It’s always exciting watching your subscriber numbers grow, both for your RSS feed and you email marketing list. But it’s inevitable that people are also going to unsubscribe. The first time it happens you’re going to be disappointed. And when it happens again you’re going to start wondering what you can do to make it stop.
The answer is: It depends.
People are always going to unsubscribe. In fact, you may lose four or five people a week. But it’s important to understand the different reasons why this happens.
- No longer interested: People change interests all the time. It may also be that you’re blogging for beginners and they’ve progressed to a higher level. This is not something you can control.
- They forgot who you are: This happens when you don’t blog or send emails on a regular schedule. If you don’t pop up in their feed reader or email inbox on a regular basis, people can forget who you are and why they subscribed.
- They don’t like your content: You can’t please everyone all the time. Maybe they didn’t like a particular post, or maybe they’ve moved beyond the scope of your blog and you’re no longer giving them the level of information they need. Maybe they just found another blog that’s more engaging and they don’t have time to follow you both. This happens all the time. Don’t take it personally.
Generally, as long as you’re still getting new subscribers and just losing two or three a week you have nothing to worry about. It’s just the nature of the beast. You might be tempted to email these unsubscribers and ask them to come back, but remember, for whatever reason, they don’t want to have contact with you right now. It would be rude to start sending them unsolicited emails. You’ll just look needy and they’re not going to answer them anyway.
Keep in mind, too, that a lot of people just unsubscribe so they can clear up their email account. That doesn’t mean they’ve stopped visiting your blog and it doesn’t mean they won’t subscribe again.
However, let’s say you publish a blog post that’s extremely controversial, something completely different than what you normally post. If you see a few hundred people drop of your subscriber list over the next few days it’s pretty safe to assume they didn’t like that specific blog post.
Can you bring those people back? Well, if that happens, then it was probably something pretty heinous if it caused that many people to exit all at once. The best thing you can do is write another blog post quickly and offer up your apologies for offending so many people.
Go over-the-top and make a special video or hire someone to draw a funny cartoon. Be creative to come up with some type of shareable content your audience will appreciate. Chances are, many of those subscribers are also following each other in other social networks and word of your apology will spread.