List building is the cornerstone of any healthy online business. That’s not to say that you can’t have a thriving biz with a small list, you can, but it’s all in how you treat your subscribers that can make or break you.
I learned this practice from Chris Guillebeau and Henri Juntilla, both of whom sent a personal greeting out when I subscribed to their list. They simply forwarded their notification of my subscription along with a quick “thank you.”
This small act had a profound impact on how I felt about both of these bloggers. As a result, I followed them more closely, shared their content more frequently and knew that I was always welcome to reach out and connect with them if I so desired.
So I started doing it, too. Now, I’ll admit, I have not succeeded in sending every single person who’s subscribed a note (if you’re reading this and I didn’t, I’m very sorry and it’s nothing personal). Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes it’s a case of inbox overwhelm. But as often as I can, for almost two years now, I make this my regular practice.
The connections and conversations that have come from doing this one small thing are amazing. Here’s the way I look at it, if you’re interested enough in what I have to say that you’ll sign up for yet another mailing list, I owe you a huge thanks. I also know that you’re very likely one of my perfect people which means we’re on the same wavelength and I’d like to get to know you better. It’s all win.
On the other hand, what do we do when someone unsubscribes? It feels awful, I know. But it’s just the nature of things. Every single time I email anything out to my list, I get at least one unsubscribe (usually more).
It’s easy to go into panic mode, wondering what you did wrong and wishing you’d chose that other subject line you were considering. But it’s nothing you did, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. This is just your list rejuvenating itself, keeping itself fresh and full of only the most perfect people for your message.
Unlike signing up for your list, unsubscribing from it is not personal. So don’t treat it like it is.
You know how it goes, you find a great site, sign up for the list all excited, then forget who they are six months from now and remove yourself from the mailings. This is how it is for you…and this is how it is for them, too. So be cool.
Don’t get upset. Don’t email stalk them asking them why WHY have they left you. Say goodbye gracefully, and silently.
Treat your list like it’s your friend. Say ‘hi’ often, but not too often. Be willing to give and to receive. Strive for balance and don’t be afraid to ask them what they want from you. Greet them with open arms when they show up, and wish them well when they depart.
While we’re on the subject, why not sign up for my list? It’s that huge yellow box right down below. Come join the partay.
Check out more great posts on this topic today over at Word Carnivals.
Photo by Helga Weber