Learning, Growing, and Sometimes Laughing with Unsubscribe Requests

mail_removeWhen someone unsubscribes from your mailing list some services allow you to display a message asking why they left the list, and you can receive those messages.

It’s an optional thing with AWeber, but I like to get the notices and I’m always interested to hear why people left so I know what I can do to improve in the future. It’s a good way to get feedback and make sure you’re making good connections with your audience.

Honestly, most of the time the notes people write are things like “just cleaning up my inbox, so much email” or “less time for email than I used to have.” We can all relate to that, I’m sure. I know I try to do a clean up once every few months and unsubscribe from things I’m not using or reading, too, so I get it.

Sometimes an unsubscribe can be eye-opening and help you learn something about your list and audience…

One time a person left five paragraphs about things covered in the newsletter that they did and didn’t like while they were subscribed. It was really specific and truthfully very helpful to me in terms of improving future newsletter issues. That person eventually resubscribed and I thanked them for their help with an Amazon gift card.

You can often learn more about your audience from email list unsubscribes than from other metrics.

Every now and then you get a quirky message and it just makes you smile or literally laugh out loud….

For example, one unsubscribe from a niche specific newsletter recently said:

I’m not interested in [insert name of niche subject].

Then why on earth did you subscribe to the very specific newsletter on a site about that subject? There wasn’t a freebie or anything given away in exchange for signup and it was a confirmed double-opt-in, so that one was a little baffling. Possibly they just don’t remember signing up or maybe a friend or family member signed up with their email address – surprisingly some people still share email addresses where the account is used by more than one person.

Sometimes you get unsubscribes that are sad…

I’ve had a number unsubscribes from my cross stitch email list over the last several years that were really sad.

A lovely young lady unsubscribed her gran’s email address after her gran passed away, in her note she asked what she should do with her gran’s needlework and craft supplies and included her own personal email address to contact her about finding a place to donate those items.

I’ve had quite a few unsubscribes for health reasons, people losing their vision, hand injuries, carpal tunnel, arthritis and other conditions that prevent them from doing hobby they enjoy.

People are going to leave your list now and then, it’s perfectly normal and expected with any list in any niche. They leave for all sorts of different reasons and you can learn from simply asking them why they’ve decided to go. That information can help you in all sorts of ways, like creating better future content, focusing in on a need or pain point, or just staying more informed about what’s going on in your niche.

What sort of unsubscribe notes have you received that were interesting, funny, confusing, or even emotional? Share in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing some of the things that others have heard and learned through the unsubscribe feature.

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About Loretta

Transcriptionist, passionate cross stitcher, writer at heart, wife, mom, and finder of lost shoes…

Loretta Oliver, married to the comic book geek of her dreams and mother of four amazing young men, has been working from home full time since 2001. With a busy transcription service business, a few niche sites, and a handful of other internet marketing projects on the go, the computer is always fired up and the ideas are always flowing.

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