Why People Unsubscribe From Your Email List

Megaphone icon.
Image via Wikipedia

(I had several emails in my inbox recently from people who sent them without permission.  This seemed like a good time to revisit this post).

A few weeks ago, a famous internet marketer had a problem.  The subscribers to his newsletter were complaining.   He didn’t say so, but I’m guessing his open rates, clicks, and sales were going down, and his unsubscribe rates were rising.

Too many pitches

When I signed up for this newsletter, I expected a monthly newsletter,  with an occasional pitch or an ad for something.   I got the newsletter, with some excellent content.  I also got six or seven sales pitches (at random intervals on random days, it seemed).  And, I couldn’t tell which was which.  It got to the point where I saw his name and immediately hit the delete button.

A megaphone, not a conversation

He got  caught up in all his new products, and didn’t realize that he was overdoing the sales pitches. As Dave Navarro says, “Free, free, free, sell.”  Not everything can or should be free, but too much selling will send people to the exits.

Not relevant or personal

He was talking at people (caught up in his new products) rather than to them.  The email promising news for people over 50 went straight to the trash folder.

I’m also signed up for newsletters from Sonia Simone and Naomi Dunford.  Their emails are personal, unique, and sometimes make me laugh.  I feel I know them, and like them, even though we’ve never met.  Most importantly, I look forward to reading them.  I bet other people do too.

To his credit, our guru has changed his approach.  His newsletters now spell out exactly what to expect, how often, and take a softer tone.  He’s also offering more free material.

What do you think? How often do you send your newsletter?  What’s your mix of free and sales content?

Secrets of Successful Email Marketing

Email Icon

Email Icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A roundup of email marketing tips that tell you:

  • what you should know before you hit “send”
  • the best size for your email list
  • the truth about buying lists
  • what response rate to expect
  • a common email marketing mistake (and how to avoid it)

What Every Email Marketer Should Know Before Hitting “Send”

How Big Should Your Mailing List Be?

The Truth About Buying Email Lists

What Email Response Rate Will You Get?

Don’t Make This E-Newsletter Mistake

How to Avoid Email Marketing List Disasters

dont_touch_thisSomeone on LinkedIn wants to know the name of an opt-in target email list provider. It’s a very common question. Email is a great way to reach people all over the world. It’s low cost, it’s fast, and it’s easy to do.

However, there are a few things you must keep in mind before you go ahead.

Should you buy a list?

Buying a list is a waste of money. Anyone offering 100,000 names for $25 is selling you a case full of spam (and headaches).

You’re paying for names of people who most likely never asked to be included on that list. It’s been “scraped” from Web sites, taken from forums, or pulled out of directories. The people on those lists did not ask to be contacted, and they don’t want your messages.

When they get your message, one of two things will happen.

First, much of it will go in the junk folder.

Second, they’ll press the “spam” button, and you’ll be blacklisted. Your messages (even the legitimate ones) will never get through spam filters again.

Not good.

What about list rental?

This is a little better. There are legitimate companies that rent out email lists of nonprofits, magazines, trade groups, etc.

You get to use the list once and only once.

The drawback is that they’re very expensive (generally about $300 per thousand names for business lists), with a 5,000 name minimum. That’s a lot of money.

While it’s legal to contact people on these lists, they’re not anxiously awaiting your message.

Building your own list

The best way to get that list? Make your own.

This will, of course, take longer, but it will be worth it. Put a sign-up form (just ask for name and email address) on your web pages, and on your blog. Use a special report on a hot topic or a how-to guide as an incentive.

Add a forwarding call to action to the emails you already send out. Write newsletter content that’s helpful and informative. Team up with other companies with existing lists and help each other.