The ONE Single Thing Costing You Most Unsubscribes


Now I don’t want to mislead you here, there are all sorts of reasons why your readers may unsubscribe from your regular emails – from no longer being interested in your niche, right down to the font you use – yes, people really are that fickle.

I subscribe to countless email digests from industry experts, tech sites, productivity professionals, blogs from applications vendors, design creatives, web tool developers – in fact I often think I subscribe to way too many, since I rarely get time to read each and every missive. I’m sure I’m not alone here – right?

So when I’m feeling a little stressed or grouchy I get a bit ruthless, and if emails from one sender start p*ssing me off I huffily click unsubscribe and consign their words of wisdom to the ethereal waste bin. Yep, even if they are from one of the best writers at the top of their tree – I just don’t have the time or patience to fart about.

Harsh? Yes, I guess so. But for me part of being as productive as I can be is to quit wasting time and stick to what is relevant and pertinent to whatever I am working on right now. OK, so I do file a lot of links to read later – I am self-confessed ideas-seeker and I just can’t bring myself to ignore an article that may lead me to my next little epiphany of process and productivity.

I promised you the ONE single thing that will cost you most unsubscribes:

If you are any kind of a marketer worth your salt you know that brevity is the key to success. You surely appreciate that your target audience (I’m talking other business professionals here) already suffer inbox overload – you probably do too, don’t you? So why do you write a long prosy email telling me the ins and outs of who you had lunch with that lead to a conversation that sparked an idea that lead you to find out whatever it is that you now want to tell me?


Please, please, please … keep it short and to the point. If you can’t do this then at least make it easily scan-able.  Please…?!

When I am tired and busy and stressed (and yes, we all get that way sometimes) I just don’t have the time or the energy to wade through the waffle to find the one small golden nugget that I am sure must be in there if you are as good as you say you are, and that got me to sign up in the first place. (…and I could name some real ‘big name’ offenders here!)

So what else gets my goat?

Well, more than one thing can really turn me off an email subscription – you may have guessed that I don’t suffer fools lightly, not even if they are highly respected, high earning, highly intelligent business leaders.


Here are my top 5 biggest bug-bears:_76941134_delete_thinkstock624

#1 Long rambling emails – you know the ones, they just go on and on and on and … well, I think I covered this fully already.

#2 Too frequent – OK so I signed up to hear from you, but every single day?? C’mon!

#3 The same thing I was sent two days ago disguised as something new – did you really think that I wouldn’t notice what you’re doing? I read it already! (You’d know this if you were tracking your emails!)

#4 Irrelevancy – yes, I signed up … for content marketing tips, not for every other subject under the sun that you can think of – ever heard of list segmenting??

#5 Using my digest subscription to blatantly sell me something – again, I signed up: but because you were asking if I wanted to receive your latest posts by email, and I really do, honestly – but don’t email me just to try and sell me your latest book/dvd/ecourse … write an article about it by all means and I’ll see it in due course, but come on, this isn’t what I asked for!

OK, I think you can see how irritated I get – and yes, I’ll admit it’s not at all attractive.

If you want to ensure that you don’t lose subscribers for the wrong reasons, download this great 10 point checklist to apply to your regular emails – it’s in pdf format, complete with tick boxes, just in case you want to print off a stack to physically tick with real ink as you compose your next few mails.

Happy emailing – and may your email lists flourish and prosper…