Although polite, it still stings and makes you question. Was it me? Did I say too much? Or not enough? What went wrong?
It’s the same feeling you can get one someone unsubscribes from your email list or stops following you on social media. You may begin to doubt what you’ve been doing or saying. Feelings of self-doubt creep up with phrases like “you shouldn’t be doing this” and “you’re a failure.”
I’m here to tell you, unsubscribes and unfollows are a GREAT thing. You should celebrate when they happen. Not in an “I don’t need you anyway” sort of celebration but knowing you’re finding your people.
Don’t Take Unsubscribes and Unfollows Personally
These actions almost have nothing to do with you personally. Even if you’re building a personal brand, don’t let it shake you. Why? Because they aren’t the people you’re trying to reach. It’s better to be yourself and let your brand be honest and true than try to please everyone because YOU WON’T. You’ll waste time and money trying to do so. Find your people.
Better For Your Reputation with ESPs and Algorithms
Yes, an unsubscribe or follow might take give you a little speed bump, but it will actually work in your favor. For easy math (because copywriters do words not numbers) let’s say you have 100 subscribers. 58 of them or 58% open all your emails. That means 42% don’t. Now let’s say you lose 5 subscribers, non-of-which were those who open your emails. That means 58 of your now 95 followers are opening emails, upping your open rate to 61%, an increase of 3%. See what I mean? The higher percentage of your open rate (or activity of likes, comments, and shares) the better Email Service Providers (ESPs=Gmail, MCHSI, etc) will give you placement in an inbox. Think of it like a bouncer at a club - the higher your name is on the list, the quicker and better access you’ll have.
The Big “BUUUTTT”
No, not JLo. What I mean is, the only time unsubscribes and unfollows will hurt you is when they come in large numbers and all the time. If your numbers are on a steady decline, it might be time to reevaluate what you’re sending and posting. It’s better to not send or post than to continue to hurt your credibility. SIDENOTE: this is easier to do with email because you won’t get dinged by ESPs if you DON’T send (unlike social media). Some of your subscribers MIGHT notice, but those are just your superfans and it could be an opportunity to reward them for that status with a small gesture or freebie.
One last thing: update your list of subscribers and followers on a regular basis (think quarterly or annually). Send out an email to those who don’t open and see if they still want to be on your list. Some people change jobs which means their email is no longer valid or gives them a chance to decide if they still want to receive your emails. Like direct sales taught me - go for the no! You’ll always end up with more “yes” than you expect.
In short, it’s ok to let people walk away. They either don’t line up or they aren’t there YET. Keep putting insightful, helpful, and branded (aka personality) content, and you’ll see success. Marketing takes time, but it’s worth building your audience with quality fans!
**Need help keeping up with regular emails and even keeping your subscriber list clean? Let’s chat!**
Thoughts from Me
Tips, advice, and more from my experience as a copywriter, marketer, and small business owner.