When I first joined the EntrepreneurOnFire team, I was way excited about building our email list. You know how I knew? I actually went into our AWeber account and checked the box to receive notifications when someone signed up.
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Should you be thanking those who unsubscribe from your email list?
Okay, give me a break… Building a list was all new to me, and any time someone signed up I felt awesome about it: they had literally just said “YES! I want to hear from you!”
In fact, I was SO excited to find out when someone subscribed to our email list that I would send them a personal email welcoming them to Fire Nation. True story.
But once your list starts growing at a rate of 10, 20, maybe even 30 subscribers per day, you might go back in and change your preferences to: do NOT notify me when someone signs up, like I did.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s still really exciting that people are signing up for our list, but getting notified every single time someone does is unrealistic in terms of the productivity I strive for every day.
So now that I’m on the topic of unsubscribing from notifications about other people who are subscribing, what about when someone “un-signs up” – in other words, when they choose to unsubscribe from your list? Do you click on the box to receive notifications when that happens?
In the beginning, I absolutely did. Just as much as I wanted to know who was subscribing, I also wanted to know who was unsubscribing. I came to find out this was a brutal mistake.
It actually kind of hurt at first. I remember the first few email notifications that came through letting me know that someone had just unsubscribed… I couldn’t help but feel defeated. I had just spent 45 minutes to an hour on a newsletter, and now this person has decided to unsubscribe?
A mindest shift
It’s a good thing that I’ve taken on a whole new mindset towards those who unsubscribe from our list, because the fact is, a lot of people unsubscribe from our list every single day. If I were to spend my mental and emotional bandwidth on that, then what’s left?
Let’s be real; someone unsubscribing from your email list isn’t the end of the world. But I know that doesn’t change the not-so-great feelings you get when someone does it.
That’s why I wrote this post: to talk to you about the ways that I was able to shift my mindset in order to actually start appreciating those who were unsubscribing from our email list.
In addition to realizing that as your list grows, so will your email marketing bill (more subscribers = increased monthly bill from your provider), let’s look at some ways you can start to uncover the truth behind why people unsubscribe from your email list and how it can actually benefit you when they do.
5 reasons why you should thank those who unsubscribe
1. They aren’t your target audience member
People unsubscribing from your email list is like them saying to you, “I value your time enough to let you know that I’m not your target audience member.” Well, that was easy. Plus one!
Think about it: why would you want someone on your list who isn’t interested in your content? If they aren’t your target audience member, then you should thank them for letting you know that.
2. You’re competing with the world
People unsubscribing from your email list doesn’t mean they hate your content (although in some cases, this might be true…).
What is does mean is that they get approximately 23 other emails per day from non-family and non-friend senders who are trying to tell them about the coolest thing that’s happening today. You know it, and I know it: that can get overwhelming.
In today’s online space, you’re no longer competing with your competitors – you’re competing with the rest of the world when it comes to online activity, and emails are no different.
3. Our time is precious
How precious is your time? That’s what I thought – VERY precious. With tools like Feedly, people are able to get ahold of the same exact content that a lot of businesses simply repurpose for their emails (think a round up email that features someone’s blog or podcast content).
There are a lot of email lists you sign up for that will simply send you an email about the blog post that was published that day. Well, I can receive that same “notification” by going to my Feedly and adding that website or blog to my RSS feed if I want to.
What’s the benefit? I only see it when I want to see it, not when they decide to send me the email.
Everyone has different preferences, and so if you do email your list when your content gets published on the site, then those who want to receive an email notification about it will undoubtably stay!
4. Challenge accepted!
Take on those who unsubscribe from your list as a challenge: they want to help you to make your emails better.
If you want people to stay subscribed to your email list, start sending out emails that will genuinely help them.
Ask yourself this: “What can I include in my next email that someone who has subscribed to my list will find so much value in that they won’t want to delete it?”
It might be a resource, or it might be a “how-to” tip related to your industry – anything that will make their life easier, plain and simple.
Look at the emails you receive for ideas. What types of things (be it resources, funny thoughts, quotes, images, tips…) do you look for in the emails you receive? Now ask yourself: What is it your avatar is looking for in the emails they receive?
5. It’s not you, it’s me
I have to believe this is the case sometimes because I’ve personally said this when unsubscribing from others’ email lists. Sometimes it’s just because.
Prime example: I absolutely love Bed, Bath & Beyond. They send me updates about sales, specials, great home decor ideas – heck, they even send me 20% coupons, and I use those religiously. Huge value.
But frankly, I just don’t want to see their emails anymore. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond – it just means I don’t want to see them in my already-crowded inbox anymore.
You can do it
Starting to build an email list is super exciting. It not only means you’re on your way to growing your business, it also means that there are people out there who want to receive your content, and that’s pretty awesome.
So this is what I hope you’ll take away from this post if you’re someone who is working on building your email list and finding yourself frustrated or hurt by those who unsubscribe from your email list:
A simple shift in mindset towards those who unsubscribe can actually help you realize the benefits behind the initial bad feelings. And, if nothing else, those who unsubscribe from your list are the people who are going to help you make your content even better.
Remember: someone unsubscribing from your email list isn’t the end of the world.