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 decided I wanted to test out a new productivity approach, and batch check my emails only at certain times of day. 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.

Scheduling a buffer block of about an hour everyday, dedicated only to email administration and the possible tasks generated.

During this period I started to notice the plague of marketing emails received and surprised to learn  I received over 40+ of these emails a day that were totally irrellevant.  They really had absolutely nothing to do with my business & were intended to grow somebody else’s business at the expense of my time.

The real problem with these emails 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 examples of bad email marketing.

6 reasons why I unsubscribed from your email marketing list

The below is a synopsis of the reasons why I unsubscribed from your email marketing list and what you can do better to improve your list in general

#1 You kept on telling me about a problem you wanted me to have

why people don’t engage at all with your marketing emails is because you keep trying to tell them about a problem you really want them to have because you have a solution you’d like to 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 –

The trouble with approach is that 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.


#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:

Ffind 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 how you found a solution to a problem.  Without addressing anyone in particular or even trying to engage anybody, just loudly and brashly talk about your problem and solution 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?

#3 It was all about you and not about me

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.

Don’t waste their time talking about you!

#4 You were selling and I wasn’t buying

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.

#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.

#6 Who are you ?

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 and have decided to target me.

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

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


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.

Follow Me

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.
Follow Me

Latest posts by Gary Woodfine (see all)

%d bloggers like this: