Why I Asked 5000 People to Unsubscribe From My Email List
If you’re serious about capitalizing on your business then you’ve taken the time to nurture your contacts and be consistent with your email list.
As many of you know (and just in case you don’t) your email list is the most precious jewel in your marketing and sales arsenal. It’s basically the holy grail. It serves as an entry point to your funnels and is a direct communications link with your audience. The problem is too many businesses treat their emails lists like they do their personal emails. They ignore them. (I’m talking to YOU, person with 3000 unread emails)
As a business or entrepreneur, there are few things as valuable as your email list. That’s why I sent out an email blast to nearly 5000 people asking them to unsubscribe from my email list. No, seriously. I did.
See the gurus will tell you that your email list is precious. And they will agree that it is a leader in captivating our audiences, and driving business growth. But what they don’t tell you is… You don’t want everyone and their momma on your email list.
In fact, you don’t want everybody and their momma on ANYTHING period! (I know I used an an exclamation point, but it felt right)
Here’s the thing. In today’s society to many of our entrepreneurs are being blinded by vanity metrics. We are impressed by volume of contacts and not the quality of the contacts. Business owners these days kill themselves to get more likes.. more subscribers… more follows… more views… And I get it. Cuz that’s what Facebook told you it would take to get noticed. Facebook said, the more likes, follows, and comments you get, the better you’re doing. So we believed it.
But it’s not the whole truth. Yes, you want more people to see your stuff. BUT, if you have 20K followers with 2000 likes per post and 420 comments, but no sales… then it’s not helping you.
This mentality also plagues people in with their email lists. They add every person they meet to their email list. And I was doing it to! If I met you at an event and you gave me your card, I instantly put you on my email list. Cuz, why not right. Too many are treating the holy grail like a Wal-Mart; more this, more that, more likes, more comments.
And they’re still… More broke!
Because you aren’t actually talking to YOUR audience. You’re just talking to “an” audience.
Very few of the 20,000 followers the everyday entrepreneur has are actually qualified to be their client or customer. Either they don’t need what’s being sold, they can’t afford it, or they don’t see the value in the service. In fact, lots of people are following you because of you. They just like YOU. And if you’re not selling you (which doing so would be very prohibitive to growing your business) then you’ll find it real hard to monetize your audience.
But here’s the thing, you also don’t want to go around “qualifying” people to be in your circle or do business with you. People are too sensitive for that these days. The gurus have all told them they are important, and they DESERVE everything, and everybody should fight for their attention (even though we all give it away really freely these days). So if you try to tell them they aren’t right for you, there will be backlash.
But we all want “qualified leads” so how can we make sure our likers, followers, subscribers, etc. are qualified?
All you have to do is let them SELF-QUALIFY.
Allow them to be the decision maker on whether they are actually part of your tribe (include an affiliate link to the book tribes) or not. If you let them drive that bus, then you’ll know you’re giving your attention to those who are ready for the mutually beneficial relationship you’re looking to establish.
There is nothing more empowering to someone than giving them the option to opt-out of something that isn’t right for them. Not only giving them the option, but giving them permission. Because some won’t move unless you explicitly give them permission. They don’t want to feel (fill in the blank).
Which is why I asked almost 5000 people on my email list to unsubscribe… I gave each of them the opportunity to be honest with me and be honest with themselves on whether what I was offering every week in my emails, was actually valuable for them.
Here is a portion of the email I sent…
“…if you’re getting this email, we’ve crossed paths at some point and you asked to keep in touch.
Well this is step one of me keeping in touch. LOL
Of course it’s not the only way we will keep in touch, but it is the best way for me to directly share with you the “stuff” that runs through my mind.
In these emails you’ll receive a mixture of business wisdom, personal inspiration, calls to accountability, random thoughts, and of course a lot of personality. I promise two things… I promise not to spam you and overload your inbox and I promise a full serving of Stefan G with each email.
If you don’t want any of this you can UNSUBSCRIBE HERE. It won’t hurt my feelings, I promise.
If you don’t think you’d truly benefit from getting these emails a few times a month, go right ahead a drop out. I won’t hold it against you.
For everyone else… LET’S GO CHANGE THE WORLD!!”
I gave everyone on my email list a chance to self-qualify. But did you see what I did at the end of the email. I also threw in a little FOMO teaser. Because they might have told themselves, “yea this isn’t right for me.” But then, when they read that those who stayed were gonna change the world, their brain goes… “Wait, I want to change the world. Maybe I should be paying attention to these emails!”
