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In Online Business, Unsubscribes Are A Fact Of Life
We all know that your email list is the foundation of your business, and in order to find long-term success, you need one. Hands down. I go much more in depth on the subject in my post, 7 Reasons Why Your Email List Is Critical To Online Business Success
And when it comes to talking about email lists, I see this one topic come up a lot, especially among new bloggers and online business owners. I know online business is a numbers game, especially the ‘how big is your email list’ numbers game, but it’s really not about the numbers.
Because there WILL be days where you lose more email subscribers than have people sign up for your list. That’s a fact of life.
Look, I get it, it sucks when people don’t want what you’re offering, but over and over, I will see people talk about how they sent an email to their list and were absolutely gutted by the number of unsubscribes they saw. I’ve heard people say things like:
“I’m so miserable.”
“It feels like I’ve been stabbed in the gut.”
“It hurts so much.”
“What did I do wrong?”
First and foremost, I’m going to start this post off by saying that you need to get over it.
It doesn’t matter who it is that unsubscribes, family, a friend or some stranger you don’t even know, you cannot care about the people who unsubscribe from your email list.
You cannot afford to care about the people who unsubscribe from your email list.
P.S. The short version of this post is that unsubscribes don’t matter, and the you need to and focus on your actual audience. But if you want the tl;dr version of this post? Then check out Episode 67 of 10 Minutes Before Dinner: How To React When Someone Unsubscribes From Your Email List.
Why People Unsubscribe: It Doesn’t Matter, Because It Doesn’t Have Anything To Do With You
I’m going to list a bunch of reasons why people will unsubscribe from your email list, but I’m going to start things off by telling you the most important thing you need to keep in mind.
It doesn’t have anything to do with YOU.
Not a thing.
It’s about them, the subscriber.
And you have to know that you’re never going to know what’s going through their head when they get an email from you and instead of responding to your call to action, they hit unsubscribe.
But it has nothing to do with you.
You keep doing what you’re doing. As long as you are consistent, providing high-value content, and seeking out your ideal audience, you WILL find success, no matter how many people unsubscribe from your list.
Why People Unsubscribe: They Don’t Like Your Content
Now, this is NOT to say that your content is bad.
Not at all.
But sometimes your voice and the way you share your story and the story of your niche doesn’t match up with what they’re looking for.
Remember: you cannot be all things to all people. You just can’t.
And sometimes the people who find their way to your content don’t connect with it.
But you are looking to connect with the people who want to connect with you, and that means staying the course and staying true to the way you write, your voice, and the way you present your content to your audience.
Your audience won’t stop going if you keep your content consistent and full of value.
Why People Unsubscribe: They’re Never Going To Buy From You (And They Know That)
You will get unsubscribes every time you send a sales email.
One of the things you have to understand is that you are running a business, and running a business means selling your products or services to your audience.
And anyone who is on your email list who doesn’t like receiving sales emails does not understand what marketing is about.
You are building a business, exchanging a TON of value for money. And there is nothing that should stop you from providing paid content to an audience that is getting a ton more value for free.
So the people who are turned off by your sales emails? Don’t worry about them.
Whatever it is you’re selling, you’re selling because the majority of your audience wants what you have to provide them. They are here for you, whether the content is all the awesome free content you provide week in and week out on all your platforms, and they’re also here for you when it’s paid content.
Why People Unsubscribe: The Only Wanted Your Freebie
You ever get a notification of a new subscriber, and then you get really excited to check your numbers, but the numbers stay the same?
A lot of times, it’s because the people who have subscribed were ONLY doing so because they wanted their freebie.
While they may not know that the freebie is only a taste of what you have to offer doesn’t matter.
They just want that free piece of your content, and then they’re gone.
Don’t worry about it.
Why People Unsubscribe: They’re Not Ready For What You Have To Offer
Some people come onto your email list thinking that they want to pursue whatever it is that you have to teach them, but ultimately come to realize that they’re not ready for it.
And this could be that they need more education, or they’re not ready to spend money, or that it’s just not the right time in their lives.
Whatever answer it is that they’re telling themselves.
Seeing your emails, talking about all your amazing content, and what you have to offer them, might not be what they want to think about right now, and so they’re going to unsubscribe because they don’t want to see it anymore.
Unsubscribing can be a big mental health thing.
And for those people who unsubscribe for that, there’s always a chance that they’ll come back to you when they ARE ready.
Why People Unsubscribe: They’re Not A Real Subscriber
And try as your email service provider might (I use ConvertKit, and you can read about why I switched here), sometimes spam get through and ends up on your list.
But eventually, those spam emails do get caught by your ESP and get removed.
It may mean that your numbers drop, but there are a lot of types of user that you don’t want on your list, and spam subscribers are one of them.
The sister to the not-real subscribers are the subscribers who don’t enter their email in correctly when they’re trying to sign up for your freebie.
It’ll go through just fine, but as soon as you send an email to it, it’ll bounce and be removed from your list.
But that’s a good thing. That’s your email service provider cleaning up the dead weight for you.
Why People Unsubscribe: What To Focus On Instead
You want to know what you should focus on?
The people who are actually on your list.
Focus on the people who read and even respond to your emails, the people who engaged with your content, people who purchase your products.
Find out what those people want.
Engage with them.
Learn how you can serve those people.
Determine how you can help them.
The people who leave your email list don’t matter in the long run. They’re not going to help you build your business, promote your content for your, or do much more than take up space on your email list.
And don’t forget, you PAY for every single email address on your list, so you might as well focus on the people who are opening your emails and interacting with you. Those are the ones who are going to provide value to you and are going to allow you to take your business to newer, higher heights.
What To Focus On Instead: Your Open Rates
With the influx of emails people receive on a daily basis (I wake up to about 30-50 every morning during the week, and that doesn’t even count the ones that trickle in throughout the rest of the day), ensuring that you have a high open rate for your emails is critical.
You can have a list of hundreds and thousands, but if no one is opening your emails, then you’re not going to be able to spread your message, your value, as far as you want.
Now, you can’t control how many people open whichever email you send, but you can put yourself in a position to be as successful as possible.
The first is to use an email service provider with a high delivery rate. As I’ve mentioned, I use ConvertKit, and one of the reasons why is because their deliverability rate leads the industry. The last thing you want is your emails not even landing in your lists’ inboxes.
And with the number of emails people receive on a daily basis, it’s important to have a target of what is considered a good open rate. It’s lower than you think, around 15-25%. So, don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting your open rates any higher than that, but if they’re lower, you want to change up your strategy.
What To Focus On Instead: Your Subject Line
Want to know the easiest way to raise your open rates?
It has NOTHING to do with the content you include in the newsletter, or in whatever email you’re sending your list, and has EVERYTHING to do with your subject line.
Remember: that subject line is the first thing your audience sees when you send them an email.
Every single time, you want to make sure that the subject line is the best, most enticing part of your email, because that’s what is going to get people to open it and read what you actually have to say.
It may take some experimenting, sometimes you might try something new and it’ll result in a very low open rate, but that’s why you can try again.
With many email service providers, you have options to A/B test your subject lines, or you can send with one, and then resend with a brand new subject line to the people who don’t open. I don’t often resend to the people who don’t open my emails, but if it’s something important that I want my audience to see, then I probably will.
What do you do to foster engagement with your email list? Leave a comment and let me know!
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