Why Your Email Subscribers Hate You

The last time that you sent an email to your list, did you get less responses than you wanted?  Did you get less sales than you wanted?  I hope your answer to both of questions was yes.  You should always be moving forward and growing. In order to take that next step, let's figure out what you are doing wrong in your email marketing.

You Don't Email Enough

When I explain list building and email marketing to most people their problem is that they don't contact their list enough.  I know that this was my problem for years when I first built a list.  I had no idea what to say to my list.  I didn't know if people would even care what I had to say.

But guess what, they joined your list and the only way to find out if they like what you have to say, if they hate what you have to say, or even if they will unsubscribe is to email that list.  You just won't know until you talk to them.

Please email at least once a week, if not more than once a week. Send them to your latest blog post.  Cut, copy and paste your latest article in there.  Buy a pack of private label-right articles and use those for follow up content.  Pitch your latest offer and copy and paste chunks of the sales letter into your message.

You Email Too Much

The problem I see with those marketers who have built their list from a bad traffic source is that they email too much.  People who have built their list from ad-swaps, JV giveaway, and even safe lists are dealing with such an unresponsive list.  They have to email those people three or four times a day with different offers just to make any money at all.

The problem with this model is that it gets the gullible people to keep clicking and keep buying.  But gets your real long-term buyers to leave your list.  It is possible to hit your list too much, and too much is more than once per day.

The only exception to this is if I am launching a product and its launch day.  For example, I am running a webinar, I will email three times a day.  But on a regular basis, I will only email my list a maximum of one time per day.

You Email Crap

It is not enough to just email regularly or email just the right amount per week.  You need to send people good emails. Do your emails blend your teaching and your pitching?  If it is too much teaching or too much pitching, you are doing your subscribers a disservice.

Think about it, if all you are doing is pitching, then all you are saying is buy, buy, buy, buy.  If all you are doing is teaching, you are giving them ideas, but you are not telling them how to take everything to the next level.

Your emails should be short and to the point. You should give people at least one thing to think about today, and then transition into some URL you want them to click on.  That way, no one can complain.

Even if they don't like the offer you are giving them... they can at least read the email and not click the link at the end, so they will walk away with some free piece of advice.

It's Just Not A Good Fit

When people sign up for one of my free courses, or purchase one of my products.  I let them know that they are getting on a list where they will receive updates from me about all my future products, not just the one they bought.

Some subscribers don't think that should be the case.  That's okay, that's their opinion.  What I know is that if there is someone online who I really like, whose products I like to buy, who I want to be like and emulate, I want to get regular emails from them.  Because otherwise I will start thinking about and wondering what they are doing today and what their latest project is.

Your true fans want to know what you are up to, what you are launching, and how they can buy it so they can get more value out of it than the price they paid.  Just like everything in life, it is not for everyone.  That is why if someone wants to get off your list, it should be easy and permanent for them to leave.

Do you know now why some of your email subscribers hate you? Which of the four reasons above is the reason?  What are you going to do differently in your email marketing now that you have this information?

Leave a comment below explaining yourself.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Sarah says:

    So far my super tiny list is ok and responsive with me. That’s because at my blog, I offer good suggestions to help them in our super niche area.
    I’m also implementing your strategies, like telling people I have a new blog post.
    I agree about emailing them and letting them know that you will be emailing them. I had one person who asked me, after a few emails, how I managed to get his address. He signed up for my list without me offering any bait!

  2. Ted Bundetti says:

    Nice post, next time tell us what you really mean, LOL

  3. Thanks for this post, Robert. The biggest reason I unsubscribe is when I get too much email . . . even if it’s good info. It overwhelms me. I could delete it, but I’ve been trying to simplify and spend less time with my inbox. I’m trying to keep this in mind when I send emails to my list.

  4. Larry Hoffman says:

    Hey Robert,

    Dude, you’re AWESOME!!!!

    Agree 100% with your post.

  5. I agree with Theresa. I want to spend a limited time in my inbox. I will go through and just purge people whose emails I have quit opening because their emails are too repetitious and they bore me, I lose interest because they are full of, ah – a plethora of useless information – or if their emails are too long. I like short emails that get to the point without wasting my time. Throw in a good content email every once and a while and you’re pretty safe from my purge cycle. I may overlook your indiscretions in my inbox if I think you are genuine – and I will check. Otherwise, I getting out the toaster.

  6. Rik says:

    I’m guilty of not emailing enough Robert I might own a autoresponder script http://autoresponder365.com but fear of not having content or something of real value to say can be an “excuse” but there is no excuse as there is plenty of content out there to “give” to your subscribers folks 🙂

    All the best

    Rik Fox

  7. Adam Porter says:

    I think that I lack focus, so my emails come in bursts, with long-ish breaks in between. On top of that, the topics are relatively scattered or have no natural flow.

    So, I would say I’m guilty of each of these, in a way.

  8. Ron Barrett says:


    I’ve been writing about this on my blog in my last few posts.

    Have to say, I agree 117% with you!

    Rawck On!

  9. Not emailing enough… I admit it.

    It’s only recently that I discovered the key in list building – and tried it. Though I can see my list of buyers is more responsive.

