When Does Opt-In List Disinterest Begin?

25 replies
So I understand that the length of time someone stays subscribed to your list can depend on many factors. But I was wondering if there was sort of a statistical norm for this sort of thing

Like I said I can think of a ALOT of variables that would determine how long someone stays. I'd just hate to be missing out on such a golden nugget of information should it exist!

If nothing else what about your experience. Does your list have a popular "drop off" point?
#begin #disinterest #list #optin
  • Profile picture of the author BJ Min
    i heard some guy say that he tested it and saw that after 6 months,
    people don't buy...and the people who buy after 6 months tend to ask
    for refunds...

    so the guy stopped autoresponder sequence emails at 6 months...forgot the guy...i was just randomly looking for internet marketing stuff...and just remember him saying that...he had his own business book on amazon i believe...but can't recall who it was right now...

    BJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      BJ,
      i heard some guy say that he tested it and saw that after 6 months, people don't buy...and the people who buy after 6 months tend to ask for refunds...
      The guy is wrong. At least as an across the board statement. I have people who've been subscribed for better than 12 years who still buy from me. And MANY who've been subscribed for 2 years or more who do.

      They tend to be LESS likely to ask for refunds, because they know what they're getting.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark McClure
        I was subscribed for about 12 years before I started buying from Paul ;-)

        But then I look at his newsletter as a real labor of love - with a genuine win-win profit motive.

        Maybe it's different for product launches that use email marketing to prime the pump?
        Staying on those lists is a matter of personal preference - I use a junk email account to hold them and periodically cull every few months.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Mark,
          I was subscribed for about 12 years before I started buying from Paul ;-)
          Get with it, Mark. You've got some catching up to do.
          But then I look at his newsletter as a real labor of love - with a genuine win-win profit motive.
          You mean like the issue that was 25 pages or so?

          I think there's something to the idea that launch lists are different, but there are different types of lists even among the ongoing content stuff. Lots of factors would play into it, and I could name most of them. The thing is, when they come into play, which is something you can only find out with hard data.


          Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author htwfh
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        BJ,The guy is wrong. At least as an across the board statement. I have people who've been subscribed for better than 12 years who still buy from me. And MANY who've been subscribed for 2 years or more who do.

        They tend to be LESS likely to ask for refunds, because they know what they're getting.


        Paul
        Yeah, I agree with your thinking, Paul. Familiarity breeds trust if one is an honorable marketer.

        I don't know if a handle can be gotten on this one. I've never been able to pin it down statistically. Even generally.

        I've got folks still on my list from my very first days and I also get folks who unsubscribe within a relatively short time. I think that the greatest variable is if you have what they're looking for. If not... off they go. If so... they'll stay for the whole show.

        Even within like keyword sites. I'll subscribe to some while I won't for others. It all depends on what I see.

        As for marketers... I'm still on some lists after 10+ years. Mostly because I trust the person and his/her advice-products-info.

        Great discussion!

        -
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew W. Rhodes
      Originally Posted by BJ Min View Post

      i heard some guy say that he tested it and saw that after 6 months,
      people don't buy...and the people who buy after 6 months tend to ask
      for refunds...
      Very interesting...

      I might interpret this as "people who don't buy from you at all within 6
      months are less likely to buy from you afterwards, and are more likely
      to ask for refunds if they do buy after the 6 month point."

      It might not be accurate, but as Paul said, interesting point worth
      exploring, for sure.

      Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author htwfh
    Hey JoshuaG,

    I've never heard of a statistical norm for unsubscribe, but if you find one please repost it here as I'm sure many of us would like to know.

    Very interesting question! I hope we can get a lot of discussion on this.

    Thanks!

    -
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    This is a really good question. I don't know the answer, but it wouldn't be hard to figure out with enough data. You'd need to ask someone at an autoresponder or list hosting company to run those numbers.

    I suspect the curve would be very similar for most lists, but that it would change in severity based on the quality of the writing and the information. Some would be flatter, and some would start to swign up later, but it would likely be close to the same for most lists.

    Gotta think about this one. Thanks.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author htwfh
    25 pages!!!? Geez, that was a whopper!

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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      25 pages!!!? Geez, that was a whopper!
      Yep. Most important issue I'd ever done, and the least feedback.

      Now I train new subscribers to expect long blocks of stuff that requires hard thinking. I have a very long subscription page, and the bonus for subscribing is a 112-page book.

      Nothing like setting expectations up front to keep everything clear.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author MrFoxx
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Would it be fair to say the subscribers drop would depend on the relationship you developed with the list, but not only that how often you contact them and whether your providing value or not.
      Absolutely.

      And the quality of entertainment you provide, how they feel after reading your information, the sensory mode you use, the expectations you set before they signed up, how you prepared them for your information with your welcome message(s), your subject lines, your subscriber retention strategies, how often you "shock" them with controversy they get excited over, your interaction with them, and certainly others my tired brain is missing at the moment.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I recall Jeff Walker talking about how one guy bought something from him after receiving his stock trades email for like... 2 years... Granted, there's always the exception, but pigeonholing across all niches like this is akin to the old car sales guy cherry picking "ups" based on appearances on the car lot.
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshuaG
      Insightful replies folks. Much Appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketersva
    I tend to lose interest after about a month. But there are a few that I will suddenly notice after they have dropped me - I don't necessarily open their emails but I re-subscribe. One of them is "Early to Rise".
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Cooper
    It is all about building trust and customer loyalty by regularly over-delivering on quality information relevant to what they subscribed for, and being sparing and subtle about offers.

    My weekly newsletter - all original, unique information written by me - is up to 20 solid pages, and often 10 pages or more.

    I have numerous subscribers who have been with me for years and years.

