#29 Web TV: Why People Unsubscribe

Today’s episode is inspired by one of the members of our “customers only” private Facebook group. She shared her frustration that after spending months giving great value to her subscribers with quality articles, tips and resources when she eventually sent an email offering a product or service for sale she has a huge unsubscribe rate.
It’s heart breaking when this happens. In this email I share one of the most common reasons so many people would have unsubscribed on this occasion and what you can do to prevent this happening in your own business.

To find out why, watch this quick video in this week’s episode of Wonderful Web TV. Your Monday dose of Motivation, Mindset and Marketing.

I’d love to hear your comments and any tips you’d like to share. Share your thoughts below. I’ll come back and join in the conversation.



P.S. If you like this episode, I’d love you to leave a ranking and comment over on itunes.

Here’s the link (you can also subscribe here too)


  1. Hi Janet. I can totally relate! I’ve been conditioning my list for not just months, but years! Sending out great information and content without selling a thing. When I do send them something with a pricetag, I do get some unsubscribes, but mostly I just don’t get any action.

    I’ve also had a poor success rate from sources that were a give-away event where people only want great free content and never want to pay anything.

    This is great advice and I will be making more of an effort to get my list to take some kind of action with each email from now on.

    I must confess, I have not been too distressed when people have unsusbscribed in the past because I figured they weren’t my customers anyway and best to clear them out to allow in people who actually want what I have to offer, and not just the free stuff!

    Thanks for this post. Fantastic advice!


    • I’ve found the same thing Marguerita with the unsubscribe rate being high from giveaway events. Though for the small time investment, you can still end up with a lot of people who stay with you so you need to weigh it up in terms of time invested.

  2. As usual, Janet, another informative video from you with great usable information. I love the 80/20 rule and it can be applied in so many areas. I love what you shared here about conditioning subscribers to click on the links for more content. That’s why so many of us ‘click’ on your links – you always make it worthwhile. Thank you.

    • Totally Agree Lily 🙂

    • I’m happy you feel I always make it worthwhile to click on links. Phew. That’s another point to add. You must always be very respectful of the time and attention your subscribers give you. If you don’t have anything worthwhile to say that will add value to the reader, then don’t send the email.

  3. Sometimes I find it hard to ask people to buy things but I got my mindset right a while ago and went back through my autoresponders and added offers to all of them. Some were asking people to click to see more free stuff, or to sign up for things, or to view the rest of an article, others were links to Amazon. I am still training myself to think this way with any new newsletters I send my list.

    I agree about needing to condition readers to click links. I have only recently started doing that in the last 6 months. Prior to that I thought I needed to “earn” the right to ask for sales by giving lots of free content first. It’s a tricky balancing act!

    That was very interesting about clicking links conditioning spam filters. Great tip

    • I also used to think I had to “earn” the right to sell until I realised that I was viewing selling as something for me, not for them. Once you start valuing your own time and expertise you know you can’t possibly give everything away. You would go broke and not everyone is ready for the extra depth of info or help. If you are offering very real solutions your customers want, then offering a sale is actually a gift. It’s a different mindset.

  4. Thanks, Janet, for a very helpful video! I’ve been sharing channeled information in a free weekly ezine for 3 years now and do make gentle offers every week but haven’t been converting to sales, although I have a great open rate. I’ve been surprised that people haven’t even taken advantage of free discovery sessions. Your way of looking at the ezine as ‘conditioning readers’ is brilliant! I’ll take that to heart.

    Thank you.

    Blessings and Love,
    Rosemary Bredeson – The Scientific Mystic

    • Interesting about your “discovery sessions”. The other thing you need to create in order to get people to take action is a level of honest scarcity. Not the “only 50 ebooks will ever be sold” rubbish, or count down timers on a page that are not real deadlines. Instead think: How many discovery sessions can I really do every week? Maybe 5 or 6? If only that many, you can’t take tyre kickers. You can only take people who fit the profile of your ideal customer.
      So you can honestly say to your list: I have 5 discovery sessions available in the next week and here is the criteria to see if you qualify for one.

      That will get people to take action.

  5. Great Video Janet- and fabulous info!
    It’s comforting to know that this is not an issue that targets just a few of us individually- and that there ARE effective ways around the problem.
    Your advise is right on.
    Early on as we started Menopauserus.com I received some great advice in a webinar: as long as you are delivering quality content and are not constantly bombarding your list with offers and selling, should you find at times you lose folks, just see it as a culling of the ‘dead wood’…more than likely these folks were not that into you in the first place and they are providing you with a chance to hone, polish, reflect and refresh your approach!

    We appreciate you!

    • Yep you can’t take unsubscribed personally. Not every subscriber is your ideal customer and you’re not the solution to every person. Instead changes in your unsubscribe rate are important so you can assess if your communication strategies are working.

  6. Hi Janet, very good info.
    Im probably on the side of 90/10 rule. As nearly all my emails have links to click either for current or future events and Im actually selling on each email, while giving some good in house chit chat with my group on each email too. Such as answering questions or the like.

    I feel if they joined to get an email they expect to be sold. Ive had calls from people who complain if they dont get an email from me if its longer than a week since my last email to them. Plus I have over 26 newsletters and send out emails every day, you wind up with sales every day, its that simple.

