This email might seem counterintuitive to you if you run an email newsletter and you put a lot of importance on subscriber count.
However, subscriber count means nothing to me and I think it’s something you should consider as well.
Life is too short to deal with jerks IMO.
We can’t always avoid them but when possible, I do so.
In fact, I’ll go out of my way to ensure unpleasant people aren’t in my life.
One example is with my email newsletters.
I not only manually unsubscribe folks who are unpleasant but I take the additional two seconds it takes to tag them so email sign up forms do not appear to them on my sites.
The tag I apply is aptly called “Banned”.
This means they cannot sign up to my email newsletters again (Fat Stacks included).
If you run an email newsletter I recommend you do the same. Keep the problem people out of your life and take steps so that they are never a problem again.
In fact, I have a laundry list of behaviors that I manually unsubscribe and apply the “Banned” tag to. I won’t bore you with details, but it’s a long list of behaviors.
This keeps out unpleasant people so I don’t have to deal with them again. It also keeps out uninterested people so that I don’t pay for folks who aren’t interested.
The fact is I put a good effort into my emails. The last thing I need to deal with anyone who doesn’t like it. I agree that my newsletters are not for everyone. No newsletter is.
Why do I do this?
First and foremost, life is too short to deal with snide remarks. Feedback is great (good and bad). Rudeness is unacceptable.
Second, the cost of my email autoresponder software is based on the number of subscribers. I don’t pay for people who are unsubscribed. Therefore, why should I pay money to deal with unpleasant people or people not interested (i.e. folks who don’t open but don’t unsubscribe)?
This means I end up with a lean email newsletter with high engagement. Subscriber count is meaningless to me. Results are what matter.
How can you do the same?
One really clever thing Convertkit does is it does not charge you for people who are unsubscribed. AWeber did and that was annoying because you must delete unsubscribes which means you can no longer tag.
With Convertkit, I can keep people in the database who are unsubscribed and then apply the “Banned” tag so they can’t sign up again. If I had to delete them, they could sign up again and be a PITA.
Here are the steps.
Step 1: Create a tag called “Banned” (or call it whatever you want).
Step 2: For each form in ConvertBox, go the “Targeting” tab. Select “Target Specific Visitors”. Then apply a conditional rule “Does NOT have Convertkit tag “Banned”. What this does it it will only display sign up forms to folks who you haven’t banned.
See the following:
Step 3: Filter in Convertkit for all “Canceled Subscribers”.
Click the up and down arrows.
Choose “Canceled Subscribers”
Step 4: Bulk apply your “Banned” tag.
Step 5: Every week or month, apply the “Banned” tag to new “Canceled Subscribers” in Convertkit.
Step 6: On an ongoing basis if anyone annoys you, manually unsubscribe them and apply the “Banned” tag.
This process takes up maybe 2 minutes every month but it’s totally worth it because I can tell you from personal experience, problem subscribers suck up way too much time.
I’m NOT talking about folks who ask questions or provide feedback, but people who are rude.
If someone is rude, just look up their email in your Convertkit email database, unsubscribe them and apply the “Banned” tag to them. Good riddance. Problem solved.
Create your dream list of readers
Taking these easy, fast steps help you create your dream audience. You get rid of bad customers and readers; keep the folks you like doing business with and engaging with.
What could be better?
What should you do if a banned person asks to be let back in (as in back on your email list)?
Maybe they have second thoughts or once again are referred to you and try to sign up but can’t because there are no sign up forms displaying for them on your site?
I’ve had this happen on many occasions.
Before I respond I look up their email in the database. If it has the “Banned” tag, I don’t reply.
The reason I don’t reply is they’ve already taken up too much of my time.
If they don’t have a banned tag, there’s a tech issue and I’m happy to help them out.
How you handle this is up to you.
One possible solution if you have a big email business is to set up a paid option and if they want in, they have to pay either a one-time fee or monthly subscription. I don’t get nearly enough of these situations warranting setting this up but some emailers surely do. If I did, I’d do it.
Am I being heavy-handed?
Maybe. I suspect some folks will think so.
But if you run an email newsletter and/or have customers, I suspect you’ll appreciate these tips.
Keeping bad customers out is a dream outcome for most businesses. It’s impossible for many businesses to do so, but easily possible when your main sales channel is email.
I learned this practicing law. It doesn’t take long to realize a small handful of problem clients suck up a disproportionate amount of your time… and then they complain about the bill. When they didn’t pay, I had to chase them down… more useless work.
The best thing is to prevent those clients from becoming clients. It’s not always possible to spot them, but I sure tried after getting hosed a couple of times.
Fortunately, with email newsletter software, you can find them in seconds.
Chalk up yet another reason email marketing (in the right niches) can be such a great business.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.