Hit The Bricks! Why You Should Welcome Unsubscribes In Your Email Marketing

When it comes to our businesses, it’s easy to fall into the “more is better” line of thinking.

More customers. 

More sales.

More followers on social media.

More email subscribers.

More. More. More.

Now, granted, it’s pretty hard to make an argument against making more sales (although I’m going to bring up an exception below).

But there are absolutely times where more is not always better.

Here, we’re going to focus on your email list.

First off, let’s not make any misconceptions here: email marketing is extremely important for any entrepreneur or business. Every once in a while, some bullshit marketing “ace” will proclaim the death of email in the wake of social media. But more than likely, this genius is simply being loud about something because no one is paying attention to his dumb ass.

Email ain’t going anywhere. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the USA.

And when it comes to social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, what’s one of the first things they ask for when first signing up?

That’s right… your email address! If email was going the way of the dodo bird, you would almost expect trend-setting companies to say things like, “We don’t need your email address. That’s so 2002!” But this simply isn’t the case. Email marketing remains crucial, and you can find plenty of other stats to back this up. This isn’t our objective today.

This article is intended to discuss quality versus quantity when it comes to your email list. And why it’s completely reasonable – and even beneficial – to tell some of your subscribers to…

Get Off Of My Damn List!


So, if you have 10,000 people on your list, you’re kicking ass, right? It means that people are visiting your site or landing on your landing page. They’re opting in and everything is great.

Here, the ego can get the better of us. The next thing you know, you’re patting yourself on the back or getting into a list-measuring contest. (“Mine is bigger than yours!”

But what happens when you start seeing unsubscribes? Are you doing something wrong? Do your emails suck? Possibly. But there’s also of great chance that they’re doing you a favor by opting out. No one retains 100% of their subscribers. For whatever reason people are going to decide they don’t want you in their inbox anymore. To them you should say, “Great. Don’t let the digital door hit your ass on the way out.” 

How many subscribers you have on your list is what can be called a “vanity statistic.” It might look impressive, but what does it actually translate into? Are they engaging with the offers your sending? Are they replying to emails your write that they enjoyed or got value from? If not, they’re merely sitting dormant on your list, taking up space.

There will always be some people who opt into your list to get the feebie lead magnet you’re offering, and then they drop off the face of the earth. 

What you may not realize is that these inactive subscribers can have an adverse effect on your email deliverability. 

When you’re sending out emails, email service providers can see if many people are not opening them or engaging. This factors into what it “thinks” about your email. In other words, your chances of winding up in a spam folder are greater if you have a lot of dormant folks on your list, not doing jack squat.

This is what we’re referring to regarding quality over quantity. And it’s not just my personal opinion. Recently Hubspot told 250,000 of their subscribers to take a hike in order to clean up their email marketing strategy! 

So when people unsubscribe, more than likely they’re doing you a favor. Because if they don’t it’s a good idea to do a periodic “pruning” of your list to make sure those duds don’t do you any harm.

Speak Only To Who Wants To Listen

Ok, so there are a lot of conflicting theories about how often you should be emailing your list. Some marketers are proponents of daily emails. Some say once a week. There’s no right or wrong here. A lot depends on your market. But, for the most part, it just comes down to how interesting, relevant, or valuable your emails are.

If you’re bombarding your list with generic sales pitches twice a day, don’t misinterpret what unsubscribes mean in this scenario. It’s not a case of getting rid of the dead weight. This is more a case of you being an annoying marketer.

But if you’re sending out emails on a more frequent basis, packing them with some value, and showcasing a good product offer when it’s appropriate…then SCREW whoever doesn’t like it. You don’t need them. Even if you only have 100 people on your list. At least you know you’ve found those who resonate with what you’re saying. 

Toss The Pennies In A Fountain

There’s a saying:

“It’s better to have four shiny, new quarters than to have one hundred shitty, old pennies.”

Both of these equal a dollar. But the quarters are your true customers. The pennies are the ones that will sit dormant on your list or flag your emails as spam. They’re also the low-quality customers that ask for immediate refunds on purchases if you offer one. 

It may be a longer-term play but focus on acquiring the quarters. Let the pennies know they may be out of their league. Going after the low-hanging fruit can backfire on your once you realize that they are the ones who tend to be the pains in your ass.

Give Fair Warning

If you plan on emailing more often, it’s best to be completely transparent about it. On your opt-in box, let them know right off the bat that you plan on emailing them daily, or whatever the frequency might be. And don’t use small print to make them aware of this. Make it nice and visible.

Also, in the first email that you send. Let them know again. Tell them that there’s an unsubscribe button at the bottom of each email and that they shouldn’t hesitate to use it!

If you have a current list that you’ve only been emailing sporadically and want to up your frequency, send them an email letting them know what’s coming.

What you’re then left with are people that not only demonstrated initial interest by subscribing to your list, now they’ve also shown they have no qualms about hearing from you on a regular basis. It’s up to you to pack your emails with some value or entertaining content from there. Use your own unique tone of voice, whatever your style may be. Don’t hold anything back. Deliver your message in a way that speaks directly to them. There are plenty of well-known email marketers who send to their list every single day. But their emails contain funny shit or valuable content, so few of thier subscribers ever have an issue with it. 

Prevail With Email!

Don’t fall prey to stroking your ego over how big your list is. Through unsubscribes – or a periodic purge of the dormant – you’ll keep your list fresh and clean. 

Your email marketing can be like your own little radio show. If you have a knack for writing, then have at it! You’ll be building your brand while everyone else is sending out generic email templates and boring messaging. 

Email is way more personal than social media. So don’t take it personally when someone unsubscribes from your list. Take it as a compliment that you’re doing something right!

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