August 2, 2019

"I'd rather saw off my leg than unsubscribe"

Louis Nicholls @louisswiss

Tested a 'breakup email' with ~200 subscribers who haven't opened a newsletter in a while.

Some unsubscribes as expected/hoped, but bowled away by some of the responses... ūü§ó

  1. 8

    I say call his bluff ;)

    1. 3

      Go ahead mate...

      Call my bluff! :-P

  2. 3

    I dislike those emails. I didn't unsubscribe. :)

    I specifically dislike it when I get auto unsubscribed. I use to look at emails from a specific person/account over time. It would help me learn how people do stuff and help me capture ideas on what I could be doing. I always found that more useful than reading articles on how people 'apparently' did email marketing.

    All my newsletters go into folders and I like to check in on them as and when I have time, often I won't look at them for weeks at a time and then I'll find out afterwards if someone has unsubscribed me.

    1. 2

      Makes sense!

      It's definitely a fine line to balance...

      On the one hand, I don't want to just unsubscribe people who actively subscribed for the newsletter. That seems a bit unfair like you say.

      On the other hand, normally people not opening any emails is a sign they don't want to read the emails (but presumably did when they signed up).

      In the latter case, I really want to know why the don't want to read anymore. So I can improve the newsletter (or who I say it is for, if it turns out the audience is slightly different to my expectations).

      And having recipients not open the email is actually harmful to me - it increases the likelihood the emails go to spam for other people who do want to read it.

      So, like you saw, I opted for a middle ground - no forced unsubscribes, just a friendly request for feedback and gentle nudge to unsubscribe if you don't find it useful anymore.

      I thought that was respectful enough. Did you find it not to be? Any suggestions on how it could have been better?

      1. 2

        The email itself was fine :)

        Don't be like a certain company, putting wanky 'trying to be funny' text and gifs asking why I wasn't reading the emails after 10 days of being subscribed. :D And then trying to sell me something at the same time.

        1. 1

          I even didn't do a clickbait subject line especially for you :P

          But seriously, if you did have any feedback I'd love to hear it. I'm far from the personal newsletter expert and always open to learn!

    2. 1

      My point exactly, Rosie.

      I know that for a business owner engaged subscribers are meaningful. Critical, even.

      But I like to think of anyone I let into my inbox as someone I don't necessarily have to check in on frequently. Just like a friend. You say hey every now and again but it's not too much... :-)

      I use the folder system too...and let's just say that Bryan Harris and Ramit Sethi would absolutely hate me for mucking up their metrics.

  3. 3

    You just got a new sub. Let's see what this is about.

  4. 3

    That's a great quote! Have you asked if you can use it on your sign up page?

    P.s. I've just signed up.

    1. 2

      Good idea, thanks! Glad to have you onboard :)

      1. 2

        Fine, FINE! Go ahead.

        1. 2

          Ha - I think I'd better check via email just to be sure. Not that I ever question whether anonymous people on the internets are exactly who they claim to be :P

  5. 3

    Are you doing breakup emails regularly or is this your first one? I'm thinking of testing in small batches myself but really enjoy seeing my subscriber count increase so much each week.

    1. 2

      I should have started a long time ago but this was my first one for the newsletter.

      Tried it out with ~200 and will now send to everyone who hasn't opened any of the last 5 emails.

      really enjoy seeing my subscriber count increase so much each week.

      I know the feeling, but I'm more interested in my open rate/numbers instead. After all, subscribers who don't open are just hurting your deliverability!

      1. 2

        "I should have started a long time ago" Yep.. yeah yeah yeah! Yes yes yes....
        okay. you convinced me. I'll try with 50 ppl this week. that's how many new subs I had.....

  6. 3

    Cool! I signed up to find out what it's all about =)

    1. 2

      Glad to have you onboard!

  7. 2

    That's one heck of a testimonial. Really shows that you're providing value!

  8. 2


  9. 1

    That's really interesting. I tend to get overwhelmed by all the newsletters I get and regularly unsubscribe from them. You must be putting out some good stuff.