    But definitely learning all the time, so thanks for the inspiration. 😉

  10. How many emails people like to receive (or will tolerate) is such an individualized preference that it’s pretty much a crap shoot, I believe. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    I’ve subscribed to a few lists where I get an email every day and I don’t mind because they’re always informative, helpful, or at least interesting. And I’ve unsubscribed from lists because the daily emails are nothing but cleverly disguised pitch fests.

    I think the best approach is to simply alert your list, right out of the gate, as to how often you’ll be emailing them. Then there’s no mystery about it and they’re less apt to complain or unsubscribe.

    My list doesn’t hear from me more than once a week — I need to ramp that up.


  11. Robert Plank says:

    Good, I’d hoped you were sticking it out with the daily emails Ron… remember when we masterminded your 20-day product launch?

  12. Warren says:

    I unsubscribe when I get too much pure sell email from someone.

    In general, if an email doesn’t have some content of value, either a tip or an idea, I don’t read it.

    I agree with your too long comment. Some people seem to think email is just like snail mail and only a loooooong letter will get their point across.

  13. Robert:

    I’m so sorry I just found your blog three days ago, and I make me time to read all your post from June. Impressive and useful resources an ideas you spread here!

    Just to say thank you, and I will keep reading -and commenting- the next days.



  14. David Bibby says:

    My list doesn’t hate me… that’s because they don’t even know they are on my list!

    I’m going to email them once a day, starting today. This is a scary proposition for me, as I’ve been holding off signing up for Aweber.

    Now it’s time to take action.

    Thank you Robert.. I will comment again on this thread as soon as I’ve done it.

    Starting COOL TIMER now 🙂

  15. Robert Plank says:

    Nice going David, looking forward to you having that list setup.

    You’re going to schedule a bunch of emails in advance too, right? To make sure you stay consistent.

  16. Britt Malka says:

    I don’t email enough…

    For this site I’m building now, I still haven’t created my list, but it’s in the planning.

    Then I might have too many lists, because for each product, we sell, I create a list.

    For other lists, I’ve started planning. I used to write to a specific Danish list once a week, but I got tired of the topic (mostly Windows programs), and stopped.

    Now I’m working on a new site with tips to World of Warcraft, and the subscribers will get a mail each weak. It’s been uploaded since Monday on Aweber, and today I created 5 Danish tips and that too is programmed in Aweber.

    Next move is to find some method in the madness of all my English/Danish lists. I leave the French to my husband 😉

  17. HelenRappy says:

    This is something that is very important! I know how important and yet have not been making it a priority!

    Thanks to this post and the fact that I am on the edge of losing my groove, I will make this a priority now. I will write several broadcast’s and then continue to add to those so that my community will hear from me 2-3 times a week instead of 1-2 every 2 weeks.

    I really want to add great content and be helpful and when I don’t know what to say, I say nothing. It is a great idea at the very least to send them a link to my blog post or to cut and paste an article.

    Thanks for keeping us on our toes!!

  18. Robert Plank says:


    The best part about that too is you can always remind them one more time about a blog post or a sales page URL they should go to. Heck, just for Time Management on Crack alone I have 24 followups in the post-sale autoresponder sublist and 10 in the pre-sell list.

  19. Clyde Reid says:

    I have been trying to do 2 things lately. I need to trim down the amount of mail I receive so I have been unsubscribing from people who do nothing but send me free offers. That just means I will end up on someone else’s list.

    I have also increased the frequency with which I mail my list. I am buildig from once a week to once a day but I did not want to make that jump overnight.

    This post make me feel better than usual because I was alrady working on it.

    Thanks for the encouragement,

  20. andreea says:

    I am so busted. I don’t email enough. I am not sure how to balance the advice giving with the pitching. I look at your email Robert and sometimes they are so short and it is plenty enough to remind me of checking your blog.
    I am learning that the emails don’t have to be full articles, and I actually like it better that way… I’m jumping on the email twice a week challenge.

  21. David Bibby says:

    Alright… I did it.. FINALLY sent the email.. and scheduled future ones too.

    I had to get used to Aweber, but I think I’ve got it now.

  22. Jase says:

    I’m with Andreea … so busted. I have a over 1000 people on my lists but haven’t emailed in eons. I don’t even have them in an autoresponder! They’re scattered in different files.

    “I had no idea what to say to my list…But guess what…the only way to find out … is to email”. Doh!! Me all over.

    So now I’m going to
    1. work out what to say in my first email (ie why so quiet)
    2. schedule a day to punch out a bunch of emails to a list
    3. buy a year’s sub to icontact and plug in all the list data
    4. load the emails
    5. rinse and repeat for each list

    Number 1 will be the obstacle!

    Thanks for the extra work ! 🙂 Correction – kick up the …

  23. Adam Porter says:


    That sounds a bit out of order to me. I’d suggest this:

    1. Buying your autoresponder subscription.
    2. Enter your list details.
    3. Enter your automatic email responses (including your first “why so quiet” email).
    4. Enter all the email addresses so that they’re immediately entered into the autoresponder series. That way you’re not committed to entering all the emails into the list at one time, yet they all start receiving the same email series.
    5. Once you entered all the email addresses, remove the initial “why so quiet” email from the series so that any newcomers from there on out won’t get that email.

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