Email Marketing: Unsubscribes are Good!
What? Aren't unsubscribes one of the key metrics that email marketers are trying to keep down? How can an unsubscribe possibly be a good thing?
The purpose of email marketing is to nurture your existing leads. You want to build a relationship with someone that has provided you with their contact information and build your trust as someone that can solve their problems. You want to slowly drip information to them to lead them towards a sale. How can you possibly accomplish all that if the person has unsubscribed? The answer is that you cannot, but that's not really a bad thing.
Avoid Being Labeled as a Spammer
The purpose of email marketing is not to bombard any email address you can get your mitts on with a ton of your content (p.s., That is called “spamming”). You also don't want to irritate anyone that you're sending emails to with information that they find irrelevant or otherwise unwanted. Not only will this (obviously) not lead to a sale, but it will leave people with a bad taste about your brand.
If someone has signed up to receive your newsletter or agreed to receive marketing emails from you, and after they have received a message or two from you they realize that the two of you are not a good fit, let them walk away. One of the most significant challenges of email marketing is maintaining a clean list. You don't want to annoy people, and you really don't want them to hit the “spam” button.
You also don't want to waste your time with people who don't want your products and services.
Check Your Metrics
By clicking that “unsubscribe” button, people may be doing you more favors than you realize. First, they are alerting you to the fact that some of your metrics and tactics are off. You sent something to someone, and they didn't want it. What did you misunderstand? How can you correct that? You can assume that if one person got mismatched, then others probably are too. That one unsubscribe can spare you many more.
Second, by unsubscribing, that person is helping you to keep your list clean. You won't risk offending or annoying them into clicking the “spam” button, and you won't have to waste your time scrutinizing the log of contact with that person to try to figure out what to do next. The bigger your list, the more it will cost you to continue with a truly effective email campaign. Thank that unsubscribe for saving you some cash and valuable time trying to market to him or her.
Let's Be Honest: We're Here to Make a Sale
Lastly, some people are just not going to buy anything. They want great content from you, but they don't want to be pestered with your offers for relevant products and services. You don't want these people on your list. Why? They're just not going to buy anything from you, and if we're all being honest here, that's the whole point. It's great to have people read and promote your blog and follow you on Twitter, but when you're taking specific action with an individual that is never going to make a purchase, you're wasting resources that could be diverted to someone who would buy.
So, don't sweat those occasional unsubscribes. Take each one seriously and always look to see if you can determine what went wrong. Then, let it go.