Why Do People Unsubscribe From Your List

I’ve never really liked lists that much, in fact I have disliked them with a passion the reason being that almost every list I have ever joined did nothing but try to coerce me into buying a product that is supposed to make all my dreams come true. There is an old saying, ‘once bitten twice shy’ so you’ll only ever suck me in once. That being the case I have shied away from lists and had even vowed never to start one of my own.

I then wrote a post telling everyone why I, the person who has been shouting to the blogosphere how much he hates lists, decided to start one of his own. Since then my list hasn’t gown all that much, it now sits at a huge 35. It would have been 42 but I have had 7 people unsubscribe, which brings me to this post, why did they unsubscribe? As far as I know I haven’t done anything untoward to upset anyone. I know I sure as hell haven’t pushed any affiliate links down anyones throat. I only send out emails to notify my subscribers of when I’ve published a new post which is what I said I would do. I even show them some love by listing them on the My List page which for many is a one way link and you know how much Google loves them.

The thing is that even though the feature is there no-one has taken the time to give me some feedback as to why they unsubscribed and without that information I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Heck, I may not be doing anything wrong at all, it may be that they just decided they didn’t like my style of blogging anymore and I can understand that. People change and people move on, I get it.

Anyway, here is a copy of my last email;

Google+ Is In Town

G’day << Test First Name >>

Welcome to a new weekend and a new post. I am pretty excited about this one as I’ve just been introduced to Google+! That being the case my post is about my first impression of Google+.

If you haven’t had an invite yet email me with the email you want me to use to invite you and I’ll get right on it.

Thanks again for subscribing.

Until next time, look after yourself.

Peter

That’s pretty well what my emails are like. I keep them short and sweet because I know how busy everyone is and besides, the reason why people subscribed in the first place was so they could be notified every time I published a new post. Or at least that is what I thought?

So my loyal readers, I ask you, what possible reasons can people have for unsubscribing to my list? No poll for this post as I think that would be too limiting, just your opinion will do. :thumbup_tb:

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 64 Comments

  1. Hey Sire,

    People unsubscribing from your list? Gee I don’t know about this one but to be honest I even think I’d like to receive more frequent updates!

    I know that daily emails are a pain in the butt to maintain but in all honesty when emails are flooded with amazing content or even pointing to valuable content on the internet, I really don’t mind being bombarded at all.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the other readers think about it!

    Keep it real Sire, will be back to check out the response ;)

  2. Hi Sire

    Is it possible to set up a multi choice form on the un-subscribe page, so one has to be selected to be able to un-subscribe. If you are going to loose the reader anyway, may be worth forcing them to let you know why.
    khaled recently posted…What Are Rhinestones?My Profile

    1. Hi Khaled, there actually is a multi-choice selection with a section that allows them to put their own reason down if it’s not covered by the multi-choice selection. It’s up to them if they respond.
      Sire recently posted…How Much Do You Really Want To Cheese Off Your ReadersMy Profile

      1. I sometimes subscribe only to find that I get useless updates and then unsubscribe ASAP.

        I guess it depends solely on each user individually. Even if you give them an option to state why they are unsubscribing, not all will take the time to enter their reasons.

        1. Hey George, that’s why I let people know exactly what to expect in my welcome email. I promised I wouldn’t spam them and I intend to keep that promise.

  3. I can not provide any insight, Sire, as I’m not on the list of those who unsubscribed. I don’t find anything off-putting about your e-mails at all. I *have* unsubscribed from several other lists I had joined because they were always trying to cram something down my throat. I also unsubscribed from another couple of lists because the influx of e-mail was getting tough to keep up with and I switched those folks over to RSS. But my favorites stay as e-mail subscriptions.

    I ahve lost a couple of folks from my list as well, one said she was happy with my work, just switching to RSS, the other left no comment, and was a new subscriber, so I’m assuming my work did not meet her expectations.

    Hang in there, Sire, peoples is jes fickle things.

