Subscribe vs Unsubscribe Rates

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Subscribe and unsubscribe rates can show you what's working and what's not in your email marketing strategy. In this lesson, you'll learn more about subscribe and unsubscribe rates.

To Subscribe or Not to Subscribe?

In the newspaper world, the number of subscribers you have can dictate a lot of things: how many people are reading your articles, how much you can charge for advertising space, how much money you make, and how far your reach extends into the communities you serve. It impacts your perception, your recognition, and your clout.

The more subscribers you have, the further your message will go
The more subscribers you have the further your message will go.

Email subscriptions function in much the same way, telling you how well your message is working (or not) and how many people are engaging with your brand. Here's a quick breakdown of what subscribe and unsubscribe rates mean and how to improve them.

Subscribe Rates

A subscribe rate is a metric frequently used, and analyzed, in email marketing campaigns. Simply, it tells you how many people are signing up or opting-in to receive your communications and content.

The more quality subscribers you have, meaning people who opted-in and are engaging with your content, the better outcome you will see - both in terms of visibility of your brand and message as well as conversions into leads and sales.

How to Get More Subscribers

There are some simple steps you can take to help you boost your number of subscribers. Consider the following:

Make email opt-ins easy to find and easy to complete. Put them on your various webpages and social media sites. Some websites even use pop-up ads on their website that put the email sign-up front and center.

Incentivize your email sign-ups with a special coupon, free trial or limited-time download. This alone can be enough to encourage some people to share their emails and opt-in to your messages.

Ask existing subscribers to share your content by forwarding it to family and friends and share it yourself on your other communication channels. Give them easy tools inside your email to do so.

Unsubscribe Rates

This is the number no email marketer likes to see. The unsubscribe rate tells you how many people have disengaged from your communications by saying, 'I no longer want to receive your messages.' It is typically 'expressed as a percentage of the total number of people who received your campaign.' So, if you send a campaign to 100 people and 10 people choose to unsubscribe, your unsubscribe rate is 10 percent.

The reasons for unsubscribes are as varied as the customers you may have, but there are some things you can consider internally that might help decrease the number of unsubscribers you are seeing.

How to Keep Your Subscribers

Reassess your content. Are you sharing timely, relevant information that resonates with your target audience?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account