Unsubscribe Me, Please. I’m Fed Up With Your Blog


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This is a guest post by Margaret Adams. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

How often do you think about what makes a blog reader decide to unsubscribe from your blog? More importantly, have you considered what you can do to keep your unsubscribes to a minimum?

I’ve just been through my blog subscriptions and pruned them ruthlessly. I unsubscribed from more than twenty blogs. When I did this I used a clear set of criteria to help me to decide which subscriptions to keep and which to delete.

If your blog had been on my review list, would it have survived?

Try measuring your own blog’s performance against the criteria I used to make my unsubscribe decisions, if you’re ready for the challenge, that is.

You’ve annoyed me, so I’m unsubscribing.

Like every one who reads blogs, there are things I like about blogs and things I hate. There are also some things that I just won’t put up with.

For example, I don’t want to be contacted every day, sometimes more than once a day by someone telling me how a deadline is approaching and that I need to take action in order to avoid disappointment or something worse. Reminders have their place, but some blog owners just keep sending last chances to buy and more information about offers that are going to expire two hours from now, one hour from now, in the next five minutes and so on.

I tend to check the email account where I receive all my newsletters daily. If I find I receive more than one sales pitch a day from someone, then I’m likely to unsubscribe.

Your subscribers might not feel the same as I do about the number of emails they receive from you, but are you doing things that annoy them in some other way?

Look at your subscription statistics. Do you see increases in your unsubscribes, at particular times? Can you relate these increases to actions you have taken, like conducting an over-zealous marketing campaign? If you can, establish what you’re doing that’s turning people away. Work out why people leave your list and do something about it.

You’ve bored me, so I’m unsubscribing.

You must have noticed that some blogs don’t have a great deal to say. The blog owner probably has a few ideas and opinions, but he or she recycles them endlessly in much the same way. There’s never any variety in the blog, no guest contributions, no controversy, no sparkle.

My rule of thumb is that if I can anticipate what’s going to be in a blog post, and I’ve already heard what the blog owner has to say several times, then I’m going to find the blog boring. That means I’ll unsubscribe.

As a blog owner you know you’re going to lose people from your list. Businesses expect to lose at least 10% of their customers each year. Blog owners must expect the same thing to happen to them. Quite a few of your readers will be just as ruthless as I am. If you don’t entertain them, they’re not going to stay subscribed.

Review your own blog. Overall, is the number of unsubscribes going up? Is that figure higher than it was last year? If it is, what are you going to do about it?

You’ve misled me, so I’m unsubscribing.

Some blog owners make amazing promises in order to get sign-ups to their list. Many deliver what they promise. Some don’t.

I’ve recently unsubscribed from two lists because commitments made at the time of sign-up have not been honoured. In both cases the follow-up contacts were nothing but sales pitches offering me “great” or “awesome” opportunities to buy products loosely linked to the subject matter of the blog. That wasn’t what I had signed up to receive, so I parted company with the sites.

Your blog and the unsubscribe function

Blog readers are fickle. They know what they want. They know when they’re getting what they want. They also know there are also lots of blogs to choose from. If people don’t find what they want on your blog, they’ll look for it somewhere else.

Had I been a subscriber to your blog, before I reviewed my subscriptions, would you still have permission to contact me? In other words are you actively taking steps to avoid annoying, boring or misleading your subscribers?

Don’t answer the question yourself. Take a look at your unsubscribes to work out how well you’re doing, and what your answer to the question really should be.

About the Author: Margaret Adams helps businesses delivering expert services to attract more clients and make more sales. She also blogs at MargaretAdams.co.uk.

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28 Responses to “Unsubscribe Me, Please. I’m Fed Up With Your Blog”

  • Alan @ Work From Home

    Great post, Margaret. From my knowledge I believe I’ve only ever had one unsubscribe from my blog since I started it. I remember it being right after I had published a post, but I don’t remember what the post was about.

