Why I unsubscribed from your mailing list!

I’ve had the same email address for years, all told about 15 years.  So as you could imagine over that period of time I have used my email address to register for a myriad of services, webinars, conferences or any other thing that requires an email address.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried out a new productivity approach too batch check my emails only at certain times of day. This is an approach I picked up from the The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months, the key premise, to enable me to spend more time on vitally important tasks required to ensure business growth.

The approach I adopted was to schedule a buffer block of about an hour everyday dedicated only to email administration and tasks generated.

During this period I really started to notice the plague of marketing emails received and surprised to learn these totalled to 40+ emails a day.  Providing no business value to me and in truth are only intended to grow somebody else’s business at the expense of my time.

The real problem with these emails is they clutter my inbox and detract attention away from the important emails.

Action needed to be taken to clear my inbox out and enforce discipline on how & why emails enter inbox.

How you infested my inbox

When registering for almost anything on the internet, a common and favoured method is to obtain an email address in order to verify the user. In the early days this may have been convenient, however it has been used and abused by way too many sleazy marketing types.

In most cases, I may have the registered for services etc in the days before, I wised up and started registering with a completely different email address – for an internet alter ego.

The primary reason for adopting an internet alter ego, and making use of an alternate email address, is I discovered by making use of Have I been pwned that my email address had made it onto numerous breached database list.

A breach is an incident where a site’s data has been illegally accessed by hackers and then released publicly. Review the types of data that were compromised (email addresses, passwords, credit cards etc.) and take appropriate action, such as changing passwords.

In an effort to improve my marketing and the approach to prospecting for my business, I thought I would take an approach and learn exactly what NOT to do from the 100’s of obviously bad email marketing examples. The following is the top 6 list of reasons why I decided to unsubcribe from the various email lists I found myself on.

6 reasons why people unsubscribe from your email list

#1 You keep telling them about a problem you want them too have

People don’t engage with your email marketing because you keep trying to convince them that they have a problem because you have a solution too sell them.

The problem with this approach is that , not every problem is a sales opportunity and not every sales opportunity needs to based on a problem.

This is a remnant of the 90’s and 00’s ideal that companies sold solutions because customers had problems.

The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before –

Not everything you perceive to be a problem is actually a problem that hasn’t been solved by another means.

The other issue is that the problem may manifest itself differently across organisations.  So in-effect your email banging on about how your amazing solution has helped organisations solve problem X, has no benefit when your audience is actually concerned about problem Z and won’t associate X with Z.

Solution
Stop trying to sell a solution via email, rather try engage with your audience and attempt to open a dialog with a view of finding out what problems or concerns your audience have.

Most people don’t enjoy being sold too, yet they will be more than happy to buy! However, it is how you open the buying signals that matters, ironically it’s not by trying to sell!

Emails containing too much sales oriented language find the fast track to the trash!

#2 You weren’t talking too me, you were talking at me

Most marketing emails are targeted towards a mass market,  they are designed to throw up information over as many people as possible, in the hope that some Call To Action works.

Most organisations are over the moon with a 2% response rate for marketing emails.  This translates to 98% of people are totally ignored or frustrated by your efforts.

Try this at your next social gathering and monitor the response:

Find a group of people in a discussion,  irrespective what the discussion is about,   walk into the middle of group and just start talking loudly about something totally irrelevant.  Without addressing anyone in particular or even trying to engage anybody, just loudly and brashly talk about your topic ad-nauseam, maybe even pull out a slide show with pretty pictures.  Just blurt out facts about anything  without giving any context.

Would you do this?  Do you think if you continued to do this at every social gathering you’d continued to be invited or even considered for invite?

Why on earth do you think this is appropriate with your email marketing?

Solution
Make every attempt to get to know your subscribers or people you inadvertently dumped onto your email list. Try to actually foster relationships with them.

Ask yourself, How well do you know your customer ?

#3 It was all about you

A vast majority of email marketing is always about the vendor and never about the customer.

Customers really don’t care about what awards you’ve won, or even if you’ve installed a champagne fridge for your staff.

Your customer really couldn’t care less about you.  In fact, they care so little about your newsletter they just unsubscribe.

Your customers are not interested in you!  Get over it!  They are only interested in themselves.

Solution
Don’t waste your customers’s time talking about you! They simply are not interested in you. They are never going to be.

They will however love to hear about themselves and their lives. Your email marketing should all be focused on how you are able to service your customers needs and desires.

#4 You’re not adding value

Your email marketing was primarily about how your customers could save money, if they just signed up to buy your product now.

Well I got news for you,  they could save even more money by not buying your product at all!

Don’t tell them you’re that concerned about their financial well-being,  that you want that you want them to spend money on a product they don’t really want or need.

You’re not really presenting your product in a great light, if you’re willing to discount it just to get customers on-board.

The picture you’re painting of your product is that people just aren’t willing to pay the full price you’re offering your product to market.

Solution

There is a strong possibility that your target customer is already going to have 10 other emails in  their inbox all with offers to save money  or some other discount offer.

Be original and look to serve your customer with value. Things they can actually use and maybe look forward to receiving.

#5 You put me in a funnel, I sent you to trash

The trouble with signing up for webinars, screen shares or some gated download  that promises to help you solve a business problem, is that is that your email address, gets entered into a CRM system and you will from that point on be peppered with emails reminding you or asking if you would like to proceed further.

Over time, these constant reminders just get annoying! Your organisation just becomes annoying and now I will do everything in my power not too deal with you.

Solution

Depending on the size of your team, its’ totally worth it  developing a one-to-one relationship with customers.  Customers might enjoy a personal discussion with someone to help them learn about your services and products.

Learning about your customer’s business, genuinely discussing  which will improve your relationship and make you stand out from other businesses.  Try use your email as a two way dialog over a one way blast!

#6 Who are you ?

This one is probably my number 1 pet peave, even though I’ve put it here at 6.

The number of emails I received that I have no idea why or who is emailing me. They have obviously bought a targeted mail list or worse have connected to me on a social media channel like LinkedIn or Xing then proceeded to download my email address to add it to some mailing list.

The emails obviously committing all of the sins above and worse still I have no idea who they’re coming from!

They didn’t even take the time to try and get to know me or introduce themselves. Especially not to even try find out if we even had an area of commonality.

Don’t just connect with people just they have a job title you think you need to target.

Solution

How on earth people think that the why to start a business relationship is to start selling straight away ?

Taking the time to get to know your target customers then devise a strategy to attempt to contact them before you engage in trying to sell them something is absolutely essential.

Summary

Your money is in your list, but be warned it is how you manage and cultivate your email list that is important. Don’t succumb to the temptation to constantly email your subscriber list with generalised marketing offers.

You need to take time and effort to understand and get to know each one of your email subscriber list, and really try to personalise your offering to each of them.

You need to ensure that your customers want to hear from you. Your emails need to be personalised and tailored to their needs.

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Gary Woodfine

Helps businesses by improving their technical proficiencies and eliminating waste from the software development pipelines.

A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.
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