My post about getting started with your mailing list got such a massively positive response, that it’s clear to me that this is a subject you are interested in hearing more about. In this era of fickle social media platforms that can change policies or lose popularity overnight, it’s so important to have a way of communicating with your clients directly, so building a list of your own peeps is crucial.
After my mailing list post I received quite a few emails from you, and there was one thing in particular that kept coming up over and over. And that's questions about why people are unsubscribing from your list, and how you should deal with it when they do. It can feel hugely personal to have someone unsubscribe, even more so when your list is still small. You might have poured your deepest thoughts into a newsletter you sent out, and despite most people probably quietly appreciating it, you only focus on those three unsubscribes and take them as a sign that everyone hates what you have to say. Am I right or am I right?
Ok, here’s a list of reasons why unsubscribes are a good thing. Really. Read on.
5 top reasons why unsubscribes are a good thing
1. Unsubscribes save you money
With most mailing list providers, you pay according to the size of your list. Do you really want to pay for people who are not interested in what you have to say? Every person who unsubscribes is actually doing you a huge favour. Instead of simply ignoring your emails, and quietly costing you money, they are giving space to subscribers who are actually the right fit for you. So, instead of agonising over them, spare them a thankful thought.
2. Unsubscribes are not the right fit for your personality
Now, I’m not a big swearer by any means, but I do sometimes use a stronger word here and there to emphasise something (such as getting shit done) in a way that I would in real life. You can bet that every time I use a swearword in a newsletter I get a couple of unsubscribes. It just grates some people the wrong way, and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think we would have gotten along that well anyways if me throwing in some stronger language automatically offends them. It’s a bit of a relief to know you don’t have to try to change your personality in order to avoid offending your tribe. Your people should get what you are about, and not be offended by your authentic self.
3. Unsubscribes pinpoint weak elements in sales funnels
If you’ve taken your email marketing to the next level, you might have set up some automated sales funnels to sell some of your products or services. Unsubscribes can be a good way to pinpoint weak elements in any sales sequences. If you are consistently getting most people unsubscribe at email number 4 of your automated sequence, you might want to go back and take a closer look at what that particular email actually contains. Perhaps it’s lacking in value, or there’s a sales pitch that is just too strong in there. Change it around and see whether that lowers the number of unsubscribes. If not, consider whether you are still getting as many sales (or any other type of conversion you might be going for) as you’d want, and if that’s the case the unsubscribers are probably people who were not going to buy what you’re selling anyways.
4. Unsubscribes can be motivational
If you are consistently getting a high number of unsubscribes after every newsletter you send out, it could mean that you are just not providing enough value to your subscribers. We all live busy lives, and our inboxes are bursting with unread emails, so for most of us to stay on a list means that we have to be getting something out of it. Really concentrate on what you are giving. Are you sending your best advice? Is your advice actionable? If you’re sending offers are they truly irresistible? If you’re trying to hold onto your subscribers with fluffy emails or simply reposting your blog posts, there’s not really enough incentive for them to be subscribing. Care for your list and give your subscribers what you feel is truly valuable.
5. Unsubscribes help you hone in on your target audience
You can not please everyone, nor should you try to. There will be loads of people out there, who might just want any free things you have to offer, but are not truly interested in your message or your services. And that’s perfectly fine. You want to weed those people out and be left with a list of people who need and appreciate what you have to offer, and who might potentially pay you for your services somewhere down the line. It might not be now, or even in the next year, but if you are connecting with the right person, and they get value from what you do, chances are that at some point they might be at a stage where they are ready to exchange money for your services. At the very least, your long-term subscribers will be valuable in spreading the word about what you do to other like-minded people.
Do these points make you feel a bit better about the unsubscribes you’re getting? I sure hope so. Remember, never take unsubscribes personally, just see what you could learn from them in order to better your services!
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