email unsubscribes

The Fear of the “Unsubscribe”: How to Never Bother About Email Unsubscribes But Maintain a Healthy List

email unsubscribes

Do you also get disappointed when someone unsubscribes from your email list? Or are you also afraid and always praying you don’t get notifications of email unsubscribes?

I’m using the word “also” because it’s a fear I have too. It’s a fear most marketers and business people have.

Nobody who puts effort into creating (fair-enough) content and tries his/her best to engage subscribers would rejoice at seeing that people are unsubscribing from his mailing list. The truth however is, you should actually rejoice when someone unsubscribes from your mailing list. I’ll get to my reasons soon.

Don’t get me wrong, there are various reasons people unsubscribe. Some of them your fault, others not your fault. It’s probably your fault if the number of unsubscribes is alarming, and your list is dying faster than it’s growing.

If you’re sure however that you’ve not done anything wrong to piss your audience off generally, and that it’s not your fault that people are unsubscribing, then relax, it’s nothing personal. It could be any reason – inbox cleanup, change of email, change of interest, etc.

Bottom line: just know it’s normal to lose few subscribers, and don’t take it personally when someone unsubscribes.

Why Should You Never Worry About Email Unsubscribes?

2 reasons:

  1. Helps keep your list clean – and profitable

Yes, unsubscribes help keep your email list clean. The reason you have an email list is to make sure you build an audience that will be useful to your business. Either they buy from you, or they just engage with your business to let you know you’re indeed adding value to the world, or serve as brand advocates spreading your gospel and bringing new people into the business, your subscriber has to be useful to you some way.

And for a subscriber to be useful to you, the person must not just like you, but must be interested in what you do. Must be interested in what you offer, whether paid or free.

Anyone on your list not interested in what you do or say is toxic to that list. The more they don’t engage with your content (open, read, click, and even reply your mails), the more your credibility sinks. And the more your credibility reduces, the more your deliverability rate reduces.

I mean, when people don’t open and read your emails – and click on your links, it’s a signal to your email service provider that your messages aren’t useful, and they’ll begin to gradually regard your messages as so. Before long, they’ll stop delivering your messages to your subscribers’ inboxes.

So…be the judge now; isn’t it better for people not interested in what you have to say or offer to opt out by themselves and not spoil things for the ones interested?

In fact, it’s good practice for marketers to clean up their email lists by themselves. Some do it once a year, but my belief is: anybody that doesn’t open your emails for 3 months (maximum 6 months) should be automatically deleted off your list. (There are some email solutions that’ll let you automate this.)

This is for the same reason I already explained: in order to retain only the ones that are interested in what you offer and maintain a healthy list.

  1. Helps save you money – and time

Generally, what would be the essence of wasting your time delivering value to someone that doesn’t want it? Sometimes, the only reward one gets for his/her email marketing efforts is the awareness that some certain people are engaging with, and truly deriving value from the content one puts effort into creating.

More so, most email service providers charge users based on number of subscribers. It only makes rational sense that if you’d have to pay for each subscriber on your list, they must be as qualified – and as useful to your business – as much as possible. You’re not in business to waste money on people who don’t care about you or what you have to offer.

Unqualified people removing themselves from your list are actually doing you a lot of favour and saving you money.

Finally, it takes time to start purging your list to remove those subscribers not engaging with you. Uninterested people unsubscribing from your email list by their own hands will save you the time you’d have otherwise spent on deleting them yourself.

Now you can see that getting the “unsubscribe” notification isn’t as bad as it seems. In fact, you should send a thank-you note to every single person that unsubscribes from your list.

HOWEVER

This doesn’t give you the permission to disrespect your list or not care for your subscribers, or not do the work required of you as an email marketer.

You asked them to opt in, they did their part by obeying, and now it’s your turn to keep them engaged – informed, educated, entertained, etc. You owe them a duty of giving them value perpetually. If you faithfully keep to your part of the relationship, your subscribers (the qualified ones, at least) will reward you in the long run. They’ll help you achieve your dreams.

The Perfect Email List Building and Maintenance Formula:

Having said all these, it’s apt at this point to give you what I deem to be the perfect formula for maintaining (and growing) a healthy email list for your business. Follow the steps below (perpetually):

  1. Have a good traffic source. Could be social media, ads, search, guest blogging, even email – whatever your ideal traffic source is, just make sure you have one.
  2. Create and automate a lead generation system. Have a lead magnet – presented via an opt-in form – to capture the emails of people interested in what you offer.
  3. Keep your list engaged. Send awesome content and great offers to keep your subscribers engaged. Keep adding value to them.
  4. Purge your list regularly. At least once a year, delete people that are not engaging with your brand from your list. In fact, do this more than once yearly to lighten the excess load you’re carrying without any use to you.

There’s however a way to go about this; you don’t just start deleting people.

Great email service providers can show you the list of people that haven’t opened your mail or clicked your links for any specific period you want. You select this group of people and send them something called a “Re-engagement Campaign”, or a “Win-back Campaign”.

This involves a series of emails (between 3 to 5, or more) aimed at trying to get them to resume engaging with your emails, with a threat of deletion. Anyone that engages with the email gets removed from the deletion list, and those that still refuse to get engaged get deleted.

There are ways to automate this; contact your email service provider for help. I plan set one of these up very soon J

  1. Oil your traffic sources well and regularly. What will ultimately make you not feel bad is when you’re constantly getting new subscribers every day. You don’t want to keep losing people without adding more people.

Instead, you want to keep your traffic sources pumped. You want to oil them so well that they keep sending fresh leads – and potential customers – your way.

Now you see how the formula works and how it helps you maintain a healthy and steadily growing list. Let me recap again: have great sources of traffic; have a functioning list building system in place; keep your list engaged and happy; purge your list regularly of excess (but not-very-useful) weight; ensure your traffic sources keep sending fresh traffic and potential subscribers your way.

It’s a never-ending cycle. Before long, you’ll have your dream email list. Huge and profitable!

What do you think about this post? Do you also have the fear of people unsubscribing from your list and you losing potential customers/clients? How have you been able to deal with this? How do you now feel after reading this? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments; I’d love to read them – and reply you.

Image credit: squalomail.com

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