Definition: Unsubscribe Rate

In email marketing, the unsubscribe rate means the percentage of your users who are choosing to unsubscribe from your email marketing list. This is also known as the Unsub Rate and is generally related back to individual emails.

The lower the rate, the better quality your list is, as it implies they are happy receiving the emails you send them. On the other hand, the higher the Ubsub rate the worse your email list is OR the worse an individual email was.



Unsub Rate Equation

Here is the Unsub Rate (or Unsubscription Rate) Formula:

Unsub Rate Formula (or Unsubscribe Rate Formula) = (Unsubs/Delivered Emails) x 100Click to enlarge

Unsub Rate = (Unsubscribes ÷ Delivered Emails) ×100


It should be noted that different Email Marketing Platforms call “Delivered Emails” different things. They are sometimes referred to as “sent” emails – but delivered seems more accurate so we are using that. The point is that they are emails that made it into inboxes (and did not bounce).


Unsub Rate Benchmark

According to numerous studies over the years, the average Unsubscribe Rate for emails is about 0.1%. This means that for every 1,000 emails sent you can expect 1 person to unsubscribe. It also means that you need to have more than 1 new subscriber every time you send 1,000 emails or your email marketing list will start to shrink.

This figure of 0.1% is an overall benchmark for all emails across all industries. However, the benchmark for different industries varies between around 0.1% and 0.8%. As you can see – the unsub rate for any industry is generally far below 1%, so if you see an unsub rate even approaching 1% then you should be concerned.

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