By July 21, 2014 Read More →

How do you feel when someone unsubscribes?

UnsubscribesWhen you’re working hard to build a following every subscriber is precious, and losing even one is disappointing.

If you get several unsubscribes at once it can be really demoralising.

It’s hard to break away from the gut feeling that bigger numbers must be better for business.

So I hope it cheers you up to hear that the opposite is true, as the straight-talking Derek Halpern of Social Triggers explains on this two minute video. Derek is widely recognised as a thought leader when it comes to list building and online marketing strategy, and he doesn’t worry when he gets a few hundred unsubscribes each time he sends out an email.

He points out that as you painstakingly building a list for right people, in the process you’re going to attract some of the wrong people too. So it’s a good thing for your business when they vote with their feet.

And it could save you money too. Email providers start to charge once your list reaches a certain number. I use Mailchimp, which lets you have up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month free. After that the cost goes up as the number of subscribers mount.

So if your list is reaching one of the points where prices increase it might be a good idea to clean it by occasionally going through your list and deleting (gasp!) subscribers who haven’t been opening your emails. In this interesting post online marketing consultant Marya Jan explains why and how she deleted 400 subscribers from her list.

Unsubscribes will also benefit your open and click through rates and make it less likely any email providers decide you’re a spammer.

Talking to a group of small business owners recently, they agreed that the worst unsubscribes are those from people you know, especially if you are following them. It can feel like a slap in the face and make you wonder whether they don’t like you, or what you do, any more.

But the group agreed that they’re always trying to keep their inboxes as clear as possible, and they will unsubscribe from something if it’s not currently what they need. They won’t forget you, and will come back once that issue is high priority again.

Or it may just be that they prefer to read your content in other ways, through RSS, for example.

If unsubscribes still make you feel a bit queasy, why not turn off those email notifications so you’re not even aware of them? And don’t worry about the spam complaints you occasionally get – usually if I check back I find they have been opening my emails for months. Maybe today it arrived at the wrong time and they were just letting off steam.

So don’t get upset about a handful of unsubscribes. In so many ways quality really is better than quantity. Could you learn to love unsubscribes? Or have you already?

Posted in: Making money

5 Comments on "How do you feel when someone unsubscribes?"

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  1. Great post and great video, Judy!

    These days I release my unsubscribers and send them on their way with love, but I have to admit it wasn’t always this way 🙂

    When we first start building a list it’s so easy to take an unsubscribe as a personal rejection and that can trigger our ‘stuff’ big time, as in ‘I must have done something wrong. What did I do or say, or not do or say that’s driven them away from me?’

    Now I celebrate that my messages are getting more and more focussed and clear, and reaching more of the people who really understand what I’m about and are looking for what I’m offering. And I don’t have to be everything to everybody.

    Phew, what a relief!

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • Thanks, Linda, I’ve been through the same process! It’s so easy to assume someone has unsubscribed because they don’t like what you’re saying, but of course it could be for all sorts of reasons. Now I can let unsubscribes go without pain, and if I had time I’d love to do a declutter of my list, but I think it might have to wait for a while.

  2. Janel says:

    Yeah, it is a bit disheartening when a client unsubscribes, however, i’m glad you pointed out unsubscribes will at least benefit the open and click through rates.

  3. Frances Evesham says:

    This video made me laugh out loud, Judy. From now on, I shall just think of unsubscribers as the ‘wrong’ people.