Skip to main content
Content MarketingDigital Marketing

Five Benefits of Losing Email Subscribers


It happens. You send out an email blast to your subscribers and, no matter how awesome the message, you get unsubscribe notices. At first, you get annoyed. “What does it take to satisfy you people?!”, you scream at your monitor. And with the unsubscribes coming in quicker than the positive responses, you feel defeated and that your email marketing is an utter waste of time.

But let’s face it, no matter how earth-shattering your offers, no matter how brilliant your content, you will still lose subscribers, and losing them isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

1. You’re losing dead weight. People that spend a long time on your list fit into one of the following buckets:

  • They want free advice, and have no intention of paying you for it.
  • They’re friends or colleagues, and have no intention of paying you, or…
  • They’re feeling you out, with the possibility of moving things forward (paid engagement, event attendance, etc.).

While there will always be people on your list that will never buy from you, getting rid of them helps confirm that they don’t plan on hiring you. Don’t sweat it, because now you know.

2. Contacts cost money, and they just saved you from paying another month for them. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. If someone’s not totally into you, don’t get your feelings hurt because they won’t let you go on another date with them. Once again, they did you a favor.

3. You’re getting direct feedback on your content. If you send out an email to a list of 2,500 subscribers, and 50 drop off from a campaign, what have you learned? Well, either you have a list full of people that never cared in the first place (unlikely), or you probably just sent out a less-than-stellar email. Learn from this opportunity, and apply what you saw to future emails.

You can take it a step further in your unsubscribe process by asking them why they’re leaving. While you may get a bunch of “your emails are crap” comments, you may also learn something useful.

4. It helps with segmentation (you are segmenting, right?). Healthy marketing segments can guide the direction of your business. Unhealthy or withering lists can do the same. By seeing where you’re gaining momentum and where you’re losing it, you can make more solid business decisions.

5. It shows that you’re not being reported as spam. Recipients have three choices when it comes to blocking emails.

  • Delete. Lazy, because they’re destined to get your email again.
  • Unsubscribe, which will take them off your list.
  • Flag as Spam, which will land your domain on some anti-spam blacklist. You don’t want that.

To see the unsubscribe come in, you’re in far better shape than getting more and more of your future emails stuck in spam folders.

You must remember that although your job is to attract leads and customers, no one can please everyone. Your job is to find people that are excited to work with you. Instead of sweating the ones you lost, celebrate the ones that didn’t unsubscribe – they’re there because they want to be.

While we’re on the subject, if you’d like to get tips from us, let us know!

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


Leave a Reply

© 2004-2023, Imagine. All rights reserved, whatever that means...