AskPat 309 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 309 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Sweet, let's get to today's question from Donna.
Donna: Hi there. I'm wondering if there's a new trend that businesses are using to try to control their email lists. A few years ago, I subscribed to a food blog's newsletter, but now I've received an email a couple months ago that stated they were removing me from their email list because I wasn't opening their updates. They obviously didn't know that I used the subject line of emails as a prompt for me to check their Facebook page or their website, because honestly I don't always open all my email, but when I see who they're from, I can click a bookmark and get the update anyway.
To me, their decision to remove me was a bad idea, and should've been left up to me, the recipient, but I let them keep their decision, and as a result I haven't even visited their Facebook page or website since November because I lost my prompt. It's not that they're not important, but I follow a lot of businesses, and needed something as a reminder, even if it was just the subject line in an email. So, I'm wondering if there is something new going on with email lists for websites. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey Donna, thank you so much for the question. I feel it's really interesting to hear this because we don't often know how people use email on the other end like this. So I have a big email list and I send emails out all the time, and not everybody opens them. What happens is these email service providers, they do keep track of how many people click to open those emails. And you're right, if somebody doesn't open those emails, they could still be using them, the subject line, like you said, but as far as for the content provider or the person who owns that email list, we don't know that. So a lot of times what people end up doing, and I don't know if this is just a trend or this is just one of the best practices out there, although it's obviously backfired against you, the idea is to clean out your inbox because if people aren't opening those emails, it's assumed that they aren't using them.
It's only best to clean those people out because you are paying for those subscribers, and so that's kind of the reasoning behind that. As far as reminders on Facebook and Twitter, I'd be interested to see if there was any other way that you could be best reminded about these things. I feel like Facebook and Twitter would do that for you already, but maybe not because email is very personal. But again, you just didn't open the emails and because of that, you were sort of cleaned off of the list. Again, this is very common. I don't think you should take offense to it, but at the same time, you're right. It's not about them, it's about you and how you prefer because you are in their audience.
It would be interesting. What I would do if I were you is I would actually email this food blog that you contacted and say, “Hey, this is what happened.” I think would be very insightful, and if they did have good content, they might apologize and try to figure out a way to better help you get their updates. There's a lot of different ways that people go about it. I don't know, maybe there's a way for people who send out emails to say, subject line: “If you don't open this, are you still reading it?” And that would hopefully get them to open it, at which point you can maybe collect a survey to see how people are actually using it. One other thing, maybe they didn't do this, but maybe they did. Maybe you just didn't see it, Donna. But another thing that people can do is to get people to take action on an email before cleaning them out. So for example, to be very obvious in the subject line, “Click here or be removed from this list,” and then in that email say, “Hey, we're cleaning out the list. Just want to make sure you're still on board and still want to be here. Click here to say yes, or click here to. . .” And then they can see who clicks that link and then who doesn't, those people get off the list. That's probably the better practice, so yeah.
Going back to your original question, this isn't really a trend. These guys are cleaning out the emails that they collected, and maybe they just didn't do it in the right way that would make sure that people who are using it like you are going to catch it to make sure that you stay on. I'm curious Donna, if you are on Twitter, use #AskPat309, and everybody else out there can use the same hashtag. #AskPat309. So, Donna, use that hashtag, I'll follow it, and you can @ reply me @PatFlynn to also make sure I see it. I'm just curious, would that have helped if somebody sent you an email beforehand? And again, you didn't open them, but you saw in the subject line “Click here or be removed from this list.” Would that incentivize you to open that email and then read that information that if something were being cleaned out, “click here to make sure you're sticking on,” would you feel better about that? I'm curious. What do you guys think? #AskPat309. Awesome, very interesting question and Donna thank you for asking it today. As a result of asking, you will get an AskPat t-Shirt. Awesome. We're going to send that to you in the next couple weeks. My assistant will email you to collect your information soon, and for those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much, and this quote to finish off the week is from an unknown person, but this person says, “Branding is what people say about you after you leave the room.” So good. Cheers, take care, thank you so much, and again it's Friday so I'm going to ask you kindly just to head on over to iTunes and leave a review for AskPat. It helps out so much, and that's all I ask. Thanks so much, I appreciate you, and I'll see you next week in another episode of AskPat. Cheers.