When you email your list, you should always include an unsubscribe link so that subscribers can remove themselves from your list. Reputable email service providers will automatically include the unsubscribe link in every email, generally at the bottom of the email. But many marketers feel that even one unsubscribe is a catastrophe and do all they can to stop people from unsubscribing.
In fact, the unsubscribe link is your friend. Letting people who are disinterested off your list makes your email list better. It sounds weird but let me explain.
Bigger is not always better. It is not the number of subscribers you have, but how engaged they are that matters. If you have a list of thousands who never buy anything from you, you have nothing. A million subscribers who don’t even open and read your messages have no value. If your subscribers immediately chuck your messages into their spam folders, their value is less than zero.
It is better to have a small list of engaged, qualified buyers who read your email messages from top to bottom, share with friends, comment, contact you and take you up on your offers. This is the kind of list you want.
If you have a lot of people on your list who never even open your emails, or worse click the spam button, it can hurt the deliverability of your emails. Getting those people off your list is a good thing.
When someone unsubscribes, it means your message isn’t getting through to them. Maybe they joined your list just to get the freebie, and they don’t care about what else you offer. (That is a good reason to make sure your freebie attracts people who would be good customers for you.) Whatever the reason, the person who unsubscribes is not a good prospect for you.
Make it easy for people to unsubscribe. Along with the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email, you can add another link at the top.
Don’t take it personally when people unsubscribe. Do you ever unsubscribe from lists? I do, and it is not necessarily because the emails are bad, they just are not useful for me at this time.
Many email service providers will allow unsubscribers to leave a comment about why they are leaving and you can have these comments emailed to you. This can be useful, because it gives you insight into why people are leaving your list.
Most of the comments I get from people who leave my IdeaLady Insider list are very nice. They thank me for all of the information I have provided and say that they don’t have time to read email at this time, or they no longer have their business, or something that says, “It’s not you, it’s me.” :o) Although it is certainly not necessary to leave a comment like that, I always appreciate knowing that they liked the newsletter, it just isn’t right for them at this time.
On the other hand, I have another list that attracts a different kind of subscriber. Although many of them leave nice, “can’t use this info right now,” messages, some will just say, “F— you,” or something similarly friendly and helpful.
Don’t let the jerks get you down. Just be glad that they are gone. If you find that you are disturbed by what people say in their comments, either have someone else review them or turn them off and stop receiving them.
You may even want to force unsubscribes by purging people from your list if they are not opening and reading your emails. One way to do this is to require everyone to opt in again to stay on the list. The people who do not bother to do so don’t belong on your list. Your email service provider may be able to help you clean your list of people who have not opened your messages in weeks or months. Contact them to find out how to do this, and learn about the pros and cons.
Many marketers say that “the money is in the list.” That is sort of true, but really the money is in your relationship with your list. You can not be all things to all people, so let go of the people who are not a good fit and focus on building strong relationships with your perfect prospects and customers.
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