    You list is your greatest asset so treat it with great respect and don't blast it with offers.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      If you have excellent content and pitch relatively little, you can have people on your list for years without spending anything and then they suddenly spend $1000 or more.

      Why? You are building trust - massive trust.

      Happens to me all the time... and my newsletter list has been going for more than 11 years now.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    Originally Posted by JoshuaG View Post

    So I understand that the length of time someone stays subscribed to your list can depend on many factors. But I was wondering if there was sort of a statistical norm for this sort of thing

    Like I said I can think of a ALOT of variables that would determine how long someone stays. I'd just hate to be missing out on such a golden nugget of information should it exist!

    If nothing else what about your experience. Does your list have a popular "drop off" point?
    It depends on the list.

    I have many niche lists; with these I get bored long before the subscribers do. I just stop creating messages when I run out of things to say. Then I get email messages saying: "I haven't received a message from ___________ for three weeks..." :-)

    OTOH, on my major writing tips list, I don't get bored, and and it's easy to create content for it week after week. It's been going for almost three years, and subscribers increase consistently. I haven't noticed any drop off.

    My advice: don't worry about subscribers getting bored -- worry about your own boredom. Just keep creating good content, and your subs will love you. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author ADAMw3
    I don't think you can actually put a statistic to this. It all depends how you market to your list. People like Mike Filsaime send 1 or 2 promotions a day with very little content, while others send 1 promotion a month and load up on content.

    Relationship is the key.
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    • Profile picture of the author pappyy3
      This will be a difficult question to answer. As many have already mentioned, the length someone will stay on the list will depend I think on the perceived value they are getting from the list owner.

      For example:

      * I am subscribed to lists that I have been a member of for 6+ years. I don't buy every product they offer, but I DO buy products from them on a fairly regular basis.

      Then there are lists that you join and all you get is rubbish like:

      " Here's a valuable offer .... will definitely help you ...no time to explain ... click here for more info ... blah, blah, blah .... The sad part is they you get the exact wording for the exact offer from some of the so called experts in the business. C'Mon people, if your gonna promote a product, at least be ORIGINAL. We don't appreciate getting 10 X messages a day where the only difference in the message is the email address they are getting sent from!!

      This approach may work for some, but the first thing I do when I get even 1 of these rubbish sales pitched messages is .... UNSUBSCRIBE!!

      IMO - They key to long term subscribers is delivering relevant / useful information in a freindly manner, and then recommending solutions to help people in their quest for a solution, information or whatever .....
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      Tonster

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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    I have buyers on my list that have been buying for 6 years now .

    I have pissed some people off to the unsub point in less than a day .

    Really depends on the person.

    Some love me ... some hate me .... but I am still me
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Re: When Does Opt-In List Disinterest Begin?
      For my email lists, it used to be after email #7.

      These days, probably due to overload, apathy or
      disinterest sets in as early as email #3, at which
      point I have noticed the highest attrition rate.

      Beyond that point, it tails off very quickly and
      the list remains more or less constant - even for years.

      Responsiveness, however, depends directly upon the
      kind of value you provide over time.

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    This picture is from one of my lists which has 54 follow up
    messages, going out to over a year. The bar charts show
    the number of unsubscribers by message.



    Hope this is of some value.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      Interesting question.

      There can't be much of an answer unless a more precise question is asked (and maybe not even then). In reading the answers here, I see that people are lumping two very different strategies together as the same thing: autoresponder sequences and current broadcasts.

      To the subscriber they can appear to be the same, but the tone is likely to be different.

      Mani talks about a 54 email sequence, which presumably he wrote in advance, whereas Paul's emails are, like mine, written in real time (or it they are not, they give a good impression of having been). The latter must, in my opinion, send a different kind of message to the reader - albeit subconsciously.

      The question is also going to be strongly related to the ability of the writer. Someone who can capture his or her readers' attention and make them look forward to receiving the next edition is going to see am much lower unsubscribe rate than someone who writes in a boring way.

      In the end, I suppose that the only answer that matters is the one that applies to you personally. As they say in the best ads, unsubscribe rates can go up or down, and results may not be typical.

      Martin
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      Martin Avis publishes Kickstart Newsletter - Subscribe free at http://kickstartnewsletter.com
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      • Profile picture of the author drmani
        Martin, you're right, it's a pre-set autoresponder series (though
        with some effort, it's possible to make it sound 'almost' real-time!)

        Interestingly, I've noticed a trend for this pattern of near-instant
        unsubscribes happen whenever a freebie is offered with an opt-in form,
        like a report, interview, transcript etc.

        Some years back, an e-publisher had a 'chance' to impress with the first
        few issues of an ezine, or the early follow up messages in a sequence.

        Not any more. A fair share of new subscribers opt-out AS SOON AS they
        get the freebie. Which means, the freebie must re-sell the value of
        the opt-in, contain an invitation to subscribe AGAIN, and provide a
        compelling reason to!

        I recently surveyed my list about low responsiveness to emails, and
        some responses were illuminating:

        I have been trying to take more action - which means my time
        has to come from some where, sorry.
        I already have enough information to accomplish more than 80% of
        what I want to do. What I need to do is implement that information
        Regarding your free offers, I have hundreds of free stuff I have
        yet to read.
        ...sometimes your messages come in the midst of 60 other emails
        (mostly spam) and they all get deleted as I 'throw out the baby
        with the bath water'.
        I have enough activities to do, that an additional "freebie"
        isn't worthwhile.
        Hope this helps.

        All success
        Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Pruitt
    It seems to me there are so many variables to this equation that every single list, even multiple lists maintained by the same marketer, will have different statistics and any generalized figures will be nearly worthless in application to an individual list. The key is to continuously test and improve your own content and offers to each of your own lists over time.
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    Thanks!
    Carl Pruitt
    http://LongRunPublishing.com

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