When Somone Unsubscribes From Your List

fired-up_webI was very sad today because someone unsubscribed from my list. It wasn’t so much that she had “gone”, but I felt that I had let her down by not providing what she wanted from me.

The comment she left me was: “This takes too much time and money and isn’t for beginners”.

My first instinct (which I actually did) was to email her to apologize for not meeting her needs, and I attached some completely free training that I’d already got lined up as my next newsletter. I was quite dejected.

Then I changed my thinking.

  • I had produced a survey for my readers asking: “How Can I Help You?” By process of elimination I am fairly certain she hadn’t filled it in to ask for what she wanted.
  • If she has learned, by reading my posts, that she doesn’t have a big enough desire to commit herself to building an online business, I’ve probably done her a huge favor by saving her time and money. So long as she doesn’t follow the “bright shiny object” trail….
  • Everyone was a beginner at some time. I don’t think any one of us started out online infused with a free drip-feed of Internet Marketing knowledge. We learned it the hard way, bit by bit!

A classic example of this is the image posted here in this blog. Whether you think it’s “neat” or LogoCreator_120x240completely amateurish, I’m actually proud of it – because it represents a huge advance in my online skills. I produced it using Logo Creator, a piece of software that I bought a few months ago – at the stage when I couldn’t even produce anything with Paint!

I spent a few dollars, and over the last few month some hours working with the software and learning, so each time it got just a little easier. Then today I went into the software and suddenly realized that I had created the “Fired Up” logo (which I used in a broadcast to my list about “Learning as we go along”) in just ten minutes.

To some here that will be no big deal. But it’s a big deal for me, and shows just how much progress I’ve made in that one weak area of mine as a result of spending a little money and a little time.

But back to my dilemma of the lady who left my list, and what I could have done better.

The people who DID fill in my survey ranged from Complete Beginner to Advanced. So i’m learning that it’s actually quite tough to meet everyone’s needs. I’d be really interested in comments from people more experienced than I am as to how you pitch the level of your newsletters. Please comment at the bottom of this post.

Incidentally, most of my blog posts are happening elsewhere these days so I’d really welcome anyone to join my newsletter, which normally comes out about 3 times a week. You can subscribe free here.


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22 Responses so far.

  1. Jason Power


    Thanks for sharing your experience with this, the thought of someone unsubscribing can really ruin a blogger or website owners confidence. The thing that should really be realized is that the value you offer may not be for everyone and make everyone happy. Asking for feedback is a great way to meet the value that is needed.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Jason Power recently posted…Why Ignoring Market Changes Could Put you out of BusinessMy Profile

  2. I use to be bothered when people unsubscribed from my list, but now I don’t give it much thought. Not that I don’t care, it’s just that I can’t do anything about it, so why beat myself up?

    Also, if some one want’s off my list, I don’t want them on my list. For what ever reason they want off, and it’s often nothing you’ve done, or haven’t done. They could have had a bad day. They could be in information overload, which is most likely from what it sounds. It could have been a day that it was “all just too much”. We’ve all been there.

    I would rather have people that want to be on my list, those are the ones that will be more prone to purchase if I promote something.

    Well, just my thoughts. You shouldn’t take it so hard. :)
    Ron Killian recently posted…3 Quick and Easy Pinterest Traffic HacksMy Profile

  3. Jan Kearney

    I really need to get back in the habit of mailing my list…

    I don’t pay much attention if people unsubscribe, really for the same reasons as Ron. If people don’t want to hear from me that’s fine – what I do and how I communicate (or not at the moment!) isn’t for everyone anyway.
    Jan Kearney recently posted…Facebook Local Business Pages Now With Prominent Star RatingsMy Profile

  4. When I first started mailing to my list I would be devastated if someone unsubscribed. Like you I would feel like I let them down and somehow it was my fault. Over the past year I have learned that if they don’t want to be on my list that it is ok! I am learning to speak directly to the ones that want the information, knowledge that I can provide them in a way that they will benefit from. Thanks for sharing your story and experience Joy! Always really great to hear from others what they experience and how it impacts them. Best Regards, Wendy PS- Liked your image! :)
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted…Is Alcohol Gluten Free For The Holidays?My Profile

  5. Guy Martin

    Hi Joy,

    It appears you’ve gone out of your way to address this person’s concern.

    I think you’re beating yourself up a little too much on this undeserving subscriber.

    It’s a given that no one can please everyone so just do your best and let the chips fall where thy will.

    Thanks for the post.

