“Help! Why do my subscribers keep unsubscribing from my email list?”
This is another common struggle I hear often from Christian bloggers. They finally started getting readers to subscribe, but with every new email that is sent, a bunch of them unsubscribe.
The truth is that getting subscribers is only half the battle. Some might say that keeping them is the bigger struggle.
Here are some tips to help you understand the reasons people may be leaving and learn how to correct it so they stay!
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Why Do Readers Unsubscribe?
There are many reasons people unsubscribe from email lists. As a Christian blogger, this can be especially frustrating because you truly want to stay connected with them and don't understand why they'd want to leave. The image below is just a snapshot of the last 2 weeks. I had people unsubscribe almost daily (and sometimes more than one person each day)!
Every week I have more than a handful of unsubscribers! I used to let it bother me and would obsess over why there were leaving. Once I understood how to get the right subscribers and how to keep them engaged, I realized that the ones that left simply weren't my target audience.
Here are 4 of the top reasons for why people unsubscribe from email lists.
You Email Them Too Much
This is the #1 reason I unsubscribe from email lists. How many times have you subscribed to something and then BAM! Every single day you are getting bombarded with emails!
While there isn't a standard number of emails, you must find a fine line for your audience. Depending on what your blog is about, sending a weekly email may be enough. Sometimes, twice a week is appropriate. But, unless they signed up for an email series, you shouldn't be emailing them every single day!
Now, you may have taken some courses or follow bloggers who specialize in email marketing and they tell you to use these “overkill” tactics. As a Christian blogger, I'd say that you should be able to discern between what is appropriate and what is a sleazy sales tactic.
Just look at your own inbox and what annoys and irritates you. Don't do that to your own readers!
Your Emails Are Boring and/or Not of Value to Them
On the flipside of overkill emails – are the emails that have absolutely no value. We get so much spam and other pointless emails in our inbox daily. If I'm going to let you bother me in my inbox, you need to offer me something that adds value to my day!
Aside from getting your amazing freebie, your readers want to connect with you. Simply emailing them about the bad day you've had – who wants to read that? What they'd rather read is about how you got through whatever struggle you were dealing with.
But remember – your weekly emails should always relate to the overall purpose and mission of your blog (and why they signed up to hear from you).
Also, readers sign up to connect with you. If you are monetizing your blog, be very minimal (but intentional) with sending out emails to promote products to your readers. In other words, you should NOT be promoting a product in every single email. They want to connect with you – not hear about what you think they should buy!
Your Freebie Appealed to the Wrong Audience
Make sure that your freebie is designed specifically for your target audience as it relates to the overall content and purpose of your blog. Case in point:
In my early days when I first started blogging, I signed up for a blog traffic checklist from another blogger. This was something I totally needed as a new blogger. The checklist was great! The problem came in her first email (and all the ones after) in that each week she emailed me about parenting tips for a mom with small kids. I had found the original blogging tips post on Pinterest so I didn't even look at the rest of her site before subscribing.
Look, I have a 16 and 23-yr old – I could care less about parenting toddlers! So, after about 4 or 5 emails, unsubscribed!
If you have a blog that writes on different topics, you might look at really honing in on your Avatar a bit more. But at a minimum, ensure that if you have multiple audiences that you segment them accordingly so you aren't sending them irrelevant emails.
On Kingdom Bloggers, I have 2 different segments and I ensure that I only send blogging tips to those who signed up for blogging tips (not my faith subscribers).
They Only Wanted Your Freebie
The hard truth is that many people will subscribe just to get whatever freebie you are offering to your subscribers. They don't care much about connecting with you or getting your emails. They just want the goods!
This is just a reality of online connections. I've seen bloggers spend hours in “rants” in different Facebook groups complaining about how readers are getting their freebie and unsubscribing after. While you may have created that awesome freebie as a bonus for your subscribers, you must make peace with the fact that people will get the freebie and run.
Instead of focusing on them unsubscribing, focus on the fact that something wonderful that you created (that hopefully has great value) is now out there, possibly being shared, and may lead more people back to your site (more people reading your blog).
How to Keep Your Subscribers From Leaving
While you can't keep every single one of them from leaving, there are some things that will help keep them engaged and wanting more.
Know Your Avatar
The best way to keep your subscribers is to make sure the people coming to your blog need what you have to offer. That means you focus your content on a very specific target audience and research their needs, struggles, and pain points.
This way, the people coming will be more likely to want to connect with you and be more engaged with what you send them in your emails.
Create Optins Your Avatar Needs
Make sure you are creating optins that appeal to the target audience you are trying to build. If your blog caters to multiple audiences, ensure you have segment your lists and only send each one content related to the reason they subscribed.
I really struggled at first to figure out how to make the right optins for my readers. I took Suzi Whitford's List by Number course and it really helped me come up with ideas that converted for my audience. She also has detailed tutorials for using both MailerLite and ConvertKit to create high-converting optin forms.
Related: 16 Content Upgrade Ideas for Christian Bloggers
Be Respectful of Your Time in Their Inbox
Find the right balance for how often you send your emails and make sure each one offers actual value. Aside from sending them links to your most recent blog posts, be sure that you are speaking to them about stuff that relates to your blog's mission.
If you are a mom blogger, then share tips on how you dealt with a certain toddler meltdown that week. For me, I send out weekly blogging tips that offer a bit more detail than the most recent blog posts that week.
Bottom line – don't do to your readers what you get annoyed with!
Spoil Your Subscribers
The one thing that pretty much everyone who ever lived loves to get is free stuff! Aside from your regular email topics, make it a point to regularly send your subscribers goodies. This could be a simple as having a password-protected resource page that you continually add stuff to.
I regularly create scripture graphics and Bible verse coloring pages. When I do, I add them to the resource library and send out an email to let my subscribers know.
Get creative and think of something you can easily create that relates to your blog's mission.
People love free stuff and will stay on your list in anticipation of what you'll send them next!
Understand That You Won't Keep Them All
Of all the tips I've offered so far on keeping people from unsubscribing, this is the most important one. You won't keep them all no matter what you try! As I mentioned before, some people will subscribe simply to get your awesome freebie and will unsubscribe as soon as they get the first email from you. That is totally OK!!
Instead of focusing on who is leaving, focus on the ones who stayed and create more great content for them.
Focus on the Subscribers Who Stayed!
While it is frustrating to see subscribers leave, don't let that distract you from really focusing on the ones that stay. Focus on creating content that serves your target audience and make sure that your weekly emails truly offer value to them. Don't be random!
In other words, have a plan for building that relationship with every email you send. And stay focused on the reason they joined you to begin with!
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