Thursday, July 25, 2024

Learn From Your Ex-Readers!

When I first started my ezine and started getting subscription requests, it was just a great feeling to see those request pile in, I would get nervous each time I sent out an issue wondering what people thought about each issue.

The first time, though I received my first unsubscribe request I would say to myself ” Oh what am I doing wrong? Do I need to change everything? Was it Boring? Not up to standards.

Relax, every publisher can tell you about their first unsubscribe requests, but it is a fact of life with an ezine. No one publication is perfect.

Before you decide to completely change your ezine around, I am going to show you how you can learn from the readers who unsubscribe from your ezine to help you keep the subscribers you have now.

It is frustrating to see all those unsubscribe requests, especially the nasty ones ( which will be discussed later on) but you first need to ask yourself some questions:


Most people when they remove themselves from your list, they don’t give you a reason but most give you some indications. Here are the most common:


These readers didn’t like that you didn’t offer enough freebies for them so they got fed up and removed themselves. This is what I call “FREEloaders” or commonly known as the “Something for Nothing Syndrome” You could never offer enough freebies for them. They want every paid ebook free, they want free membership into every private site, they want every paid ad free, they only read if you have contests that offer even more freebies. Free, free and more free.

Unfortunately you will always run into these type of readers, those who only want you have to offer them at no cost to them and all the cost from you. They don’t believe that you deserve to make a profit and that you should exhaust yourself everyday finding free things for them without so much as a thank you.

To decrease the amount of freeloaders that unsubscribe, don’t offer as many freebies. Sounds simple huh?? Not for some..

I’m sure that some will disagree with me but I don’t see why you need to offer 10 free ebooks, 2 free reports, and free ads galore in order to cajole someone to subscribe to your ezine.

All you are doing is selling yourself short and ruining the value of your publication.

Are you afraid that without these freebies no one will read what you have to say?

Or maybe what you have to say isn’t worth reading???

Don’t misunderstand me, Freebies are a great incentive to grab subscribers but do not rely on freebies just like do not rely on free content to run your publication. It is still original content and a good personality that reins supreme.

Freebies get you there, but it is up to you to keep them.


A no brainer here. Too many ads will turn readers away. I am not talking about a classified ad issue which most publishers like myself usually send out to handle a backlog of ads, or those who main purpose of their ezine is to run ads. I am talking about those who are replacing ads for content.

If you realize that you have over extended yourself with the amount of ads you have to place in your ezine, cut back or maybe add an extra issue once in a while to catch up but you do not need a bunch of ads in your ezine to succeed.


Again this is tied with too many ads. They have been saying this for years. Good content equals a happy reader. It doesn’t have to be a novel every week, but figure out what type of newsletter you want to produce and stick with it. If not then it is better to scale back now instead of biting more than you can chew.


The general rule of thumb is that if you are losing more than 1% of your entire subscriber list per week, then it is time to consider adding more valuable and original content to each issue.

TOO MUCH EMAIL ( Either Indicating The Frequency Of Your Publication Or The Amount Of Email They Receive)

This is a no brainer. If some of the reasons are based on the frequency of your publication, then maybe you should rethink how often you publish. Give your readers a poll to find out how often you should publish and on what days.

A lot of readers will tell you that they are receiving too much email already and they are trying to reduce the number. This may very well be true, as we all have hundreds of ezines that we are subscribed to so therefore when it is time to cut some ezines, they are going to cut the ones that are of no value to them. Again this goes back to the ‘ol good content issue. So try to avoid ending up in the trash bin folder.


These are the idiots that want to take their day out on you and say every nasty thing they can think of based on your gender, race, religion, global location, even how your name sounds. Yes they will come up with everything and boy the first time you get one of those, you will get so mad and frustrated you want to do everything in your power to stop them but you know what. It’s not worth it.

Most of you know this by now, these are the same people you see on a day to day basis, who are always complaining, never satisfied and just plain frustrated. Your ezine could’ve contained the cure for every disease known to man, they are still going to be nasty. Misery loves company. Don’t start a flame war ( arguments that go back and forth using email and the nastiest language possible)

Kill Them With Kindness.

Just simply unsubscribe them, if your software has the ability to ban email addresses and make sure they never read another word you ever write. No one deserves to be spoken to in that manner, no matter what.


Here is a quick and simple way to find out why people are removing themselves from your list.

Whether or not you have these features in your list software you can use these methods to kind of filter those unsubscribes who don’t give you a specific reason.

When you receive an unsubscribe request, look at the date that they first were added to your list. If they subscribed:

Less Than Two To Five Days Since You Sent Out A Welcome Message:

Chances are they were either FREEloaders who only wanted your free ebooks or just wanted to submit the free ads that you offered.

Or these could be people who subscribed to your ezine through a joint venture with an ezine directory, pop up, ad coop, etc. who didn’t realize that they were going to be subscribed to a certain number of ezines at the same time and therefore they want out. It is common so chalk it up and keep on going.

Most Unsubscribe Requests Happen:

After you have sent out a solo ad.

After you have sent out a classified ad issue.

After you have switched mailing lists and have problems in importing the subscribers ( Ask any publisher who has done this and they will give you a million examples of this).

Any glitch you may have in your software that causes duplicate issues, or empty emails.

Also do a search of the subscriber’s name. They could just be changing addresses or maybe they are already subscribed to your list and did not realize it, therefore they do not want duplicates.

So as you can see, there are many reasons why people leave and no matter what you do this is unavoidable but for those who you can save any subscriber then more power to you.

Are you giving them a chance to fill out a feedback form to find out why they are unsubscribing?

Do you give them a link to resubscribe in case they removed themselves by accident?

This is not for the irate readers. Just remove them and move on before they accuse you of spamming.


Are you seeing your long time subscribers removing themselves?

Look at your content. Are you adding personality to your issues, or does your ezine sound like a research paper?

Are you using TOO much personality? We don’t need to know the details of every mishap in life, we don’t need to know that for every issue in life you have been through it. We have talk shows that take care of that. I don’t need to see these things in a business publication. Just remember that we still value our privacy online and just because you are a publisher doesn’t mean that you have to tell every aspect of your life.

Don’t get me wrong I like to hear about a publisher’s culture, geographical locations and their worldly insights that help to make them a better publisher but keep some things private for the sake of your family and friends.

Would You Tell These Stories At The Water Cooler At The Office??

NOTE: I am talking about BUSINESS publications, not personal or hobby ezines.

So there you have it, a basic breakdown of why your readers may be happy with your ezine and why they may not. Each day you learn more and more. You make mistakes, you learn and move on.

That’s life..

Welcome To The World Of Publishing…

Donesia Muhammad is an aspiring Netpreneur. Visit her site at for help with your ezine advertising. Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free gift. mailto:

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