Is Your Newsletter Respecting Your Potential Customers?

If you receive our newsletter, you may have seen that we use MailChimp, a simple email marketing tool. As part of that newsletter setup, we have a simple unsubscribe process. It is simple because we treat our readers as we would like to be treated ourselves.

  • Interesting contents
    because that’s what I really want to ready
  • Regular email
    because I don’t want to think “what’s this?” when I get a newsletter I haven’t seen in ages
  • Simple unsubscribe process
    because there are few things worst than being slowed down from unsubscribing

Most of all, if you decide to opt out from our newsletter (and I really hope you will never have to use this option), you will simply stop receiving it. Because if there is something worse than finding a difficult unsubscribe process is to finding a newsletter you cannot unsubscribe from.
Do you want to know why this is wrong on so many levels?

Your newsletter is a way of communicating with your potential customers

All of us, in a way or in another, create a marketing for our photography business. We talk about what we do, we have a website, we contact prospect customers and we reach out for possible partnership. The newsletter is something more than marketing, a newsletter is a prospect customer who wants to hear from you. The newsletter is where magic happens: you are not reaching out to potential customers, they reach out to hear from you. The least you can do is treat them well, what we do is more (and if you read our weekly newsletters know already) is provide the best contents to our readers, news, discounts.
We don’t want our readers to ask themselves who we are, as it would happen if we sent a newsletter every six months. We deliver something potentially interesting every week.

Why should the unsubscribe process be simple?

If you want to unsubscribe to a newsletter, it means that you are not interested in it. Maybe its contents do not resonate with you, or you don’t find them interesting enough. In any case, you are not interested in the brand keeping in touch. Do you really think that making it harder to unsubscribe to a newsletter would do any good?
I can tell you that every time I don’t want to receive contents and promotions from a brand, if they make my life harder, I won’t spend any good thoughts about them.

If I cannot unsubscribe form your newsletter, you are a spammer

There is something deeper than making harder for your readers to stop receiving your newsletters. It is not listening to them and not letting them go. Is there anything more frustrating than not being able to stop receiving a newsletter you are not interested any longer to? If this happens, you will start getting spam report, and you will transform a potential customer in someone who will speak badly about you.

“If you really love someone…”

There is a saying I believe being true: if you really love someone, let her go; if she comes back, she has always been yours, if she doesn’t, she had never been.
You should treat the subscribers to your newsletter in the same way. The more you will try to keep them engaged in the wrong way, the more they will run away. But if you give them quality contents and they decide to leave nonetheless, then you should really let them go. If they are real customers, they will come and join you.

My personal frustration story

I will close this post with a personal story. A story about a love affair transformed in annoyance and in something even worse later on. A year ago I found a company which published decent content on photography and technology. I started following them on twitter and soon after their marketing manager sent me a nice email about our photography. It seemed a nice personal touch.
Alas, my reply went unanswered and the same manager sent me the same email twice few months apart. I felt cheated on and started losing interest in them. That was when I started receiving their newsletter. I never subscribed, which annoyed me, but I played it cool and unsubscribed. Since then I received their spam every other week, and the dozen different times I tried to unsubscribed, the email, tweet, message on Facebook and so on did not work. Their spam (I cannot call it newsletter) is automatically categorised as spam by gmail, nonetheless I find their methods so despicable that I have stopped talking nicely about them and every time I need to show a bad behaviour for social media and newsletter management, their name comes out in a negative way.

Do you want to be seen as the spammers? The annoying photographers who don’t know when to let people go?

“I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea”

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