    Guy Martin recently posted…Blueprint Of A Sales FunnelMy Profile

  6. Una

    Great learning Joy! :-)

    While I’m a great believer that “Business IS Personal” (as in be authentic, be real, connect with people, etc) that doesn’t mean to take things personally…

    Well done.
    Una recently posted…Could Client Attracting Videos be the right Business Development Strategy for You?My Profile

  7. Siraj Wahid

    Hey Joy,

    I’m not much into the mailing list, i know that getting rid of inactive people from your list is a good feeling but if someone active from the list unsubscribes it’s the worst feeling. Just try focus on the aspects which led her towards unsubscribing from your newsletter.

    Have a good weekend :)

    Siraj Wahid recently posted…How Blog Commenting Makes You an Exceptional BloggerMy Profile

  8. Sarah

    Hi Joy

    hmmm…well here I am having just done a clean up of my inbox, wondering how many people I have upset by unsubscribing..then I thought, hang on! Like you, I am a relative newbie to IM but also like you, I work damn hard to figure out the stuff I don’t know.
    I unsubscribe when I am in overload mode..when I realise I have taken on too many ideas at once..and often when people are spammy!

    I know your stuff..you are not spammy, you are helpful..BUT..you cannot please all of the people all of the time. We all learn at different rates (trust me I’m a teacher..I KNOW this)..and we all need different things at different times. We are all beginners in different things..that, for example is why we seek out those who are on the next level..e.g the challenges we do with Sue, the blog posts we share to be helpful..you don’t need someone on your list who wants you to hand them a magic key, because there isn’t one!

    Done properly, Internet marketing brings you into a community, where people share, are helpful and move forward together. Occasionally, you pay money for good stuff, sometimes you get sucked into Shiny Object Syndrome, go OUCH..and warn others!

    But, making money online..is a learning journey and for some that is just too hard..because it requires WORK..and they believe the nonsense spouted by Get Rich con artists.

    You just keep doing what you are doing, honestly and with integrity and that unsubscribe will be outweighed by the new subscribers (like me)

    Sarah :)
    Sarah recently posted…Welcome to Savvy PublishingMy Profile

  9. Samson Ogola

    I must say you have touched on an issue that I have been the source of my discouragement. I have seen people joining my blog only to unsubscribe some without even a reason. The ones that appear frustrating most is the Twitter and Google+ Unfollowers.. You just feel like you are loosing it. Thanks for sharing this piece I feel encouraged now.
    Samson Ogola recently posted…10 premium bloggings tips every blogger should knowMy Profile

    • Joy Healey

      Hi Samson

      I sometimes wonder if “they” know how hard we work. But I suppose I unsubscribe from lists with no particular reason. It’s maybe better than them just staying there costing me money! Incidentally – I think that unsubscribes actually “stay” costing you money until you free up the space (a bit like a recycle bin LOL). Something for people to check out with their own Auto-responder provider.

      Joy Healey recently posted…Windows Key and R Scam WarningMy Profile

  10. John Talbot says:

    I may not be an experienced blogger, but I do DJ, and a lot of the marketing techniques that bloggers use I use as well to promote myself. It feels great and horrible to lose someone, but all you gotta do is just keep doing what you’re doing and the people that truly appreciate your work will stay.

  11. Mark

    Hey Joy!

    Great post BTW! First of all, your concern for an ex- subscriber is truly admirable!

    But hey, keep in mine, it’s your current and future subscribers that will be supporting your business!

    Not ex subscribers.

    Every body gets unsubscribe requests. Some people simply aren’t that committed!

    And there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do to change that!

    So don’t focus on them. She obviously knows better than you if what you have to offer suits her current needs!

    There are literally tons of future potential subscribers, that are far more serious and committed, who’ve yet to join your list, buy your products and services!

    Send you referrals and social bookmark your content all over social media.

    And then there’s the occasional un-subscriber! Sounds like your well ahead in the big picture!

    We don’t need to retain every single subscriber, in order to have an extremely prosperous on or offline business!

    Take care and keep your head up!

    Your future subscriber/customer/clients are all depending on you!
    Mark recently posted…Isn’t It A Shame That Kmart Isn’t Really Into Creative Sales Ideas?My Profile

    • Joy Healey

      Hi Mark,

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for looking round.

      I appreciate your encouraging remarks about my ex-subscriber. I guess when it really comes down to it, some people just don’t want to be self-employed, even though they think they do. It’s certainly not as easy as it’s cracked up to be!

      But you’re right – I should be looking to the future, and not looking back. I’m gathering people steadily and the overall drift is up rather than down!

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      Joy Healey recently posted…Using Internet Marketing Training CourseMy Profile

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