Wooing back an email list of subscribers that you've p*ssed off!

13 replies
When I started email lists I managed to quickly build up a 1100 subscriber base for IM content. However, being a bit 'green' and foolhardy I ticked off many of the subscribers, over time, by sending info they weren't happy with, too many promotionals etc.

(Now) Being aware that you need to listen to your list and cater to their needs and requests, I'm wondering if there is a way to mend the relationship. Strangely enough, the unsubscribe rates have been fairly contained, but the open rates have plummeted markedly.

Like a failed guy-girl connection, is it sometimes just best to admit that you 'stuffed up' and resolve to move on, lessons learned? Hey, I was Gung-ho, arrogant, and 'experimenting' a little too much with my followup series. You pay a price when you are inexperienced.

Your view? Email e-card apology? Jettison the list to my back folders? Get relationship counselling? Send everyone champagne and movie tickets?

I'm hurting here people. Us bad boys always get our whippings! Fire away ....
#back #email #list #pssed #subscribers #wooing
  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    One of the highest email open rates I've ever received was from an email entitled "I'm Sorry..."

    This works great to explain to them exactly what was going on and how you've made a commitment to only providing value from this point forward. End the email with a gift of some sort to let them know you are serious about providing value.

    This is the first suggestion I always give to my students when they ask this question and it's pretty successful in most cases.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Coby
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    • Profile picture of the author Alice12345
      Originally Posted by Coby View Post

      One of the highest email open rates I've ever received was from an email entitled "I'm Sorry..."

      This works great to explain to them exactly what was going on and how you've made a commitment to only providing value from this point forward. End the email with a gift of some sort to let them know you are serious about providing value.

      This is the first suggestion I always give to my students when they ask this question and it's pretty successful in most cases.

      Good luck!

      Cheers,
      Coby
      This is awesome, maybe I could give it a try! Value is all it counts.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnFinch
      Originally Posted by Coby View Post

      One of the highest email open rates I've ever received was from an email entitled "I'm Sorry..."

      This works great to explain to them exactly what was going on and how you've made a commitment to only providing value from this point forward. End the email with a gift of some sort to let them know you are serious about providing value.

      This is the first suggestion I always give to my students when they ask this question and it's pretty successful in most cases.

      Good luck!

      Cheers,
      Coby


      So right and so true and effective.
      Big Thumbs UP
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I concur with Coby.

    Send a sincere apology.

    Maybe even make it overly cheesy and amusing.

    Also, be sure to set future expectations.

    "I'm sorry that I ABC, and to make up for it I intend on XYZ".



    Possible subject lines:
    I'm literally BEGGING for your forgiveness...
    I EMBARRASSED myself. And got schooled moments later...
    I suck at marketing...

    Maybe have an entire campaign around this theme?
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  • Profile picture of the author Pedro Lopes
    Coby hit it right on, I think there's no better way to relate to a disgruntled list than admitting to what you did and apologizing.
    After all, the most important aspect is relating. If you relate to how they feel about you, you may in turn get some loyalty out of them.

    Worth a shot..
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  • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
    Coby is right. Head their advice.

    After that, create valuable content and do what I say in that report I just sent cha!

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  • Profile picture of the author StanHyeck
    1) The "I'm sorry" subject line should be your next message ... the message itself should have something REALLY good with it. I mean like REALLY good.

    2) Your second message should have something EVEN BETTER. Not only that, in the first message, you want to sell the second message. Tell people you're giving it, no strings attached.

    3) Give something really good for a third message and make sure your second message sells what you're giving away here.

    Keep doing the above for a string of 7 to 9 messages. The only "sales message" should be teasing what the person will get in the next days email.

    4) Make sure that you get some kind of "email subject line swipe file" so that each email has the best subejct lines possible.

    5) Write each email as if it is to ONE person. From you, to one person. It's more personable that way.

    In other words, give 7 to 9 days of great content always teasing what is coming the next day.

    ONE MORE THING

    Make each of the 7 to 9 days of stuff a link they have to click to get.

    Delete off your list everyone that didn't click through at least one of the messages as likely they will never open any of your emails.

    This is REALLY hard to do, but it's worth it. You'll be left with a truly responsive list (of probably less than 300 people)

    Now make sure you treat your list the way you wish you want to be treated.
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  • Profile picture of the author actionplanbiz
    its easier just to say sorry, learn from in, move on and continue with the next subscriber.

    Avoid creating a "im sorry, ive changed" formula and focus on the formula of courting your next subscribers.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Braybrooke
      Originally Posted by actionplanbiz View Post

      its easier just to say sorry, learn from in, move on and continue with the next subscriber.

      Avoid creating a "im sorry, ive changed" formula and focus on the formula of courting your next subscribers.
      Now all I have to do is get good at the 'sorry' part huh? .... 'S-s-s-s-s ...' got a bit of a stammer going etc. Dang it all, I'm just too open road rebel to atone! .... Let's hit the highway!!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Replace them with new subscribers as you'll find it easier to keep the new people happier rather than trying to "woo" the already unresponsive subscribers back into liking your stuff.

    If your list is the type where you want to build a relationship, find a happy medium between promos and delivering useful and relevant content they will want to keep an eye out for you in their inbox for.

    Or you can just go the churn and burn route, but you really need to be doing much more volume than the 1K in a month you mentioned in another thread,

    That will work if you were doing more like 1K per day
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    • Profile picture of the author David Braybrooke
      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      That will work if you were doing more like 1K per day
      Sorry, we can't all be in the big league right away Sir! At the very least, I am putting my bad methodology out there, openly, for all to comment and criticise on. I think a bit of self-experimental 'failing' is what gets us to the next level. Have another go!
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by David Braybrooke View Post

        Sorry, we can't all be in the big league right away Sir! At the very least, I am putting my bad methodology out there, openly, for all to comment and criticise on. I think a bit of self-experimental 'failing' is what gets us to the next level. Have another go!
        "Failing" is exactly what will get you to the next level every time.

        But it looks more like to me that you're succeeding and minor setbacks will happen while you are in the process of succeeding
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I've seen a great reactivation letter by John Carlton for one of his clients. It was funny and worked really good. You should try something funny and see how it goes. Or... test "i'm sorry" and if it doesn't work.... follow up with the funny email and clown yourself and try to get them back on your side.
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