    1. Hey Allan, thanks for sticking with me mate and its great knowing that I have at least one happy subscriber :thumbup_tb:

      Don’t worry about me, it’s not like I’m letting it get to me or anything, I’m just trying to work out why so that I can improve the way I do things.
      Sire recently posted…How Good Is The FlexSqueeze Theme, Really?My Profile

  4. There are lots of reasons actually why people just drop or unsubscribe from you. Maybe for some personal reasons and sometimes they just quit or the have lost their interest from you. So, in order to avoid this, you must always update your page and make it interesting.

      1. Sure! Why not? I’d be glad to help you hypnotize them! lol :tongue_laugh_ee:

  5. Don’t feel bad. We all get these. It’s just part of the business. It’s nothing personal.

    You just have to give people free stuff that actually works and then pitch to them every once in a blue moon.

    Just keep adding subscribers.

    Mark

  6. You never really answered the question. You only left off with a question in my head! Thats not fair because I was actually reading your stuff to get the answer.

  7. If users unsubscribe, then you may write too often and they may be bothered, or too little and they may be bored or you may write content that they are not interested in.

    1. I only write to notify them when I publish a post and that’s only 2-3 times a week so I don’t think that is the problem. Perhaps they’ve just decided they don’t like what I am writing?
      Sire recently posted…How Should You Treat Your Affiliates?My Profile

  8. I have to say, the reasons I unsubscribe from lists is generally because they send me stuff way too much. For example, Rite Aid was sending me an email a day, sometimes twice a day. I do NOT need that! Also, some overzealous internet marketers promoting everything but the kitchen sink.

    1. Thanks John, that would make me unsubscribe as well, which is why I made sure I don’t put my subscribers through that.
      Sire recently posted…Las Vegas More Than Just CasinosMy Profile

  9. well, i think there are a few major reasons for which people unsubscribe:

    1) they subscribed only to get a freebie and after that they unsubscribe – you can’t fight this…

    2) you write too many advertorials – this happened to me once

    3) they don’t like your content anymore

    4) too many emails – this is the major reason for which I unsubscribe from most blogs… I get too many emails from them and I don’t really want this.. I want to read only the interesting articles…

      1. hm… I wouldn’t say that.. look at your latest posts, they have 30, 50, 60 and 72 comments.. this means users still read your articles and enjoy them in order to comment (of course, some of them do it for the backlinks, but still..)… anyway, I think you can check the mail opening rate and the click rate in the emails, although I see you use mailchimp and I’ve heard that aweber is better at analytics tracking… anyway, don’t worry, because the ones that remain subscribed are the most valuable customers (in this case readers) and they are the ones that count ;)

        1. Actually MailChimps analytics is very good Iulian, I am very happy with them.

          I will take your advice though, I’m not going to worry about the ones that have gone, I’ll just concentrate on doing what I always do and hope it’s enough to keep everyone happy.

  10. Hi Peter
    No idea why people unsubscribe – I always enjoy visiting and your notifications are pretty low key.

    35 / 42 on your list?
    Thanks for sharing that, gives us all an idea where we sit with our subscribers.
    At the moment I’m on 34 / 35 or thereabouts.

    I’ll go with that John.
    Or if the posts are too long or just not interesting.

    Cheers Peter
    Keith Davis recently posted…The Coolest Voice on the InternetMy Profile

    1. Hey Keith, you’re doing pretty well mate and that doesn’t surprise me at all.

      I try to keep the emails low key and as they are only meant as a notification of when I’ve written a new post I figure a simple introduction would suffice.
      Sire recently posted…What You Need To Do To Make Your Blog A SuccessMy Profile

  11. It does make you feel bad indeed if people unsubscribe to your list when you are not doing anything to but people move on or they may have just lost interest. Take for example, on Twitter, I had few people follow me and then I followed them back but when I stopped tweeting, they disappeared. I think it is just a fact of life. Even people who leave comments on blogs feel bad when their comments are not published, they feel like, “Hey this person will benefit somehow but why are they so snooty?” Just saying …
    donna young recently posted…Banks Relaxing Credit Card Issuing StandardsMy Profile

    1. I don’t feel bad Donna, I’m a big boy :winkle: I am curious though. As a successful businessman I like to know why things happen as this is the only way I can change things to make sure they don’t happen as often.
      Sire recently posted…What Is The Best Comment System For WordPress BlogsMy Profile

  12. Is it possible that people are unsubscribing from the email list because they are already subscribed to the RSS feeds with a reader of some sort?

