Why You Should Learn to Love Unsubscribers

Image credit: Stuart Miles

A powerful business marketing guest post written by Rechenda Smith, head of email marketing at little green plane.

You are probably thinking - “What? Why are people who opt out of your email marketing list a good thing?"

Allow me to explain...

People lose interest. When someone decided to sign up to receive your emails they were motivated to find out more about your business and what you had to offer. Unfortunately however it is very difficult to sustain interest over time. Even if you are churning out top-quality emails and giving your subscribers value, some people just move on - and there is nothing you can do about it.

Whenever we log in to check our emails we will always scan our inbox and decide if we want to stay on an email marketing list or not. Think of it as an electronic form of spring cleaning or going through your wardrobe and throwing out what you don't wear anymore. People view your emails in much the same way - over time, if you don't keep up to date and fashionable, your subscribers will opt out just like last year's jeans.

There will always be a reason as to why people unsubscribe - it's your job to have the awareness as to why and figure out what can be done to avoid more people in the future. Think of an unsubscriber as a lesson to learn - were you sending out lots of sales-based emails? If so, your unsubscribe rate will increase. Have you been slacking recently and sending out content which your subscribers aren't traditionally used too? Get back to the drawing board and whip your email campaign into shape. Your unsubscribers are a red flag that something's not quite right - so address it as best you can.

Learn to let go. The rate of people who unsubscribe is all relative to the number of new people who join your list. Focus on that and it will make each unsubscriber easier to deal with - don't look at your unsubscribe numbers, accept that people will leave your list at some point and focus on the overall size.

Do you want subscribers who don't engage with your emails anyway? You should be happy when people opt out because it's actually cleaning up your list and you can rely on more realistic and truthful statistics and analytics; like open and click-through rates. A dormant subscriber who never opt out and never read your emails are actually skewing your numbers - they're not going to buy from you in a month of Sundays.

As a result of this – try not to focus on the numbers of your list. Focus on the conversation with your list. Write directly to the person behind the screen and you’re more likely to not only keep them around longer – but have them open and actually read your emails. Don't think of unsubscribers as an insult to you, embrace each and every one and your email marketing efforts will become slick and efficient.

Have you had someone unsubscribe to your list? Tell us how you handled it by leaving your comment below.

About the author: Rechenda Smith is head of email marketing at little green plane.

Build Your Opt-in List The Right Way

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