    I fully agree that your advice is right, the lady who got the shock unsub rate should reverse her activities – and start selling, otherwise why do the whole excersise? The over riding fact is that people are willing to buy and youre right, we have to condition them into doing just that from day 1.
    from David

  7. Hi Janet. Great practical advice as always. Here’s another thought… What I think some people can struggle with is the mindset around asking for a sale. They feel comfortable giving free information and other stuff when it comes to putting an offer to their database their energy changes. Sometimes its equally important to look at the free content and sales ratio and also ones mindset about receiving money. In our time management coaching we come up against people, particularly in personal services sector who really struggle to ask for money and we have to get them to work through a process to change their mindset. Its a case of getting clear about the value they offer and feeling good about that.
    Have a great week, Jayne

    • Spot on about the mindset Jayne and it is the most important thing you need to master in order to be successful in business. (that’s why I spend tens of thousands per year on a mindset coach, personal development courses, workshops and books).
      The comment I made above to Talia is also on this topic.

  8. Janet I always love your information. Thank you!

  9. Janet,

    Wonderful advice. I have gradually discovered that people who like my work also are interested in buying. However, my problem has been that until very recently I did not have great sales pages. Have just finished creating three very good new pages (at least according to people who study sales pages) and am anxious to see how the sales page connects with the person who clicks on a link.

    Thanks again for good advice.


  10. Kathy Howard says:

    This was a very interesting video. I don’t have a web site or blog; I just have a page hosted by my sister. http://jane.walkerillustration.com/khowardquilts.htm

    I am one of those people who recently unsubscribed to some of your content. You do give out some really good free information. I’m one of those people with little money to spend. What little I make, I spend on proofs of fabric designs so I can offer these for sale on Spoonflower.com or for fabric to offer on Etsy. I like earning some spending money, but I’m not really ready to run a business, so I guess I would have to call it a hobby at this point.

    • Sometimes we are running a business without realising it Kathy. If you are selling your wares and people are buying then you have a business, if just the start of one. I challenge you think of it as a part-time business you have rather than a hobby. The simple reframe will make a huge difference to the amount of spending money you earn.

  11. I’d like to second David’s approach and also endorse what Jayne has said. I feel you should routinely include information on upcoming events, products etc so you are conditioning your list to understand you are running a business that offers great value to its clients.

    You are also conditioning yourself to not create a huge divide between your free information and your paid information as they are not necessarily paying for information but rather, the solution and the way it fits them. If you think about yourself and why you joined Janet here, maybe it was for access to her, customised answers, deeper how to info and support and being able to accelerate your progress, network with others etc etc. So the crucial piece is you invested in the way the information is implemented in your business, not the actual information.. This also helps with the mindset of I’m giving generously, oh no, now I’m taking.

    What helped me with this was the mindset (learned from Lisa Sasevich and Kendall Summerhawk) which is that you are simply inviting right clients to “go deeper” with you (ie implement) and that meeting client’s needs (ie selling to them) is good service. By sharing freely and generously (much like Janet does) your information or approach will strike a chord with your just right audience and they will want more from you and likely be happy to pay because you are providing value well above the cost. If you do this well you are also seeding future sales.

    People value what they pay for, and the very act of paying for something is a commitment to the self, an investment in learning or growing. I heard a story from David Neagle that his mentor Jack Canfield makes his own familly pay full whack for his seminars, so much does he belief that finding the money and making the payment is an important part of the process and committing to change.

    If Jayne’s comments resonated, you may have blocks to receiving money, I would recommend you do some inner work on that. There are a lot of mentors in that space, Kendall Summerhawk is probably the best known.

    What a great and huge topic Janet, you could make thought starters on this one for the rest of the year!

    Have a great week everyone, work on your powers of receiving! Warm wishes, Cate

    • Love your thoughtful comments Cate. You have mentioned some brilliant people here who I highly recommend people follow, watch and learn from. As well as clever people they are also high integrity and just plain nice.

      • Remembered that the man who makes his family buy tickets in his seminars is Bob Proctor, not Jack Canfield …. sorry!

  12. Hi Janet
    Really loved this episode of Web TV. I love the 80/20 rule in the email that you mentioned and getting clients to do the click through. Never realised it’s how you train your clients, I always thought if you gave away a lot they’ll love you and buy from you but yes you do have to train your clients.
    Thanks again for great content

  13. Regarding the number of comments Janet this really hit home and I have to admit to never thing of training my lsit to take action and therefore prepare them for selling. I have just re launched my website and ezine etc so as it is early days this is a great tip for me to start putting into practice.


  14. I also put a sentence at the end saying that I am working on something and to look for the product that is coming.

  15. Spot on as usual Janet! 90% of my newsletters are videos, I write a little extra text in the newsletter but then to watch the video they have to click on over to my blog. It’s a great strategy. But I also have, in the sidebar of my newsletter, a list of all my products, which are (of course) clickable links, so every week my subscribers are seeing these and I may refer to one of the products in my tutorial videos from time to time as well.

    • Great point about having your products in the side bar of your blog Jane. Not all sales have to be in your face and this is a great way to remind people you have more intensive solutions. Congratulations on the rave reviews of your Make Videos With Camtasia product by the way 🙂

  16. Great food for thought, Janet. Here’s a question.

    How do you implement 80/20 in a concrete manner? Does that mean that out of every 10 emails (or newsletters, whatever) that I send out, two of them are a sales pitch? If so, where/when in the series should they fall for best results?

    One marketer I know recommends interweaving sales offers with a 10-message “mini-course” series as a way to get people into a sales funnel. This is a tactic I’m thinking of using. In his methodology, messages 5 and 8 are soft sells, message 10 is a hard sell. The sales pitch is integrated into the end of the tutorial info in the mini-course email and he gets very high conversions with this approach.

    Obviously most email or newsletter traffic streams are not going to be mini-courses and won’t lend themselves to this sort of calculated timing. But the issue of when a sales offer is introduced seems important, and I’m wondering what kind of “schedule” would work best for adding offers to my customer communications. Any suggestions?

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