Be Daring – Ask People to Unsubscribe

Posted by on Aug 30 2010

Today I’m sending an email to my entire mailing list, asking them if they’re receiving two emails from me — and suggesting that they unsubscribe from one (or both!) in order to help them deal with email and information overload.

Here’s how it happens: someone signs up for your mailing list by registering for a free class. Next month, you offer a free ebook, or a paid membership, and they sign up again, but this time with a different email address. Now they’re getting TWO emails from you each time you send your email newsletter.

So once in a while, it helps if you tell them how to unsubscribe from one of those email addresses (gasp!). If you’re using a automated system like,, or, those sytems should be putting unsubscribe info at the bottom of all your emails automatically — but people don’t know to scroll to the very BOTTOM of an email to find that unsubscribe link.

Before you send out a “Are You Getting Two Emails From Me?” broadcast, pause and check your OWN feelings. Are you scared that people may unsubscribe and reduce the size of your list? Or are you feeling that you’re doing them a service by inviting them to unsub?

I know it can be scary. What if they didn’t like what you’ve been writing all along in your email newsletter? What if they don’t want to hear from you anymore? Does it mean they don’t like you? Does it mean the end of your business?

Take a deep breath.

Repeat after me.

“It’s GOOD when people get off my mailing list. They unsubscribe for many, many reasons, some which have nothing to do with me. Those who are interested in what I have to share WILL stay on my mailing list. I trust in the intelligence of people that they will do what’s right for them – an ultimately, what’s right for me, too.”


6 comments for now

6 Responses to “Be Daring – Ask People to Unsubscribe”

  1. MarisaNo Gravatar

    Thank you Karyn,

    very powerful tip.

    I would like to have a smaller, clean list of people sincerely interesting on what I have to offer to them, and nobody else.


    27 Aug 2010 at 8:41 am

  2. Karyn GreenstreetNo Gravatar

    Yes, Marisa, that’s how I feel, too.

    27 Aug 2010 at 11:42 am

  3. MarciNo Gravatar

    I think fear captures a lot of our business moves & non-moves. It lingers under the surface, creeping it’s head when we try something new and gutsy.

    Great mantra to remember that it’s not personal, not about us. It’s a reflection of the person making the decision to unsubscribe. There are always so many possible ways to perceive someone’s actions or inactions.

    29 Aug 2010 at 8:14 am

  4. Karyn GreenstreetNo Gravatar

    I once had an assistant who would fret constantly if a customer didn’t call back. “What did I say? Is the customer mad at me?” If we only realized that it’s not about us (or at least, not always), it would really be helpful. People don’t call back because they’re busy. People unsubscribe because they don’t need your information any longer.

    (Is this true all the time? Of course not. But it’s surprising how often it IS true. When we hear from a customer after a long absence, they often report a family death or a health issue. When we ask people why the unsubscribed from Self Employed Success, it’s often because they’re no longer self-employed, or they’ve put their business on hold, or they’ve had a family emergency that’s taking all their time.)

    30 Aug 2010 at 7:09 am

  5. Cheryl MillerNo Gravatar

    Karen – it’s always good to remind ourselves of the power of having a list that loves us….hence the unsubscribes just make our lists stronger so we can really bond and splash the love around!

    22 Dec 2010 at 11:45 am

  6. Karyn GreenstreetNo Gravatar

    I’m all for splashing the love around! 🙂

    23 Dec 2010 at 8:40 am

Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing