Despite all the advice that says I shouldn’t care what others think about me, I do. That’s why I used to hate it when anyone unsubscribed from my email list. I still don’t like it, but these days I don’t worry about it. I also don’t take it personally, and neither should you.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about your subscribers and what they want and need. Of course, you should! You email list is your most valuable asset. However, you want the right people on that list.
Who Should Subscribe to Your List
The people who subscribe to your list should want several things from you:
- Valuable information
- A way to stay in touch with you
- Resources (your products and services or those you recommend)
- Opportunities to work with or learn from you
If your subscribers have these qualities, they should expect to hear from you on a regular and somewhat-frequent basis. That might mean once per week, twice per month or once per month. It could even mean several times per week.
Your email list is your email marketing system. You use it to promote products and services to your subscribers as well as to give them great content on a regular basis.
A New Perspective on Unsubscribes
So, what should you do when someone unsubscribes from your email marketing list? You should offer them a chance, via your email marketing service, to tell you why they have chosen to leave your list. The response you receive can be important information. You want to know if they think you email too often, if your content isn’t valuable, if they are too busy to read your email, or if they don’t like your material.
However, unless you are seeing a huge exodus of subscribers who say you aren’t providing them with value, or they aren’t getting benefit from being on your list, assume those who unsubscribe are simply the wrong people for your list. The reason for this is simple: The people on your list should be willing and eager to hear from you. They should want you to promote your products and services (or others you recommend) to them on a regular basis. They should enjoy knowing when you have something of value to offer them.
That said, you do need to find a happy medium between providing great content and selling stuff. If you do that, then wish your unsubscribes well and send them happily on their way. Welcome your new subscribers with open arms, and hope they are the right subscribers.
I was upset by unsubscribes who told me I sent them too many emails; this was the most common reason people unsubscribed from my list. I typically interspersed sales emails with valuable informational emails. In fact, even my sales emails tended to have valuable content.
One day I read something that changed my attitude. Someone wrote, “Your list provides you with a source of income. You need to use it to sell your products and services. Your subscribers need to realize that this is how you make your living. If they don’t like the fact that you are sending them information about what you have to offer—to sell, they aren’t the right people to have on your list.”
Those words opened my eyes. I realized that the people you really want on your email list are those who will eventually purchase something from you—a book, a course, a coaching package, or an affiliate product. If you have a list full of people who just want free information, that list is worthless, even if you only want to sell your book upon release.
Email Lists are for Marketing
After all, you can blog or write books until you are blue in the face, but if no one buys them, you remain broke. Your email list is meant to be a marketing system. That’s why it’s call email marketing and why you might use MailChimp.com or Aweber.com, which are email marketing services. You create and use an email list to promote your wares. Therefore, the people on that list should be willing and eager to buy what you sell. If they aren’t, then you don’t want them on the list.
That’s why when someone unsubscribes and says, “I’m unsubscribing because you try to sell me too many things and send too many emails,” you should not feel upset.
I’ve received a few emails like this from subscribers. I responded, “My email list allows me to make a living. I’m sorry you don’t like the fact that I send so many emails or that I sell things in those emails. I’m also sorry you have chosen to unsubscribe from my list, but I have to make money from my blogging efforts. I need people on my list who with an interest in purchasing what I have to offer, not just getting valuable free information. I hope you understand, and I wish you well.”
Stop taking your unsubscribes personally and focus on the subscribers who appreciate what you do and want to work with you and purchase your products. Continue to give them value—in your free content and in everything you sell—and your list will grow. You’ll also make money along the way.
Photo copyright: klikk / 123RF Stock Photo
M.C. Simon says
This is a sensitive subject. Thanks you for talking about it, Nina.
I started my website only few months ago and until now I didn’t have unsubscribes. But I have to admit that I would not feel too comfortable knowing that one day this can happen.
For exactly same reasons I don’t unsubscribe from any list because… I hope I will never give that weird feeling to anyone. Yet, when you subscribe to many websites (like me), one day will become a time management problem.
For a better approach of this aspect, I created another email address only for daily updates. I still kept the newsletters for my main address. In this way I can check the updates when the time permits me to do it. And I am happy because I know I didn’t make anyone else unhappy 🙂
Thanks again for the article. I enjoy reading it and I find it more than useful.
Nina Amir says
I used to have all my subscriptions go to an AOL account. That got out of hand…Now I do unsubscribe when necessary. I figure online marketers realize this is a fact of life, as do I. Thanks for your comment, MC Simon.