So they either reconnected with me and my content and decided to give it more attention, or they self-qualified and unsubscribed.
Just in case you’re new to the concept, self-qualifying is when someone takes it upon themselves to recognize they aren’t the best fit for you (that they aren’t “qualified” to continue with you). This could mean either they aren’t ready to step into your realm, or they don’t see the value in your offer, or they just can’t afford to pay your pricing. Whatever the reason, when people self-qualify it’s a huge win for everyone, personally and professionally.
Whether in your dating life, or as an entrepreneur seeking new clients, if you can ensure you’re only engaging with people who see and respect the value of what you’re offering, you’re five steps ahead of your competition. (YES, you DO have competition!)
So what’s the best way to get someone to self qualify? Focus on three things:
- Be honest.
- Give them an easy way out.
- Don’t take it personal.
TRUTH is one of the 8 Principles of Elite Entrepreneurship.
And it is in full effect if you want people to self-qualify. Today’s society equates social prominence to success. The more people liking my posts, the more people telling me I’m great, the greater I actually am. In business there is not much further from the truth. Business is measured by one thing, SALES.
But because of how we see business these days, we’re more likely to lie in order to gain more likes, followers, etc. Elite Entrepreneurs can’t do that. We must be honest with our audiences. We must be honest about who we are, what we want, and most importantly what they can expect from us. In the email above you will notice I was very open and honest about the content in my emails. “a mixture of business wisdom, personal inspiration, calls to accountability, random thoughts, and of course a lot of personality.” If you don’t want all of that, this email subscription might not be right for you. I was certainly to let them know everything they got would be littered with my personality. So if they don’t like my personality (and some people don’t. I know a shock to me too) then they can bow out.
You would guess that people would read that and say, “yea I’m down for that”. But I got nearly 300 people to unsubscribe from my email list on the first day. IT WAS GREAT!!
They recognized the things I said I would be offering in my emails did not match what they needed or wanted in their lives and in their business and they opted out. And I couldn’t be happier. But one of the reasons they felt the freedom to leave was because I told the truth. I was honest about my intentions, my expectations, all of it. If you tell people up front who you are, what you want, what you offer, what you expect out of it all, they will self-qualify for you.
Give them an easy way out
Another thing I was sure to do was make it easy for them to leave. There’s nothing more frustrating than someone saying “You don’t have to stay. There’s the door!” then blocking the door. We have to give people the permission to self-qualify. This isn’t only with regard to email list, but also with in-person sales, phone sales, online sales. Always include verbiage that identifies WHO your service or product is for, walks people through a process to see if that fits them (honesty) and then give them permission to leave.
If you notice in my email, I reinforced their ability to go by saying, “If you don’t want any of this you can UNSUBSCRIBE HERE. It won’t hurt my feelings, I promise. If you don’t think you’d truly benefit from getting these emails a few times a month, go right ahead a drop out. I won’t hold it against you.”
I gave them permission and then I also gave them a link right in their face to walk out the door. Do the same in all your sales efforts. Don’t be annoying and arrogant about it , but let be honest about who your service/product is perfect for then let them know if it’s not right for them, it’s okay. Your audience must feel like it’s perfectly acceptable to self-qualify.
Don’t take it personal
Don’t be offended when people say, self-qualify their way out of your circle. When people let you know “we’re not a good fit” they are doing both of you a favor. We should be grateful. They are saving us time, energy, and money. Like seriously, they are saving us from ourselves. Remember that person you were dating that popped up one day and said “I don’t thin we’re a good fit.”? They were right weren’t they.
It wasn’t because something was wrong with you. But they realized you didn’t match what they wanted or needed in a relationship. And they found the courage to tell you, instead of letting both of you go down a road THEY KNEW wouldn’t end up where you wanted it to go.
This is the same thing.
This is a prospect, letting you know. I’m not the one for you. You’re better off focusing your energy towards someone you actually have a chance with. Yea that may sound harsh, but it’s the best news you could get. In this numbers game that is business and sales, we want to be giving our energy to those we actually have a chance of closing. Why should I be promoting a singles night to married people? But if your email list, or your facebook ads, or whatever marketing channel is focused towards the wrong audience, you’re wasting your energy.
So, when someone opts out; when someone says no thanks; when someone self-qualifies; we don’t take it personal. We thank them for being honest with us, and we move our attention towards those who want what we have to offer.
This is supposed to be the closing paragraph where I wrap up everything I’ve said so far, but I suck at those. So take the advice above and give your audience the permission to self-qualify. You may find your “new” audience is way more fun slim and trim.