Ah, the unsubscribe button. We all know how freeing it is to unsubscribe from the hundreds of coupon emails we get every day, but it’s another story when someone unsubscribes from YOUR list.

The hard work you put into your emails only to see people leaving…that can feel like heartbreak central.

The truth is that some people just aren’t the right fit for your list, and having fewer subscribers can actually lead to better engagement rates.

Still the question remains: how do you know whether it’s a you or them problem?

The good news is that you don’t have to guess why people are unsubscribing from your list anymore.

With ConvertKit’s unsubscribe survey feature, you can find out exactly why your subscribers are saying goodbye to your email list.

With the survey, you’ll be able to see a graph of how many people selected each option:

Maybe it’s because they simply don’t want to receive your emails anymore, or maybe they think they’ve been added to your list by mistake. Here’s how to set up your own unsubscribe survey

Today, we’re sharing some tips for using the unsubscribe survey data to improve your email strategy and keep subscribers around for longer.

How to use unsubscribe survey results

If your answers are mostly ‘I no longer want to receive these emails’

People often change their minds about what they sign up for. Sometimes they just want to receive your freebie and not actually stay on your email list. Sometimes their inboxes are too full and they’re trying to declutter. Whatever the reasoning may be, it’s not something to take too personally.

As Melissa from From Boise says, “Be yourself, and don’t let unsubscribers get you down…[if your newsletter] isn’t some peoples’ jam, there are other newsletters in the world that would be a better fit.

If your answers are mostly ‘I never signed up for this mailing list

Either you’re adding people to your mailing list without their permission (don’t do this!), or there’s a disconnect between what people are signing up for and the follow-up emails that you send them. 

One way to fix this issue is to make sure you’re sending welcome emails soon after they sign-up. That way, they’ll be more familiar with you and why you’re emailing them. 

If your answers are mostly ‘The emails are inappropriate’

Our Deliverability Lead, Alyssa Dulin, says that your sign-up form needs to properly reflect the kind of content subscribers will be receiving. Ask yourself: Have my emails been straying from the path of what subscribers expected when you signed up? Perhaps you simply need to let your subscribers know that your content is changing - be honest and open about it!

People may also mark emails as inappropriate if the language you’re using isn’t aligned with what they think is appropriate. For example, if you don’t use profanity anywhere else in your content and suddenly you start it in your emails, people may be taken aback. Of course, it’s totally up to you whether or not you feel it’s necessary to change your strategy because of that.

If your answers are mostly ‘The emails are spam and should be reported

First of all, you’ll want to check for ‘listbombing’ - this is when email addresses are added to your forms maliciously by bots. If you notice a surge of suspicious email addresses in your subscriber list, you may have been listbombed (here’s what you can do if you think this is the case). 

Here are some other ways to prevent people from marking your emails as spam:

1. Add a double opt-in to your forms and landing pages so that only humans can confirm their email address (bots can’t do this!).

2. Make sure it’s clear who the sender of the emails is. For example, if people sign up for emails from ConvertKit but we use the sending name Nathan Barry (our CEO), people who don’t know who Nathan is are going to be confused. You can change your sending name in your account here.

3. Make sure your content is providing value and reflects what subscribers signed up to receive.

How will you use the unsubscribe survey?

Unsubscribes aren’t the end of the world. In fact, they can be helpful for figuring out your next move. Try using the unsubscribe survey feature for yourself here.

Have any questions about how this feature works? Leave us a comment below 👇🏻 We’d also love to hear if you’re as excited about this feature as we are!