A few weeks ago, one of my clients contacted me after losing her first newsletter subscriber. She thought she had done something wrong and wanted some tips to get that subscriber back. “The content may have rubbed them the wrong way. Who knows?”
I checked out her newsletter, but didn’t notice anything strange. The usual friendly tone and usefulness of content were there.
The person had not given any reason for unsubscribing. And nobody else complained or unsubscribed either in the following days. Now that she knew she had done nothing wrong, my client stopped worrying about it.
Losing subscribers (especially the first ones) is likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth. But let me play the devil’s advocate here.
People leave mailing lists for different reasons. For example, they may:
- Consider the content irrelevant, repetitive, boring, or too salesy;
- Feel that you publish too often;
- Have forgotten they signed up; or
- Not have time to read all the emails they receive. They need to cut to the chase.
Last but not least, there are many freebie seekers out there.
In this day and age, people unsubscribe from mailing lists in the same way as they unfollow others on social media networks. If they don’t tell you why, I would advise against wasting time or energy trying to come up with an explanation. Only constructive feedback (and metrics) can help your newsletter.
All bloggers, marketers, and small business owners lose subscribers occasionally — myself included. It happens to major companies as well.
You will never be able to please everybody. But, as long as the members of your list continue opening your emails, clicking links, and interacting with you, there is nothing to worry about.
Stick to your guns and deliver the goods for those people. They are the ones who deserve your (undivided) attention.
Resources to improve your newsletter:
- 15 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes (Carly Stec, HubSpot)
- 10 Ways to Improve the Open Rates of Your Marketing Emails (Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur)
- 40 Tips for Dramatically Better Emails (Jimmy Daly, Vero)
- 15 Goals, Tips, Examples, and Lessons for E-Newsletter Perfection (Jodi Harris, Content Marketing Institute)