    You might want to try adding something special for subscribers only. For instance, if you wrote a post on Top 10 Ways to Keep People from Unsubscribing from Your List you might include a tip for subscribers only in your email list.

    That can also be a way of generating new subscribers. At the end of your post say something like, “Subscribe to my email list for the super secret tip!”

    1. Good tip Danielle, I’ll keep that in mind for future emails. Naturally I’ll only include something that is of special value and not just for the sake of buttering up my subscribers.

  13. Many people usually hit the unsubscribe link as soon as they receive their free gift. Because in this industry we receive tons of promotional emails each day, people have developed an immunity against that. They subscribe, download their free gift or whatever (if they are really interested in it) and they unsubscribe instantly. So if you see that people unsubscribe as soon as they receive their free gift, then that’s not a problem.

    On the other hand, if people unsubscribe after a while, then there must be a problem whether in your email or in your blog post. If you want to make sure of where the problem resides, you need to see your open rates as well as your click through rates to make sure your emails are open and read in the first place.

    To be honest with you, your posts are really great and of high quality (there is no reason that makes a person doesn’t want to read your posts). I think that the problem is in the email itself.

    The email headline isn’t catchy enough (the only reason people want to open emails is that when they think it will help them solve a problem). Your email is kind of news and doesn’t show the reader what he or she is going to benefit from this Google +1 (people usually don’t open news emails).

    Email lists are all about testing. What i can advise you is to set up a series of 5 emails, each one with a different writing method and format (promotional, in a form of a list, a story telling…etc). The one that gets the lowest amount of unsubscribers is the one you should be focusing on and developing. What has been really working for me as well as for every person i know are lists (5 tips to reduce procrastination and increase productivity…etc).

    This is what came to my mind right now. I believe that lists are all about split testing. You should test and test until you find your sweet spot. Good luck

    1. Hi Edgar, thanks for a great comment, and I would follow some of your ideas if my list was aimed at selling them something or other. As it isn’t I’m not sure if those ideas would really apply.

      Your Title suggestion though is a really good one. I will try to make the title more interesting so that it will encourage them to open the email and then to click on the link to my post. At the moment I’m getting about a 34% open rate with a 21% click through rate so an interesting title should improve those results.

  14. I often unsubscribe to a list when I always receive emails more than once a day. It’s too bothersome to delete something every time I check my inbox. Email or blog updates should be done like once or twice a week.

    1. That definitely wasn’t it then Mel

  15. I’m thinkin’ you answered your own question. If all you send is post updates, perhaps they already subscribe to your RSS feed, in which case it is simply duplicate email…come to think of it, I think I unsubscribed from it for this reason.

    1. Well Dennis, they knew that when they signed up so they knew what they were getting into.

      1. I don’t recall reading anything to that effect..

        1. You probably skipped that bit, it happens, but I did say

          I only send out emails to notify my subscribers of when I’ve published a new post which is what I said I would do

          This is what my signup form says;

          Welcome To Sire Of WassupBlog’s List. The only list where you will never be spammed. I hope that you will enjoy being part of my community. Please let me know if I can ever be of any help or if there’s ever anything I can do to improve my mail outs.

          As a member you will receive an email to notify you when I’ve posted a new article. As a member you will also be included in a page or post listing all members with a link to their site. If you do not want to be included all you need do is let me know by email

          Sire recently posted…Another Avenue For Making Money With Your BlogMy Profile

          1. `Ah, I must not have payed much attention. I know I woulda had something to say about, “The only list where you will never be spammed.” ;-)

            1. You wouldn’t know about that Dennis because you haven’t subscribed yet :wink_ee:

            2. I was subscribed. As I stated earlier it was simply a duplicate of subscribing to the blog itself…one had to go.

              And I do know, no list of mine will spam others either. ;-)

  16. I’ve been unsubscribing from just about everything recently. Especially blog posts to my email – I organized my Google Reader with all of the blogs I want to read (yours included) and therefore don’t need the email and the update in Google Reader.

