The “Space” Technique: How to slash your unsubscribe rate by 58%

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - September 5th, 2014

lower unsubscribe rate (Freshman year of College)

I was crazy about this girl…

Not crazy in a “I-am-going-to-stalk-you” kind of way.

More of a “I-really-want-to-date-you” kind of thing.

So, I did what any reasonable human would do and wrote her a song. I titled it “Underwear on the Floor.”

First – don’t write a song for a girl named “Underwear on the Floor”

Second – See #1 Long story short, my one and only ballad ended in a “it’s not you, it’s me” rejection.

Whatever. I’m over it.

It’s been 13 years. Bottom line = Rejection sucks.

***

What is the most painful part of building an email list? Rejection.

Why?

Because of this… 16 17 32 42 39 28

That’s how many people have UNSUBSCRIBED from my list after sending my last 6 emails.

For some reason 3 weeks ago my unsubscribe rate started spiking. I used to average 9 opt outs per email.

And then, out of nowhere, it quadrupled.

  • Did my email suck?
  • Am I terrible writer?
  • Is this another “it’s not you it’s really me”  type of situation?

Honestly, I had no idea.

But I started researching and trying to find a way to stop it.

That’s when I found this sly technique I am going to share today. It cut my unsubscribes in half.

unsubscribe rate before and after graph

How to cut your unsubscribes in half

Before finding the space technique my unsubscribes had spiked to an average of 37 per email send. Now they are less than half of that (16.5 to be exact).

How did I do it?

I pressed enter 8 times.

After writing my email, I pressed enter 8 times. Like this… 2014-09-05 08_25_06

Huh? What are you talking about Bryan? Take a look at what happens when you press enter 8 times.

Pressing enter creates this space

When you press enter a few times after your email it moves the unsubscribe signature out of the line of site of your reader.

Think about it.

If your unsubscribe signature is directly under your normal signature, you are not just making it easy to unsubscribe from your list – which I am a fan of – you are PROMPTING your readers to unsubscribe.

There is a big difference in those two things.

Make it easy to unsubscribe? YES

Prompt your readers to unsubscribe? NO

Think about it this way… If I started each email with this, “Sick of getting a bunch of email? Click here to be removed from your list” Do you think more or less people would leave your list?

More! (of course)

Why? Because you PROMPTED them to leave by asking them to make a decision.

DON”T PROMPT!

Bryan, this sounds sketchy. Who else uses this technique?

You might think this sounds sketchy.

It’s not.

You are still making it super simple for people that want to get off your list to do so. However, you are removing an active prompt from the line of sight of those that open your email with no intention to leave.

People that are not looking to leave your list read until the dead space.

When they see a big block of white space after your signature they assume the email is over and stop reading.

example of 8 space email

unsubscribe signature is out of the line of site

However, when they see a unsubscribe signature and link directly below your normal signature they immediately think, “Hmmmm…do I really want to keep reading this guys stuff?”

Unsubscribe signature that is directly in the line of sight

…and then – some of them – unsubscribe.

All because you MADE THEM MAKE A DECISION. Don’t take my word for it. Here are a few other people that use this technique as well.

1. David Garldan from therisetothetop.com

2. Noah Kagan from Okdork.com

3. Amy Hoy from unicornfree.com

Takeaway

The takeaway is simple.

Press enter 8 times at the end of your email.

This will decrease the number of people that ditch you every time you send them something.

Need a few tips on growing your email list? Here are 4 of the best techniques I used to grow my list to just under 10,000 subscribers in my first 8 months.

Question: Are you going to use this on your next email? If not, why not?