Imagine my shock last week when I checked out who had unsubscribed and discovered that ...(wait for it)... I had unsubscribed to my own newsletter. Yes, really.
You may remember from an earlier post that Vertical Response will *not allow* me to ever add back anyone who has unsubscribed. But this was ridiculous. I need to keep my own email in the mix so that I'm able to double check all newsletters that go out.
In a heartbeat I was on the phone with Vertical Response. (To their credit, their customer service is pretty good.) I didn't yell, didn't shout, didn't say, "What the heck is wrong with you people??" even though I wanted to. But I admit my voice went up an octave or so when I told them their system had evidently kicked me off of my own list. I then told them that they'd lost all credibility with me. What about all those friends who had unsubscribed? Suddenly I realized that maybe they hadn't.
I had two important goals: Figure out how this happened so that it wouldn't happen again; and, get myself back on my own list!
Surprise, surprise - there *is* a way to re-add people from this end, but there's a final step required that the recipient has to complete. Okay. Got it. I added myself back and then clicked the email confirmation. Whew! At least I was back in on my list.
But how did this happen?
You won't believe it.
In the past I've always asked my newsletter recipients to forward the email to friends who might be interested in my books. Why not, right? Books are always best when recommended by others. At the bottom of my emails I included a "Forward" link and I even offered a prize to one lucky person who forwarded my information.
Foolish, foolish me.
Let's say that you kindly and generously forwarded my email to a bunch of friends. Let's say one of those friends looked at it, thought "Oh, no, something more for me to deal with!!" and decided he or she didn't want to ever receive emails like this again.
If that person clicked "Unsubscribe" in the bottom of the email, he or she effectively unsubscribed you from ever receiving my newsletters again.
So, in essence, I've been shooting myself in the foot by asking folks to forward.
I have no idea how many of my unsubscribes are genuine, and how many are because of this forwarding issue.