Handling Unsubscribers & Unfollowers With Gratitude + How to Figure Out What Your Readers and Followers Really Want From You

You may be thinking why would you want to be thankful that someone unsubscribes or unfollows you?  The thing of it is that they are actually doing you a huge favor because they are making room for those that really want to support you.

We should never be upset when people remove themselves from our lives without us having to do any work on our end.  Can you imagine having to go through all of your followers and subscribers and manually removing all of the ones who you knew for sure didn’t want to support or engage you?  That would be so time-consuming and you could be spending that time doing something more productive.

Handling Unsubscribers & Unfollowers With Gratitude | BlissandFaith.com

Occasionally, however, we do have to go through and do a clean sweep to ensure that our lists have individuals on them that really want to be a part of our community.  When we have individuals subscribed to our mailing list and following our accounts on social media, it’s so vital that they are doing so because they feel you add value to their lives.  If they’re following you just to be associated with you in some surface level way, that helps neither you nor them.  Odds are that these individuals aren’t going to convert into clients or customers, if and when you decide to sell something or offer a service.

It’s a known fact that a large social media following, it doesn’t translate into those individuals supporting you outside of that platform.  Most automatically assume the opposite and a sorely disappointed when they get little to no response on a new offering or business slows to a halt.  The same goes for your email list, because while you may have 10,000 people on it, none of them are clicking through to your site or responding to any call to actions that you may have in your emails.  In this case, your words are falling on deaf ears and action needs to be taken on your end to rectify the problem.  This likely means you having to go through and manually deleting/unsubscribing people.  It’s much easier when someone just does the work for you, because time is precious.  By them unsubscribing, they are allowing you time to create valuable content that those who really want and use it can get.  In essence, they are allowing you to better serve your community.

The goal of providing useful and quality is to serve your community.  You don’t want to be serving those that aren’t getting anything from it and don’t appreciate it.  Here are a few ways you can ensure that you’re serving your community and keeping a healthy and supportive following.

Measure Subscriber/Follower Engagement

For your email list, taking a look at your click open and call to action conversion rates can give you a good measure of your subscriber engagement.  There are other metrics you can analyze to gauge engagement, but these two are the easiest to assess.  I use MailChimp and they make it extremely easy to access your click open rates.  All you need to do is navigate to your Reports tab, click on it and you will see an opens and click rates graph.  The great thing is that the graph can be filtered by list, so you can see how many people from a particular list have engaged your emails.  To view trends of unsubscribes, you can export a comparison spreadsheet report.  A comparison spreadsheet report allows you to also see bounces and any complaints over time.

For social media, it’s much easier to tell how you’re being engaged, because you’re either being engaged while you’re on the platform or not.  Most social media platforms do have analytics that you can view to show you in more detail how you’re being engaged.  Such analytics can usually be accessing through your account or settings page.  There are also third party websites that provide certain analytics for social media platforms.  A quick Google search can provide you with who these third party websites are, by searching keywords like social media analytics.  In my search, I came across this comprehension list from the Buffer blog that includes 19 free social media analytics tools.  You can use many of the tools included on the list to analyze your social media accounts metrics in different ways because they each offer something different.

Bulk Unsubscribe Inactive Subscribers

If you’re using MailChimp, you can easily do this by using their segmenting options.  MailChimp’s segmenting options allow you to remove subscribers based on member activity.  This method works best when you’ve sent emails to highly segmented portions of your list.  On the other hand, if you have just sent a recent campaign, you can also remove subscribers based off of their activity for that particular campaign.

One way to remove inactive subscribers in MailChimp is to use the Bulk Unsubscribe tool.  To utilize it, all you need to do is go to your Lists page, click on Manage Subscribers > Unsubscribe people.  From there you just need to type or paste in the emails that you would like to remove, click Unsubscribe and presto, the individuals are unsubscribed from your list.

Another method to remove inactive subscribers in MailChimp is to do it directly from your Lists page by clicking the list you want to remove individuals from, and accessing the View Subscribers table.  Within the table, you just click the checkbox next to their names to select the ones you want to remove and click Unsubscribe from the Actions menu.

Conduct a Subscriber Survey

I saw this recently done with a list I’m subscribed to and I feel it’s a great way to assess not only engagement but also the type of content your subscribers want to receive.  The way to go about conducting a subscriber survey is to send out campaign giving your subscribers the option to select the type of content they want to receive.  From their selection, they will be subscribed to the exact list that will send them the content they have indicated wanting to receive.

Another method is to create a content survey in Google Docs, Survey Monkey, or Typeform and ask your subscribers to complete it, via an email campaign.  The survey will ask your subscribers a host of questions regarding content they would like to see from you and how often.  The possibilities are endless for what you can ask them, so you can include questions that give you answers to get the exact insight you need.  This method not only lets you get legitimate responses and insight from your subscribers but also allows you to see who engaged the campaign by completing the survey.  I like this method best, although you will have to use some discern in gauging the engagement because some people simply won’t complete the survey.  If anything, you will at least get a response from a portion of your list and see the type of content they would like to see from you.  There’s nothing better than being able to know the exact type of content to create that will serve your community most.


To help keep a clean email list, I’m sharing a template that you can use when surveying your email subscribers.  You can use the exact same questions I use in the template in your survey or come up with your own.  The template will get your wheels turning with thinking of ways in which you can gain insight on the type of content that your subscribers want to receive from you.  As stated above, it will also give you an indication of the how engaged those on your list are with your content by seeing who completes the survey.

EmailSurveyHero

Handling Unsubscribers & Unfollowers With Gratitude | BlissandFaith.com


Keep in mind that as you build your following, it impacts how much time and money you invest in your business or blog.  More specifically, when it comes to your email list, once you reach a certain number of subscribers you will end up having to pay for an email marketing provider, like MailChimp.  You want to ensure that you’re spending your money wisely and on those who will truly support and engage you.  The same can be said for social media because the time you spend posting and promoting on it could be better spent if your followers aren’t engaging your posts.  On both fronts, it’s imperative to spend your time and money in the right places, so that you can invest it in the areas of your business or blog to grow it and take it to the next level.


Listen to more about this topic on the Branded Bliss Podcast!

 


What are some of the ways that you insure you keep a clean and engaged mailing list? – Do you apply the same ones to your social media platforms?

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