A joint venture expert once told me that when you promote a partner’s launch you should expect 5-8% of your list to unsubscribe.
This expert also told me that every email you send will cause list attrition, so you should send email sparingly.
I was impressed by the fact that this expert could make so much money using email while understanding it so poorly.
The infrequent email fallacy
Let’s say you have an email list that you don’t mail to often, and this list came from colder sources like giveaways or freebie swaps.
You send an email to them announcing your latest webinar, and 2% of your list melts away.
You send another, and another 2% wanders off.
You promote a launch with a series of 8 emails, and 8% more exits stage right.
Holy moley! These guys are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. You better send less emails to preserve your list.
It’s a reasonable conclusion… except it’s wrong.
As you may be aware, I mail my list daily. Out of over 2300 members, the last three emails had 6, 3, and 1 unsubscription respectively.
What’s really happening?
There’s a few things going on under the numbers here.
The first is that there’s a group of people who get on your list who don’t want to be there. They signed up for a freebie, and that’s all they want. They are customers but they are one and one. They signed up for an event, but not for you.
These people are going to unsubscribe the first time they see an email. If you send daily emails, they’ll leave pretty quick, but if you send monthly or occasional emails, they might linger for many months because they don’t see your messages.
Thus, when you do send a few emails together, they will all unsubscribe at once making it seem like a mass exodus, when it’s really just people who never wanted to be there in the first place.
Then, there is a group of people who were interested when they signed up, but they forgot who you are. By the time they get your rare message, they don’t remember signing up, so they feel like they were subscribed involuntarily, and they leave.
Additionally, if you reserve your email activity for the most “valuable” uses then you may end up sending nothing but pitches, so these people leave because they signed up to get your knowledge and vibe, but what they receive is offers, mostly offers for products of strangers.
You will never avoid unsubscribes completely unless you never send emails.
However, the best way to make sure the right people stick around is to give them high value frequently.
Every email that you send should contain value.
Yes, I said “every.”
Value doesn’t have to mean not making an offer, but it does mean that every email reminds your audience of why they signed up in the first place.
It could be that you teach them something.
It could be your unique style of writing.
It could be a recommendation, invitation, or offer they will find interesting.
Sure, you could preserve your pristine list by never sending an email, but what good is that?
It doesn’t help you because if you ever do use it, your audience will flee.
It doesn’t help your audience because they signed up to get value, not to be stored in a museum.
As they say, a ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.
If you want to preserve your audience, then serve your audience.
This was originally shared out through my highly valuable, very interesting, and not-monthly Resource Letter. If you’d like to receive content like this every day, and get my Power5 Networking Tips, just sign up below…