Why I Love it – Sort of – When People Unsubscribe from My Updates

Unsubscribe button

I can’t say I’m happy at first.

I’ll be honest. When I see that a bunch of people have unsubscribed just after I sent out a fresh newsletter update, I don’t exactly jump for joy.

In fact, my initial reaction is probably like seeing someone suddenly, without explanation, leave the party you had put on and thought was going well.

The questions arise.

“Was it something I said?”

“Is what I’m sending out useless/boring/annoying?”

And it’s worse when it’s someone you know well.

Now, I know that there can be many perfectly understandable reasons for someone unsubscribing, for example:

  • the information in my updates is not really relevant for what they are doing or interested in
  • they are trying to establish some control over an overflowing inbox (I can relate to that, especially)
  • they don’t remember ever signing up for information from me and might even feel a bit miffed about receiving anything

With the third of those, not remembering signing up, my email service provider AWeber fortunately provides a very detailed record of when people registered and when they confirmed, with date and time down to the minute.

So I am able, with any who leave a comment indicating that they don’t recall ever registering to receive information, to send those details, with a covering note indicating my regret that they might have thought themselves contacted inappropriately.

Generally those messages do not get a response. But happily, one recipient of such a communication from me the other day expressed his wish to be kept informed and asked me to put his name back on the list!

Why I do genuinely love getting those unsubscribe notifications and why you should too

Although my initial reaction is often a basic human “don’t they appreciate me?” one, when I have had a moment to reflect, I am pleased.


  • Who in their right mind wants to be sending messages to people who don’t want them?
  • When people unsubscribe I know I am making some impression and hopefully for those who stay on the list that is a positive impression
  • My mailing lists are improved by including fewer addresses of people who are not interested in hearing from me
  • It puts me on my mettle to do better, provide more interesting/valuable information, improve my communication generally

In fact, right now I can’t think of a downside.

Can you?

I wclcome your comments and any suggestions about how to turn the initial lemon taste of an unsubscribe into an even more delicious lemonade than I can manage currently.


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