I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you want people to unsubscribe from your email marketing list! You may be reading this, thinking I’m crazy, and it’s okay. Most people do at first, but let me explain.
Those people who are no longer reading your emails, who are on your list but not paying attention, who are skewing your measurement and tracking figures, need to leave your list. Your content is, for one reason or another, no longer a good fit for them — and that is okay! It’s in their best interest to unsubscribe and reduce the number of emails they get. And, it is in your best interest because it will help you maintain a higher quality list.
There are two main reasons you want people to unsubscribe and leave your list:
1. Lazy Subscribers Just Hit Delete
A big email list doesn’t do you any good if subscribers ignore your emails!
Unfortunately, you’ll find that most people are lazy — and even though they no longer want to receive your emails or aren’t interested in your content, they are too lazy to scroll to the bottom of the message click unsubscribe. It just takes way too much effort and they don’t have time. Instead, they just delete it. One click and it’s gone.
This creates a scenarios called “list bloat.” List bloat occurs when you have a large pumped up list and a low open rate — i.e. your list is bloated with people who aren’t paying attention. This leads business owners into unrealistic email performance expectations.
You need to make it as easy as possible to stop subscribers from hitting delete week after week, month after month, and just unsubscribe! But how do you do that? Consider adding a second unsubscribe link to the very top of your email newsletter.
2. The “Save For Later” Folder of Death
Subscribers who just delete your email newsletter and solo blasts over and over are just one problem you have to deal with as an email marketer and list builder. The other main problem you have is the “Save for Later” folder.
I’m talking about the email archive folder and “rules” your subscribers have set up in their email client to automatically move your newsletters and emails — even those they double opted-in to — into a special “Read Later” folder — a folder they will get to later, when they have time.
The problem is that they will probably NEVER have time.
Instead, the folder will sit there, filling up with newsletters and content they want to read, and wish they had time to read. As the fills up, they begin to feel guilty for not reading the stuff in it, and as more time goes by, they start to feel bad about themselves and frustrated because they don’t have time. And that sucks. So eventually they just delete everything in the folder, and the cycle starts over again.
Here are some tips to avoid getting stuck in the “Read Later” folder:
- Include timely offers in your email newsletter that expire — that won’t be available if they wait until later
- Stick with an email newsletter publishing schedule you audience knows
- Give away free or done-for-you resources, templates, checklists, and/or scripts in every issue — creating desire to see what’s inside
- Consistently provide simple yet high-value content that will help them
- Write killer email subject lines that get subscribers to open the email
- Provide content that is only available in your ezine and no where else — they have to read it if they want it.
Remember: A smaller, quality email marketing list is better than a big, bloated list of people who aren’t paying attention.
What About You?
Do you have a “Read Later” folder of your own — if so, do you ever get to everything in it? Or do you use a separate email address for your email subscriptions that you rarely check? Do you just hit delete? Or do you get to everything and are awesome at managing your email? Have you experienced list bloat, or do you have ideas to avoid these scenarios?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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