Love Your Unsubscribes


So a couple of weeks ago I was involved in a collaboration where one of my opt ins was shared out really widely on a huge email list. And the next day I did what everybody does, right. Opened up my convert kit, ready to see a multitude of new subscribers. But what I saw instead was a massive set of unsubscribes. And in that moment I had all of those feelings like. What did I say in my last email that was so offensive? Why don't they like me? Why don't they value my input? And that's a really natural human reaction to see people unsubscribing from our list and to feel that it's personal. We are hard wired not to get rejected because the person who got rejected became lion food Right. But once I took a breath I remembered something. The previous week I had done a massive clear out of cold subscribers. I had set it in motion. And obviously if you know anything about me, it's all super automated. There were email sequences and there was no response then there was an automatic unsubscribe on their behalf. I hadn't done it in a while so it was bigger than usual and it just so happened that the auto unsubscribes happened on the day of the collab. So here I'm expecting to see tons of new peeps and instead I’m staring at this big drop instead. But the lesson here is in my reaction to the drop. And this is something I have found myself talking about a lot recently – this reluctance in online business to really view unsubscribes in a positive light. And it's understandable how it happens because the minute we get into business, all you hear about is list, list, list, build your list, the money's in the list. It's all about your list, list, list, list, right? And so the size of our list becomes some kind of a measure of our success. a measure of how much money we could potentially make. And then we add the feelings of personal rejection and we fear the unsubscribe. So I really want to reframe that and get excited about unsubscribes like I normally am, except when I do a huge block all at once and forget about it. So, first of all, I want you to think about what goes through your mind when you unsubscribed from someone's list. For me, if I haven't been opening someone's emails, I'm usually unsubscribing because I'm just not interested in the topic. Right. Maybe I was when I signed up and I'm not now, I'm not thinking about the person necessarily behind the emails. I'm thinking more about like, Hey, I'm not reading this, it's filling up my inbox. I need to unsubscribe. You’re probably thinking something similar. However, when it's happening to us, we're putting the huge story about what’s going on in somebody else's mind that somehow we're not a good person, our email is not valuable and that's why they've unsubscribed. Like, no, they just don't need what we're giving them at the moment. I also want you to think about. Your list in terms of engagement rather than list size. Okay. It is much better for you to have a smaller, highly engaged list who will buy and then a huge unengaged list. If you have a list who won’t buy from you your launch estimates and revenue plans will be off and then you’ll be feeling even worse than a little unsub feels. The list size is if you are not actively encouraging people who are not a good fit for you to unsubscribe, you are paying into vanity metrics the same way your number of followers is a vanity metric on social media, much better for people to raise their hand and say, you are not for me and leave so that you can focus on the people who offer you so that when it comes down to asking for their money. Let's be clear if you have a bunch of people on your list who are not engaging, not clicking, not opening. If they are too lazy to even open your email, to hit unsubscribe, I promise you, they are too lazy to open your email to hit the buy button too. You do not want lazy email subscribers. You want email subscribers. You cannot wait to open your emails. Cannot wait to click a link that you put in there and can't wait to buy from you. So when somebody unsubscribes, rather than taking it personally, that they don't want to be in your audience, you should be thanking them, that they respect you enough to not waste your time.

It’s natural to feel a little rejected when someone unsubscribes from your list but what if that unsubscribe was actually a bonus?

Key Takeaway

You need to care more about your engagement metrics than just overall list size if you hope to sell to them one day.

In This Episode

  • Why unsubscribing feels personal
  • How to think about it differently
  • Why the alternative is worse

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