    My goal has been to trim my email down as much as possible – I had hundreds of emails in my inbox with around 50+ incoming daily and it was getting to be a mess. While cleaning through I found emails from 2010 that I hadn’t answered because they got lost in the shuffle. Without the subscriptions, I now know that when I get an email it’s directly from someone to me, which is nice. That or it’s spam which is unfortunately still happening.

    So it was nothing that anyone did in their last newsletter that made it happen. I just felt bad for possibly making someone spend more on their newsletter than need be when I was only filtering them anyway.
    Kristi Hines recently posted…Why I Am Attending Blog World Expo 2011 Plus a 20% Off Discount CodeMy Profile

    1. I have to be honest with you Kristi, you were the straw that broke the camel’s back :wink_ee: I have a lot of respect for you and your prowess as a blogger and I just wanted to be sure that it wasn’t because of something that I did.

      Thanks for taking the time to clear that up Kristi, although I wasn’t as upset as some people are imagining me to be, it certainly has put me more at ease.

      1. I’m sorry. :( I’m just trying to get all of my stuff as organized and minimalized as possible. I’ve had your blog in my RSS reader for a long, long time, so I knew I wouldn’t miss out on your latest posts. :)

        It’s not just blogs either – general newsletters, shopping sites, alerts from social sites, etc. – as soon as they come in, I find a way to reduce them. It’s made a world of difference in not feeling overwhelmed by my email anymore so now I can feel good about getting my emails answered and organized properly. :)
        Kristi Hines recently posted…Why I Am Attending Blog World Expo 2011 Plus a 20% Off Discount CodeMy Profile

        1. Don’t be sorry Kristi, I understand why you unsubscribed and I’m totally relieved that it wasn’t because of something that I did. :drunk_tb:

          I admit getting a lot of emails can be quite tiresome and I can understand your need to trim the fat. You keep smiling and do whatever you have to do to make your life easier. A less stressful blogger is a happy blogger. :thumbup_tb:
          Sire recently posted…Another Avenue For Making Money With Your BlogMy Profile

  17. When I first started building a list I used to worry a lot about those people who never actually bothered to complete the double opt-in process and those who joined my list and then unsubscribed.

    Now I don’t let the first group concern me at all and I try not to think too much about the latter.

    In your particular case I cannot say why people unsubscribe because, for my part, I would like to hear more often from you and I would be happy for you to recommend things to me from time to time.

    Why?

    Well there are two main reasons. Firstly I heard about this blog from another blogger whom I trust very much and both the content of this blog and my own dealings with you confirm that you are the sort of person whose list I want to be on.

    I heard the whole question of people joining and leaving lists explained very well a few weeks ago. The process was likened to the way we make friends in the real world. New people come into our lives all the time, some stay mere moments, some become friends for a time and then drift away, others remain friends for longer and then drift away and others still stay with us for life.

    I don’t worry if a few people trickle away from my list from time to time – but if the trickle were to turn into a flood then I would worry because then there would be a serious issue to address.

    Rather I care about the people who stay with me, and those who join, stay with me and interact with me on a regular basis, well I care about them the most.

    I too rarely get feedback when someone leaves my list but I remember the last three people who left my lists and did leave a comment.

    The reasons given were:
    (i) blog subscriber – I didn’t approve his comment fast enough so he quit in disgust telling me my blog was not good enough for him.
    I used to moderate the first comment of a new subscriber to reduce spam. Now I allow all comments, accept some spam will get through, and delete it as appropriate.

    (ii) blog subscriber – I am on too many lists.
    This didn’t really tell me too much but I was still grateful that the subscriber bothered to tell me even that much.

    (iii) subscriber to a general markering list – I tried to sell them something.
    This made me laugh. Look I am a marketer so from time to time I will make an offer here and there to members of my list.

    In conclusion. Keep doing what you are doing. I have no plans to leave your list. I am happy be be on it and I look forward to hearing what you have to say to me.

    Patrick.