    As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t bother me too much to get a few unsubscribes. It could just be that those people aren’t interested in what I have to say, and that’s fine with me because I want my readers to be targeted, and those that are will stay on board.

  • Shay W

    Hi Margaret,

    You are so true. Especially about bloggers that annoy you.

    I just had a case where I commented on a blog and found out that this guy subscribed me to his service (not even just to the comments) and started bomb me with mails.

  • sjkato

    I cant say i can fully talk in this situation, given that I dont really have a blog, but I can understand what you are talking about.
    If you want to succeed in a blog, you have to put a lot of effort into it and give a lot of time to the details. Provide something which grabs people’s attentions and if you can hold their attention and keep them interested every day, every week; then you might be able to succeed as a blogger.
    I have never been much of a people person, but I am tempted to start a blog, just to see if I can cope. I certainly doubt I could keep with your criteria though :p

  • John Paul Aguiar

    Great walk thru… I think if you you stay to your blogs topic, and continue to share helpful content then most readers will not leave.

    The trouble comes when you start your blog one way.. then decide to change things up.

    You started with a few ads.. now you have 50 ads everywhere.

    You started with a review post here n there.. now you do almost all review posts.

    You started with replying to all comments.. now you are to lazy to ever reply.

    If you change things, make sure the change is a benefit to your readers first, and yourself second.

    • Margaret Adams

      I think this is really the point. Put your readers first.

      If you’re using your blog to help your business then make sure you think about your customers before you think about yourself.

      Do that and they’ll stay.

  • Dieter

    How about web 2.0 fatigue? I can sense it’s coming. The gurus of self deployment and happiness are already on the track of disconnecting from all needless stimuli. That includes unsubscribing from blogs which are not vital to you, however good they are in their set-up.

    I believe bloggers will see the need for offline, individual consultancy soon and give up a bit on the leverage of mass communication.

    • Margaret Adams

      The real need is a combined approach. You need to be on-line and off-line business communications. You also need to have objectives for both areas, too, and they need to complement each other.

      The results are excellent once you have a joined up business communications strategy.

  • jason ward

    Sometimes, things can become rather stagnant with certain blogs, which would allow for users to obviously become disenchanted and possibly unsubscribe. That’s why actions are needed in blogs in order to keep things interesting. Just like any relationship, a certain element of unpredictabilty is needed in order to keep it safe and in check.

  • Robert @ Techinfo-4u.com

    A great post, some great points, one of the things that annoys me most is being bombarded by emails if i’ve made a comment, or getting a newsletter every day of the week, it drives me nuts, i’ve enough emails to deal with as it is

  • Matt K

    How active the comments section is, and how much the original post author responds, is one of my big things when deciding to subscribe/unsubscribe. I check in a lot more frequently with active communities because I know the topic of discussion will be moving on. If there’s no comments, it’s pretty easy to only read a few times a week, then once a week, and then gone.

    Right on with the “you’ve bored me” – some blogs are really interesting reads at first, but after a while it’s like beating a dead horse. I love to read economic blogs and there are some big differences – some can keep sharing the same news either briefly or in different ways (or have lots of discussion going) and keep readers interested, and others present the same info over and over.

  • Dawn Le

    It seems that losing readers is inevitable. You can never satisfy everyone in your subscribed list. I think the two main reasons here is the quality of blog’ s content and the quantity of feeds that people get in their feed reader.

  • Dorothy Ray

    Interestiing and helpful post, Margaret. I’ve wondered if, when I don’t have time and/or inclination to read certaiin blogs and delete them unread, if the blog owner realizes I’ve done this? I’ve noticed that if I delete unread emails several times in a row, next time, it ends up in my spam folder. I really don’t want to unsubscribe, I just have too much to read and you know how fast they pile up.

  • Margaret Adams

    My business is more of an off-line business than an on-line business, so I meet my customers regularly. I write for them and, as their interests change, so does what I offer them

    My blog reflects my customers’ interests.

    I hope my customers will stay with me – both on-line and off-line because I keep on helping them to succeed. I try not to get “unsubscribes” but there are a few here and there.


