How to lose 127 newsletter subscribers in 2 weeks…
The Results From MY Sending 1 Email Every Day Experiment
So, in case you aren’t subscribed to the newsletter…or simply weren’t paying much attention to your inbox (jealous), I’ve been doing an experiment with my newsletter subscribers. Up until two weeks ago, I was on a strict two email a week plan. One email would be a hard sales email (or sign up email…either way I was asking for something) and the other email would be an email with a soft pitch and a ton of information.
Although I got a TON of support from my readers…this system just WASN’T working for me.
Why? Because I HATE SELLING. Don’t like it. Not even a little bit. Sure…my goal is to NOT come across as slimy or sales pitchy, but I GENUINELY hate asking my readers for money.
In addition…to be blunt…I feel like the tactics a lot of businesses use (including myself up until two weeks ago) treat the reader a little like an idiot while gushing about how absolutely amazing they are.
Does this sound familiar?
“Hi ____________. I’m popping into your inbox today to say “Thank you.” Thank you for being such an amazing woman boss, crazy biz owner and badass entrepreneur. I hear from you DAILY about your success…and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it. As a gift to you….bla bla bla bla. PPPPPPTTTTTTTTTT.”
Look, I have NO doubt their sentiments are genuine. I have those moments as well!!! To thank your reader for all of their support is a selfless and genuinely great way to let them know that you adore each of their emails, re-tweets, downloads and purchases. BUT, that act LOSES it’s selflessness when you take on the disgusting line “As a gift to you….”….I’m going to allow you to spend LESS money with me!!
I’m not bashing discounts either!!! If someone has wanted your product for a while…discounts are fan-freakin-tastic!! But that method just feels like you MIGHT think your readers don’t see through that little “free gift” rouse.
I digress. (I apparently need to do a post on selling ethics.)
Where I despise the feeling of asking for your wallet…I LOOOOOOOOOOVE the feeling of giving freely. I love teaching. I love speaking. I love writing with no ulterior motives. No pitches. No requests. Simply…here’s what’s going on in my business, I think it might be of interest to you…. you can join me…or you can ignore it!! I will NOT be back in your inbox with another plea to get your money or support.
SO…I’ve embarked on a new journey. Instead of sending two kinda pitchy emails a week…I’ve instead started sending 5-6 NO PITCH emails throughout the work week. (We’ll get to how well this has worked…and how well it hasn’t in a sec!) In order for this to work…I’ve had to set some rules.
Rule #1: I had to do this for two weeks…no excuses. Even if all 6,000 subscribers left my newsletter list…I needed to continue to push out ONE piece of amazing content every single morning. Why? Because in order for any experiment to work…you need to even out the playing field. No previous data can corrupt the new data!
Rule #2: I have to tell a story. In SOME way, I have to let my readers into my life. I have to allow you to connect with me PERSONALLY. Whether it’s a story about success or a story about failure…I need my readers to understand that I am HUMAN.
Rule #3: I CAN include a link to sign up or purchase something within the email text…but it can’t be the point of the email! It has to tie seamlessly in with the topic. NO ULTERIOR MOTIVES!! I’m a small business…as much as I HATE selling, there is no way to get around it. BUT, instead of directly talking about WHY someone should purchase or sign up, I SHOWING them…and making the post USEFUL.
(I DO include a banner ad at the bottom of each email…but it’s easy to ignore and not the point of the emails!)
So..how did it turn out?
Before my experiment:
- I had: 6,346 people on my list.
- On average I sent out two emails a week.
- For each email, I had about 5-12 un-subscribers. (More for a sales email.)
- An average email would produce 3-5 sign-ups to the Challenge Library (10 a week).
After my experiment:
- I have: 6,376
- On average I sent out 5-6 emails over the last two weeks.
- For each email, I lost around 0-6 subscribers.
- I’ve added over 50 new Challenge Library members in the last two weeks! (That is a little over $1.5k in recurring income a month.)
So what do these numbers mean?
On average, I gain about 15-20 subscribers a day through the challenges and downloads I provide my readers. So, with that growth in mind…throughout this experiment I lost 127 newsletter subscribers over the last two weeks.
My average newsletter un-subscribe rate actually went DOWN…but because of the frequency and amount of emails I sent, I lost more subscribers than if I’d only sent two emails a week.
Do I think this experiment was a failure then?
Absolutely not!!! Quite the opposite!! I took a hard look at those 127 subscribers (ConvertKit lets you see the email address of the folks who have left your list). When possible, I took a look at the businesses they were running. MOST of them were working in a service based business (think masseuse, healers, child care, organizational guru, etc.). A LOT of these businesses don’t have blogs or a strong online presence…other than a website to pull in local clientele.
SO, I’ve come to the conclusion that these business owners, although super talented and kickin’ biz butt, are simply not my ideal reader. They would have EVENTUALLY unsubscribed anyways.
Changing my mindset
The biggest difficulty I’ve had with this whole experiment is changing my mindset. I’ve needed to SHIFT from thinking of my subscribers as numbers…to thinking of them more as individuals. If you think about the email algorithm (or what we know of it), we know that only a small percentage of your readers will even SEE your email in their inbox.
In addition, it seems as though, when you segment your broadcasts (this means that you only send a smaller portion of your list your emails at a time), you get higher open rates.
SO…if I think of my newsletter list more as individuals with this algorithm in mind, it makes more sense to WANT a smaller and more niched list than a list of 6,000+ subscribers who MIGHT or MIGHT NOT actually be interested in what you have to say.
The best part of it all
Want to know my favorite part of this whole thing?? With EVERY. SINGLE. EMAIL. I’ve sent….I’ve received 5-10 responses from you guys telling me how much you’ve loved the stories and loved the content!!! I walk the pups, I come home and write my email…and I spend the rest of the day working and getting FANTASTIC encouragement from my readers.
With the previous 2 days a week system I was using, I would hear from a few of you throughout the week…but nothing on this level!! My heart literally swells on a daily basis.
SO….with all of the numbers, testimonials and sales in place, I plan on continuing this course indefinitely!!! Although you MIGHT not see an email from me every single day, you’ll get an email in your inbox 5-6 times a week with as MUCH value as I can possibly pack in…and NO pitches and NO hard sales. Just value and a mention where it’s appropriate.
Want to get the emails? Sign up for one of the downloads above this post…or one of the challenges in the challenge area of the site!