    1. Hi Patrick, I love having you on my list, as I do all my subscribers. I don’t find it necessary to promote things to you guys specifically as I do all that on my blog anyway. As subscribers you get a personal notification when a post goes live and hopefully some of my Aussie personality comes through in the email.

      I do try to include interesting links to other blogs as I come across them. I would love to give out freebies and I will if I ever come across any that has some value.

      Perhaps if I did receive some sort of feedback Patrick I would not have written this post but then I think we all would be the poorer for that as I’m getting some very interesting feedback from you guys. :thumbup_tb:


  18. Twitter:
    As you know Sire, I wrote a post based on this one responding to the question in multiple ways. Overall I think it’s good to know the reasons people might unsubscribe from one’s missives, but I don’t think it does anyone any good to know from someone specifically why they unsubscribed many times.

    The way I see it, there’s almost nothing positive one can take from something like that. I mean, if your writing is poor that might help you get better, but otherwise what would any of us really change unless we lost all of our subscribers?
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Why People Unsubscribe From Your Lists – The AnswersMy Profile

    1. I think you can’t really know Mitch unless they’re willing to share their reason with you.

      If they just got bored and moved on then at least you know their is nothing you can do. If like Kristi they were just trimming the excess fat then you know it’s nothing you did wrong.

      If on the other had it was because you were pushing one too many affiliates, you didn’t make your content interesting enough, your emails were too long and not getting to the point or some other legitimate reason then perhaps you could make changes so as not to lose any other subscribers.
      Sire recently posted…Another Avenue For Making Money With Your BlogMy Profile


      1. Twitter:
        But would you change your entire newsletter for one person? That’s the issue; if you have mass defections then maybe it’s something to look at, but one person here and there doesn’t rock anyone’s world, and if you’re effective you’re adding new people all the time anyway.

        I mean, think about it based on what you said. If one person said your content wasn’t interesting what are you going to change? If they said your emails were too long well what does that really mean? To some people more than 300 words is too long. Pushing too many affiliates might mean all of them, even if you had just one.

        Now, if you wrote something that someone found offensive, they’d probably tell you. But even if they did, the newsletter is already out there and you can’t take it back. Since you know how you blog would you change it later on? We both know you wouldn’t because you’ve had a couple of ladies complain about the ads with the women in them on this blog and you’ve pretty much said it’s your blog (not those exact words). So, you wouldn’t change a thing. If you’re not going to change your blog, why would you change your newsletter?

        And, if you’re not going to change anything because you don’t know what or how to change, why ask? :dunce_tb: :ponder_tb:
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Are Your Views On Money Holding You Back?My Profile

        1. I wouldn’t change if for one Mitch but overall I’ve had almost 20% unsubscribe from my list. If I knew a majority of those did so for the same reason then I would seriously look at the way I structured my emails.

  19. Doesn’t sound like it’s really the result of you doing anything wrong… Maybe it is just that they had lost interest or like you saud, they’ve stopped appreciating your blog style. You can’t please everyone

    1. You’re so right Will, you can’t please everyone. All you can do is the best you can and as long as you do that I think that is all that matters.

  20. If I get unsubscribes, it is usually nothing personal, but just a case of information overload and an inability to keep up with emails. My emails follow more or less the same ‘recipe’ as yours. Folks simply don’t have the time to wade through long emails to get to the good stuff. Short and to the point – that’t the way to go.


  21. Twitter:
    Hi Sire, I am actually on your list and I have to say yours is rather refreshing :lol_wp:

    I actually have a decent size list I like seeing people unsubscribe because it tells me that I am left with quality people.

    I wondered why people joined my list and then unsubscribe for no reason. I have even done surveys in the past to see what those folks really want.

    Personally I believe you need to share valuable content regularly. for every 5 content packed emails you send you should send 1 money making email. OR something to that effect.

    Sending constant promotions gets old, but building a list and not trying to earn from it doesn’t make sense to me.

    My goal as a email marketer is to provide useful information in a entertaining and personal way that ultimately earns me a commission somewhere. I am always driven by integrity.

    If not I have to get a j.o.b and I don’t want one of those..

