Are you embracing the exquisite pain of newsletter unsubscribes?
Dennis Shiao thinks you should.
And I agree.
We co-presented last week at Content Marketing World, and his point is sticking with me:
Don’t let yourself get numb to unsubscribes.
Dennis takes it very seriously.
He wants an email notification for each unsubscribe.
So he can process them individually.
Mourn their loss.
Experience the hurt.
And consider the why.
Similarly, I keep up with mine in a dashboard and make a point to review the reasons given after each issue.
Depending on your list size, this could require a significant time commitment.
But the point is this:
There is value in taking unsubscribes a little personally.
In considering each goodbye and the reason behind it.
Your newsletter is often a significant chunk of your relationship with your audience.
When someone opts out, acknowledging that individually and considering why will shape your future content in a more meaningful way than thinking of unsubscribes as a business metric.
It stings less when you turn people into numbers.
But if you pay attention to the individual names and reasons, you commit more fully to serving those who’ve stuck around.
Dennis challenged both independent creators and large brands to adopt this approach:
Intentionally humanize the relationship between sender and recipient.
Let it fuel our desire to earn trust in every issue we deliver.
Yes, sometimes an unsubscribe indicates the reader is not a good fit for you (or your brand). But, as tough as it is to accept, sometimes it’s good to wallow in the frustration of a farewell so we can improve going forward.
Subscribe to Dennis’s newsletter, the always insightful Content Corner, here.
This week’s issue includes the inspirational stories of some successful newsletter creators, advice for re-engaging subscribers, and ideas for improving your newsletter process (whether that’s automating tweet curation or building a community with purpose).
Let me know what you think.
Is It Time For Big Publishing To Think Smaller?
The publishing climate is changing. What does this mean for traditional publishing, technology, and the future?
- No secret here, trust is crucial for building relationships with readers. Faisal Kalim offers strategies for publishers here.
- Is our current model of journalism healthy and sustainable? The World Economic Forum thinks independent creators and engaged communities are the future.
- Axios is expanding. Sara Guaglione explains how Axios is creating local news-focused newsletters across the country (Digiday).
- Publishers vs. Big Tech? Sadie Hale is offering 4 strategies for navigating the relationship in this FIPP article.
- Google’s made changes (again). Here’s what Steve Wilson-Beales with Journalism.co.uk thinks you need to know.