For all businesses, the email newsletter list is supposedly the holy grail. It’s a direct connection to your fans, so that you can communicate with them like friends. The idea is that your list should be your biggest fans, otherwise they wouldn’t sign-up in the first place. I realized the importance of building a list and started a while ago, even though I didn’t know what I was going to send out. I still haven’t figured it all out… but I’m grateful for all the sign-ups. It means people care!

Or do they?! This week I’ve had some newsletter blues, aka unsubscribes. I started sending weekly Wednesday emails introducing a new Girl With A Message along with my thoughts. It’s supposed to be short and direct, but a constant connection to my audience. Since my newsletter sign-up offers a printable girl, I thought it would naturally be the most pertinent news to the list right now.

When the unsubscribes started rolling in, I started questioning the purpose of everything (in life). It’s inevitable to sink into despair at some point – “Oh, what’s the use! I don’t even know what I’m doing. There’s no point…” I think it’s difficult to NOT take an unsubscribe as a personal rejection and nobody likes rejection.

After calming my nerves, I tried to look at the situation objectively. Unsubscribes are normal! The statistics show that all businesses have unsubscribes and the bigger your list grows, the more there will be. It’s actually a good thing because it means uninterested people are leaving. In fact, I was elated to learn that April from Blacksburg Belle actually encourages people to unsubscribe from her list when they sign-up, if they aren’t going to be a good match. The key is creating a true list of fans. Think of it as a natural cleansing of your email list.

It’s not personal. If you think of your own email subscriptions, it’s easy to come up with completely impersonal reasons of unsubscribing. Every once in a while, I go through a massive sign-up phase and massive unsubscribe phase. It’s just a cycle of exploring new things and then deciding that I have too much going on or that it wasn’t what I wanted. It doesn’t mean I hate the person behind the business!

Think of your fans! We all seem to dwell on what we’ve lost, but’s it’s way more important to concentrate on what you have instead. You still have loads of people on your list, so think about serving them. Those people want to connect with you, how cool is that?

I definitely felt better after thinking a bit about this week’s experience. Thanks to all those on my list and it’s okay if you need to unsubscribe – I won’t take it personally. On the other hand, you can totally sign-up for my newsletter if you’d like to get a free printable girl and weekly updates of what’s new!

Do you have thoughts about how to handle an email list? What do you send out to your fans?

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