    My policy is do unto others as I would have done to me..

    I am pretty sure everyone that opts into something of mine knows that I am going market to them.

    on a side note..

    I also have a list in the martial arts niche.. For the record I haven’t marketed anything to them ever. I have been building that list for a year. I do however provide great content for free regularly.. Consequently Out over 500 people only 2 of them unsubscribed.

    I suspect the more specialized the list you are building is the less likely you will get people who unsubscribe.

    Honestly Sire, in my humble opinion I think maybe some people expect you to sell more stuff than you do. I think there are tons of people that read your stuff and go OMG!!!

    HOW THE HELL DOES HE GET THAT MANY COMMENTS!!!

    I bet if you wrote a pdf and talked about your blogging
    methodology and also gave it away as an incentive to be
    on your list, you would dramatically increase your opt – ins.

    If someone unsubscribes from your list they obviously don’t understand the value you bring to them. Shame on them.
    Larry Rivera recently posted…Joel Therien 7 Minute Workout Full unadulterated ReviewMy Profile

    1. Hey Larry, it’s nice to know that you are one of my subscribers that appreciates being a list member.

      I’m sure that your list is one of the few that does provide content and that is important if you want to be an email marketer. I on the other hand am not one and my only reason for having a list is to give people another way of getting notification of when I write a post other than it popping up on their RSS reader. I hoped that people such as yourself appreciated the personal touch of getting a note straight from the author himself.

      As far as marketing goes, if I have a product that I believe in I’ll write about it here where not only my list members can read about it but the rest of my readers as well.

      Thanks Larry for being a loyal subscriber.


  22. Twitter:
    I loose people from my list just like every other list builder. While I believe, in most cases, people unsubscribe because of low quality stuff or so many emails from the list builder or push to buy every new tool or ebook, in some cases, its not because of what you do, its simply a decision by the person to pull out.

    I mean, think about it, even the top marketers loose subscribers, despite providing great content and tools and not spamming their list. So, its not because of your short comings, its just…! Well, I dont understand it either, lol!
    Satrap recently posted…Affiliate Marketing for Beginners- Make Money in 10 StepsMy Profile

    1. Your right Satrap, if there isn’t much I can do about it then theres not much reason to worry about it. I should spend my time more wisely, like for creating good content.
      Sire recently posted…How To Moderate Your CommentsMy Profile

  23. There are three reasons for me to unsubscribe:

    1. I don’t like you anymore
    2. You send way too much emails
    3. I forgot about you!

    Sometimes I get this cute little mail like you posted here, and I simply cannot remember who this is. My next thought is – well, if don’t know them, I don’t need them. Perhaps you need to be a little bit more pushy.

    1. Either you have a short memory or they don’t send out too many emails Ana :wink_ee:

      1. Well, that is exactly what my point is. Some of them just don’t send enough. :D

  24. There are many reasons people unsubscribe. Here are two of them:

    – They receive a lot of e-mail and they are overwhelmed. When people subscribe to many newsletters, they receive many e-mail messages every day. They feel overwhelmed with all that e-mail. To manage this, they decide to unsubscribe from many e-mail lists, so that they can receive fewer e-mail messages.

    – The information in the newsletter is not a good fit for them. There are many reasons for this. Maybe these people are not in your target market. Maybe their circumstances have changed, and they are not interested in the subject of your newsletter anymore.

    There are many reasons for people to unsubscribe from your newsletter, but the key to remember is that your newsletter is not going to be a good fit for everyone in your target market. As a matter of fact, you don’t want it to be a good fit for everyone. Instead, you want your newsletter to resonate with people you are writing it for: your perfect customers.

    There will always be people who unsubscribe from your newsletter. This is because not everyone is your ideal customer and your message is not going to resonate with everyone. This is exactly what you want to happen. Your newsletter subscribers should self-select so that you are communicating with the people who really want to hear from you.

    Stop wondering why people unsubscribe and spend the time on attracting targeted subscribers to your newsletter instead. These are the people with whom your message resonates and the people who want to hear from you.

    1. Hey James, thanks for laying it all down for me :lol_ee:

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