Small business owners put a lot of effort into creating and growing their email lists because they know that each contact represents a potential customer whose lifetime value will add to the business’ bottom line and revenue growth.
So much goes into capturing these leads that it can be tempting to try to hold onto them if they decide to unsubscribe. That’s understandable because, when you’re new to email marketing, someone unsubscribing from your list can often feel like a personal rejection.
As the number of unsubscribes grows, you might even think you’re missing the mark completely. You may begin to ask yourself questions like, “Am I doing something wrong? Why are they getting upset? Why are they unsubscribing?” You may even be tempted to tone down your message.
But there’s no need to worry about unsubscribes at all.
The truth is, every day I send out an email, I probably get over 1,000 unsubscribes—over 1,000. Of course, I’m emailing well over half a million people every time I do it, so a thousand unsubscribes is just a tiny fraction of my list. In the big picture, it’s nothing to worry about.
In fact, not only do I not worry about unsubscribes—I kind of like them.
Let me explain.
If someone doesn’t like your message (or some aspect of your personality, or your offer, etc.), then you really don’t want them on your list in the first place.
You see, if they remain on your list, chances are that person will either mark your email as spam, which will negatively impact your deliverability, or they won’t open your email, which will reduce your open rate. You may even be paying to have that subscriber on your list, even though they’re not tuning in to your message. So, you’re better off removing them from your list and moving on.
Something else that factors into unsubscribes has more to do with your overall messaging. Think of it this way: your marketing spans from hot to cold. Let’s say right in the middle is lukewarm.
The worst thing to do in your marketing is to be lukewarm—because that’s just you trying to appeal to everyone. And when you try be all things to all people, your message will be weak and generic, and you definitely don’t want that.
Instead, you want to polarize your audience. You want to have your raving fans, but it’s also good to have some people who don’t really like your message. And that’s fine.
Think of Howard Stern, for example, the radio “shock jock” in the U.S. Howard Stern polarizes his audience. A lot of people really like him and a lot of people strongly dislike him. But he makes an absolute fortune regardless.
The same holds true for many influential celebrities—Oprah, Rosie O’Donnell, Justin Bieber—they all have strong fans, but they also have people who would rather not tune in to see them.
Now, I don’t actively polarize my audience with my own marketing too much. But I certainly have people who don’t like me, and those who are not fans of MOBE. That’s just part of launching your business on the internet and getting creative with your marketing.
I also have people who are very strong advocates of what I do. That’s why, whenever I see an unsubscribe, I don’t give it much thought. You shouldn’t either—and you definitely shouldn’t try to stop someone from unsubscribing, or mess around trying to woo them back.
A much better use of your time would be to focus on the big picture items, such as growing sales. Instead of trying to save one email contact, go and get another 20 or 50 email addresses.
Think in terms of abundance rather than focusing on the tiny details that really don’t matter much at the end of the day. You’ll be glad you did.