constantly improving the content and delivery of your emails to maintain a positive relationship with your subscribers.

3. What factors can influence an email unsubscribe rate?

There are several factors that can influence an email unsubscribe rate, including content relevance, email frequency, personalization, and the quality of your email list. Sending irrelevant or excessive emails can lead to higher unsubscribe rates, while targeted, personalized emails with valuable content might encourage subscribers to stay engaged.

4. What is a good email unsubscribe rate?

A good email unsubscribe rate varies by industry, but generally, an unsubscribe rate below 0.5% is considered acceptable. A rate above 0.5% might indicate that there’s room for improvement in your email campaigns and the needs of your subscribers.

5. How can I improve my email unsubscribe rate?

To improve your email unsubscribe rate, focus on factors such as personalization, segmentation, content quality, and email frequency. Implement practices like using engaging subject lines, sending targeted content to specific segments, regularly updating your email list, and keeping a consistent but not overwhelming email sending schedule.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Email Open Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • 3.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • 4.

  • Subscriber Engagement
  • 5.

  • Email List Churn

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