How to Calculate Unsubscribe rate in Google Analytics

7 minute read

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Email marketing is a crucial aspect of modern business, allowing brands to reach out to their customers directly and engage with them in a meaningful way. However, it's important to note that not all emails are created equal, and some will inevitably result in individuals unsubscribing from your mailing list. Enter Google Analytics and its powerful tracking features that allow businesses to monitor unsubscribe rates closely. In this article, we'll explore what unsubscribe rate is and how you can use Google Analytics to identify and analyze it. We'll also provide some tips on reducing unsubscribe rates and improving user engagement.

Understanding Unsubscribe Rate and Its Importance

Every email marketing campaign you launch will undoubtedly result in some percentage of subscribers opting-out or unsubscribing from your mailing list. Unsubscribe rate refers to the percentage of recipients who choose to stop receiving your emails over a particular period. A high unsubscribe rate could indicate that users are unhappy with your messages, and you may be losing more subscribers than you are gaining.

Managing unsubscribe rates is crucial for businesses that want to retain their customer base and continue building their mailing lists. The higher your unsubscribe rate, the more challenging it is to convert leads into loyal subscribers. Measuring the rate of unsubscribes can help you make essential changes to your email marketing campaigns by optimizing your content, format, and frequency.

One of the most significant factors that contribute to high unsubscribe rates is irrelevant content. If your subscribers are receiving emails that don't align with their interests, they are more likely to unsubscribe. It's essential to segment your mailing list and personalize your messages to ensure that your subscribers receive content that is relevant to them.

Another factor that can lead to high unsubscribe rates is the frequency of your emails. If you're sending too many emails, your subscribers may feel overwhelmed and decide to opt-out. On the other hand, if you're not sending enough emails, your subscribers may forget about your brand and lose interest. Finding the right balance is crucial, and it may take some trial and error to determine the optimal frequency for your specific audience.

What is Unsubscribe Rate?

Unsubscribe rate (also known as opt-out rate) is the percentage of individuals who have opted out of your email list. This metric measures the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and shows how well your subscribers engage with your content. A high unsubscribe rate in your emails could indicate that your messages are not resonating with your audience, potentially lowering your revenue/profit.

It's essential to track your unsubscribe rate regularly and compare it to industry benchmarks. The average unsubscribe rate varies by industry, so it's crucial to understand what a typical rate looks like for your specific sector. For example, the average unsubscribe rate for the retail industry is 0.17%, while the average for the healthcare industry is 0.14%.

Why is Unsubscribe Rate Important for Your Business?

The unsubscribe rate metric is essential for any business that utilizes email marketing. This metric helps identify email subscribers who are no longer interested, eliminates them from the list, and allows businesses to focus on the ones who are engaged. Keeping a close eye on your unsubscribe rate can be an excellent way to identify what content and messaging aren't working, helping improve your email campaigns' effectiveness.

Another benefit of tracking your unsubscribe rate is that it can help you identify potential issues with your email list. For example, if you notice a sudden spike in your unsubscribe rate, it could indicate that your list has been compromised, and someone is sending emails on your behalf without your permission. By monitoring your unsubscribe rate, you can quickly identify and address these issues before they become more significant problems.

In conclusion, understanding your unsubscribe rate is crucial for any business that utilizes email marketing. By tracking this metric and making necessary adjustments to your campaigns, you can improve your engagement rates, retain your customer base, and continue growing your business.

Setting Up Google Analytics for Tracking Unsubscribes

Tracking unsubscribe rates in Google Analytics is a straightforward process, requiring that you follow a few simple steps. Setting up Google Analytics is a critical first step in this process, so let's start there.

Creating a Google Analytics Account

If you don't already have Google Analytics, you'll need to create an account. The process is easy and straightforward; simply go to, sign in with your Google account, and follow the prompts to create your account. Once you input some basic information, you'll be taken to the Google Analytics dashboard, where you can begin tracking data for your website.

Installing Google Analytics on Your Website

To begin tracking unsubscribe rates, you'll need to install a tracking code on your website. This technique allows Google Analytics to collect information about your website's visitors and their behavior. To install the tracking code, you'll need to add it to every page of your website. This process varies depending on the website build. Discus with your web developer to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website.

Configuring Unsubscribe Tracking in Google Analytics

Once you have set up Google Analytics tracking, the next step is configuring unsubscribe tracking. You'll need to set up event tracking in Google Analytics to know when someone opts-out of your mailing list. To configure this, identify the form or link that users click when unsubscribing. Then, add a few lines of JavaScript code to your website that tells Google Analytics to track this event. There is no one-size-fits-all template for this because how the event is triggered varies depending on the business, but it can be done relatively quickly.

Identifying and Analyzing Unsubscribe Data

Now that you've configured Google Analytics to track unsubscribes, it's time to check the data. Identifying, analyzing, and interpreting unsubscribe data are crucial steps to optimizing your email marketing campaigns effectively.

Locating Unsubscribe Data in Google Analytics

Once you've tracked your unsubscribe events on Google Analytics, the data will appear in your Google Analytics dashboard under the "Behavior" section. Select the "Events" category, and then select "Overview." From here, you can locate your unsubscribe data, which will include the total number of unsubscribes and conversion rates.

Analyzing Unsubscribe Rate Trends

The data you collected in the "Behavior" section of Google Analytics will allow you to track unsubscribe rate trends. Use this data to see how your unsubscribe rate changes over time, highlighting the dates when the rate fluctuates. These fluctuations can inform how your email campaigns are performing and how you need to adjust to reduce unsubscribe rates.

Segmenting Unsubscribe Data by Traffic Source and User Behavior

Unsubscribing rates data is even more useful when segmented by traffic source and user behavior, which allows businesses to see which email campaigns, segments of subscribers, and messages performed the worst. It can also help identify ways businesses could tailor their campaigns according to audience preferences and engagement patterns.

Reducing Unsubscribe Rates and Improving User Engagement

Now that you know how to calculate and analyze unsubscribe rates let's dive into reducing them. Businesses should focus on increasing user engagement by optimizing their email content, personalizing and tailoring for their subscribers.

Optimizing Email Content and Frequency

The first step towards reducing email unsubscribe rates is to tailor your email content to your subscribers' preferences and interests. Start by optimizing your content density, visual elements, email format, and writing style. Businesses should segment their email lists by interests and preferences to send targeted emails to the right audience. Remember to not spam your subscribers' inbox; focus on keeping a consistent, relevant, and personalized schedule of emails.

Personalizing Emails for Better User Experience

Personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate than those that are not. Personalization helps build an emotional connection with subscribers, making them feel appreciated while reducing unsubscribe rates. Personalizing your emails could include leveraging user data such as interests, past purchases, their stage in the buyer's journey, and their interactions with your website to personalize your email marketing campaigns.

Implementing Re-engagement Strategies

If some subscribers have opted out, it's not too late to save the relationship. Implementing re-engagement strategies such as asking users to update their preferences, getting feedback on past unsubscribe decisions, or incentivizing users to return to your list can help to rekindle a subscriber relationship.


Calculating unsubscribe rates in Google Analytics can help businesses improve user engagement and optimize email campaign success rates. By segmenting subscribers, monitoring data, and implementing these strategies, businesses can build stronger relationships with their subscribers. Personalizing emails, improving the email's quality and frequency, and implementing re-engagement strategies, can help reduce unsubscribe rates and build brand loyalty.

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