  • Ben

    Unsubscribing is a good thing because it shows you are doing some housekeeping. I’ve heard all too many comments from people who don’t bother to check their feed reader or who are “too scared” because they haven’t checked in for a week. I’d imagine a similar issue occurs if you auto-follow everyone on Twitter who follows you. Removing feeds you don’t check anymore is a sensible idea that helps you to keep on top of the feeds you enjoy.

  • Web Marketing Tips

    visitors are like monkey. If they wont gwt their desired things than they will move to another tree.

    So if you want to keep them than keep providing their favourite food and things.

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    It’s definitely a fine balance as to how to keep some of your current readers excited and craving more, while making sure you don’t piss off others.

    I’ve been thinking about this bigtime…and I think one way to keep readers is to simply make your site so memorable they only WISH you’d post more often. Thinking about how to do that…

    • Web Marketing Tips

      would love to read more about it from you and how you done it.

    • Margaret Adams

      Have a story, a theme, a blog series . . . something to bring readers back for the next episode.

      It works.

  • Sleepless

    You make some good points Margaret. My favorite part is the 10% loss per year. People just change their minds, or have interests in different areas. Some unsubscribe, other don’t.

    I remember the first time I received an unsubscribe notice. It felt like a heartbreaker, but now I’m used to that. And as long as I get more subscribes than unsubscribes, I’m happy.

    Recently I tested with a pop-up plug-in to gain subscribers for one of my blog’s newsletter. It works really well but there are also more people than usual that unsubscribe. This is part of the game and I keep attentive not to become overly aggressive.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      yes unsubscribe notice is like we are doing something wrong or our readers are not getting what they expected at the time of subscribing and i take it very seriously.

      • Sleepless

        The problem here is that as soon as you get a sufficient number of visitors, it’s also normal that some unsubscribe. It would be foolish to expect all subscribers to stay forever. Moreover, you can’t please all of them, and trying to do so would make your message fade out.

        Keep an eye on your unsubscribes but don’t overreact.

      • Web Marketing Tips

        You should keep this in your task that once in a month you can write to those readers who unsubscribe from your blog.

        Believe me if you will mail them to seeking their reasons they will know that yes you care about them individually.

        I do not know about others but yes I got many readers back.

  • Mike @ Blog Success


    Great points! I have unsubscribed from a few blogs as they posting twice a day, filling my inbox with posts that I was unable to keep up with. If you have 20-30 feeds, it can get overwhelming to keep up.

    Many time, people subscribe to get “freebies” and then unsubscribe later.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      now a days people use different email address to get free things. Nobody would like to get spam or bulk emails containing tonnes os offers.

      • Mike @ Blog Success

        Using different email for free things, information is great idea. I guess I should use it more often, thanks.

  • Abel

    You are spot on. We subscribe mostly because we want to learn. There are not many lists fulfill your criteria. DBT is being one of the few ones that I follow religiously 🙂

    I guess being who you are and have genuine interest in helping the readers are two important factors. Personally I don’t really care about the last point. The readers are welcome to unsubscribe as I can’t be go-to guy for every problem imaginable.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      we all visit each other blogs to learn new things.

      Once you stopped to feed my brain and my thoughts i will unsubscribe you.

      Thats the mantra i follow.

      • Joan

        Hi Margaret,

        Thank you for some insight on how to handle unnecessary emails, I have done this on occasion, but only where the marketing becomes aggressive and you go from pillar to post before you reach the end goal.

        The tips to look out for are appreciated, however I do not totally agree with just dumping certain marketers, when big launches arrive you may receive numerous mails on the same subject which may assist you in making up your mind whether the product is worth the money you may spend. All seem to be inter connected.

        A week or two later they, these same marketers may send out information that is relevant to building your own list or business.

        I have found it more beneficial to open up an additional email to handle the sign-ups, this way I can take a couple of hours off once or twice a week and scan through them to see if there is anything worthwhile.

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