One of the benefits of writing a blog rather than a newsletter is that one never has to face being unsubscribed. My readers can decide to stop reading or comment negatively on what I’ve written, but they don’t have to formally opt out. All they need to do is fold their tents and silently steal away, as the Longfellow poem goes.

So I read a post from Matt Lawrence of Biznik entitled “You’re killing me with that unsubscribe email confirmation” with interest.

Heaven knows, I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of newsletters. And for the reasons Mr. Lawrence cites. I was interested in a topic at one time but am not now. I’m no longer working on a project that required the information provided by the newsletter. Or I decided to try to deal with email overwhelm.

Mr. Lawrence’s article is short and worth reading.  In my opinion, the biggest takeaway is this: Content provided is a service. And we “have an opportunity as service providers to continue that service all the way up to the very end of the experience, even when that action is an unsubscribe from our newsletter.” If we can “delight” our readers—a term that I find slightly annoying, by the way—then they may come back or recommend us to others.

Mr. Lawrence would increase the chance of delight by customizing the canned response to an unsubscribe acknowledgment. He might treat readers as something other than “leads” or “subscribers” by using language that aligns with his brand.  In his words, you need to do “something to make the email valuable, and worth their time – remember that you are still communicating with them!”

What would you do?

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