Why email marketing can feel like throwing yourself to the Dragons

Rejection can be difficult to swallow and, sometimes, understand

Anyone who’s ever tried to build up a newsletter list will know how difficult and soul destroying it can be – especially when you open the MailChimp report to see the stats from your latest output and find that at least one person has unsubscribed.
Often that unsubscriber is someone you know and someone you thought was on board with your business idea, leaving you lots of questions like ‘why?’ and ‘what did I do wrong?’ – especially when the unspecified box is checked and no feedback is given.
The reason can be as simple as they don’t have time to read your daily updates, their mailbox is chockablock with campaigns, or they have chosen to keep up with your latest musings via your blog or social media instead.
Whatever the reason, it can be difficult not to take it personally. After all, this is your pride and joy; the business you have been cultivating over the last 24 months and burning the midnight oil over.
Each newsletter campaign can be like pitching to the Dragons – only for one of them to say “I won’t be investing; I’m out.”
And that investment needn’t have been monetary. It can mean your unsubscriber is no longer willing to invest their time in your daily, weekly or monthly updates.
The rejection can be difficult to swallow and, sometimes, understand – especially when you believe there’s something in there that will genuinely benefit their business.
But, according to those in the know, unsubscribes should be seen as another opportunity – for learning, business improvement and market research.
They suggest that one of the ways to maximise this opportunity is to create an exit survey and use tools such as unsubscribe redirect, depending on which email marketing platform you’re using.
You can read more about it, courtesy of Campaign Monitor, here: Why are you leaving me? Learning from an unsubscribe exit survey 
According to others, such as Distilled, unsubscribes can even be a positive thing. See Just let go! Why unsubscribes is critical to email marketing success
And some suggest there’s certain unsubscribe etiquette for email marketing for those doing the ‘ditching’. Check out Caleb’s blog on Email unsubscribe etiquette 
Whichever camp you fall into, whether it’s the unsubscribee or the unsubscriber, we’d love to know your thoughts and tips. Drop me a line at lynda@scotlandb2b.co.uk and we’ll share your ideas and suggestions.
In the meantime, here are a few of ours:
Don’t get hung up on stats – it’s really easy to become obsessed with hits and clicks and all manner of other stats but remember that content is king. Focus on developing really good content through your blogs, social media and newsletter and the rest will follow. You might find Business Gateway’s free Digital Boost workshops on Website Data Analytics, Email Marketing (Intermediate), and Digital Marketing Strategy useful, however.
Be patient – content marketing in particular takes time and persistence. It isn’t easy but it is very effective in the long-run. For content marketing tips and advice, see the Content Marketing Academy, which is based in Fife.
Try reciprocating – offering to subscribe or help out a business associate isn’t only good manners but is what building good business relationships is all about. Exchanging metaphorical cows for magic beans isn’t as old hat as you might think.
Value the subscribers you do have – a handful of stakeholders who are really engaged with your business are far more important and valuable than thousands of superficial contacts who don’t even bother to open your campaigns.
In short, don’t beat yourself up over one or two unsubscribes and, instead, look at the bigger picture and what you have to gain from a small, organically growing, engaged community.
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What is content marketing anyway? 
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