I’ve built a job for myself working with CEOs and non-executive directors, helping them to build trust and profile. It’s fascinating work that very often leads to discussions about career goals and frustrations. On occasions we talk about what’s going well. But most of the time we talk about what’s not working.
Of these conversations, one of the most frequent is when my client confides that they’re not “in the club”. This conversation happens with surprising regularity. It comes from people young and old, senior and junior, male and female. It is truly equal opportunity paranoia.
The people you’re communicating to have never been more distracted:
Regardless of who you are.
Regardless of what your role is.
Regardless of who you’re talking to.
It doesn’t matter who your audience is, they’ve never had more distractions.
There was a time when you could assume attention because of your role (as the CEO, Commissioner, President etc.).
But that’s just not the case any more. No matter how serious your message, you must be interesting. There’s too many choices, too many alternatives available in the palm of hand for anyone to persist listening to a boring communicator.
Every message must has to fight for the attention and interest of your audience.
Everyone is competing for attention, which means everyone is an entertainer now.
Hi, I’m Steve Pell. Today I want to talk about if you’re earning enough unsubscribes on your communications.
Whenever you are sending emails, SMS, any other type of communication to clients, there’ll almost always be the ability for them to unsubscribe if they dislike what they’re receiving.
Now, when we talk to clients about analytics on their communications, unsubscribes are always one of those things that comes up on those conversations: “What does it mean?”, “Does this mean that we’ve sent something bad because we’ve had two, three, five or twenty people unsubscribe from our communications?”
The answer that I would almost always give there is that unsubscribes are generally a positive sign, as long as you’re not getting too many of them and you’re growing your list faster than those unsubscribes are happening.
Unsubscribes are positive because unsubscribes are an indicator that you’re putting a strong enough opinion out there into the world for some people to dislike what you’re talking about.
Now, that’s a good sign because generally these things work on a bell curve. You’ve got some people over on the far left who really dislike what you’re talking about. Then there’s also some people right over on the far right who really engage and love what it is you’re talking to them about.
These people on the far right of your bell curve are critical to communicating in a sales context. These are the people who love you and are going to buy what it is that you’re selling.
Many people try and communicate to the middle of that bell curve. They sit on the fence without strong opinions, trying to please everyone. If you do this you might not get any unsubscribes who really dislike what it is you’re talking about… but then on the other side of the bell curve, you probably really don’t have anyone over there who loves what you’re talking about and is likely to buy. Not the ideal outcome. You might not be getting any unsubscribes but you’re definitely not making any sales.
I’d say look at unsubscribes as an indicator that the content you’re putting out into the world is being valued by some people and being disliked by some others.
In that context unsubscribes are completely okay and actually a great indicator that you’re doing something right. You’re producing content topics that will make you more valuable to that portion of your list, who are your likely end buyers in any case.