Are People Unsubscribing from Your Blog? Relax. It Happens To Me, Too – But, Why?

by Chris C. Ducker · 117 comments

How to Avoid People Unsubscribing from your Blog

Last month exactly 125 people unsubscribed from my Aweber email list.

This shocked me quite a bit, I have to be honest. But, as a businessman, it’s intrigued me even more. You see, I’m a firm believer that we are not ‘perfect’ in any way, shape or form. We all have our flaws. But, I believe I’ve built a pretty solid blog here, and a decent online following, too. However, was the reason behind people unsubscribing down to my content, or something else..?

I’m forced to ask myself the following six questions, and more:

  • Does the pop-up I have on my site get me ‘real’ subscribers/fans, or just freebie-collectors?
  • Am I doing something ‘wrong’ on the blog?
  • Is my content not thought-provoking enough?
  • Am I not being ‘real’ enough?
  • Is my content not helpful enough?
  • Is my content not entertaining enough?

If You’re a Freebie Collector, We Don’t Need You!

I’ve been averaging around 15-20 opt-in’s a day (M-F) here at the VBL Blog. About 60% of those new sign-up’s come from the pop-up I have on my site. It’s a proven fact that these opt-in enticers work – but, are they REAL opt-in’s? I personally think that a lot of them are not. I’ve seen people come in and out of my email list within days, all too often.

Don’t get me wrong… I like the idea that someone wants to read my eBook enough to at least ‘subscribe’ for a brief moment and then unsubscribe, but in terms of REALLY subscribing to the VBL… Ah, that’s a different story, right!?!

See how I say we dont need you’ in the sub-title text above. That’s because the VBL Blog has become a lot more than just a blog over the last 6-8 months. It’s now a hustling, bustling community of like-minded people that are all ‘in it to win it’. And, lets face it, fake numbers on a mailing list are simply not part of the long-term plan.

I want REAL subscribers. REAL people. And entrepreneurs with REAL passion subscribing to VBL.

I Need Answers – from YOU!

So, I intend to make a few changes here at VBL pretty soon. Some of them are inspired by my video grillin’ with Derek Halpern last week… Some from my own feelings, concepts and ideas. Firstly, I believe I will be getting rid of the pop-up. Secondly, I will probably stop sending out the ‘post update’ emails each time a new post is published, too. If people like what I have to offer that much, then they will pop over to the blog once or twice a week to catch up, anyway, right…?!

My question to you, of which I will treasure every single answer to, from everyone, is quite simply:

If you were the one in control of VBL, what would you change about it, and why…?

Thanks, so much, in advance, everyone.

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{ 117 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan July 25, 2011 at 17:29

I’m sure there is a lot of great feedback to be given here, but one thing to consider is that you are just getting really damn popular. The more people on your list the more will drop.

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 18:55

Thanks for the comment, buddy.

Indeed, I appreciate the ‘natural’ way that ‘numbers’ affect this type of thing, and expect that it’ll balance out. But, as I said, I now want to make sure that the people jumping on board the VBL are of ‘real’ passion for the VBL itself – and what it will eventually mean to them in their day-to-day lives (thats the lifestyle, not the blog!).

Appreciate you dropping by, bud – and good catching up on the horn earlier!

C

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Phil Simon July 26, 2011 at 00:28

I’m with Dan here.

I am no fan of pop-ups but I can see why you have one.

125 over 200 is big. Over 20,000–not so much.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:45

Hi Phil

The 125 is not a massive number, compared the entire list.

Like I said, I was more ‘curious’ than worried about it. I mean, if people unsubscribe, they must have their reasons, right…..?!

C

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El Edwards July 25, 2011 at 17:45

I have to say Chris, I personally hate the popup domination thing, particularly since it appears within about 2 seconds of the page loading. That said, I just close it and carry on. I wonder though if you might get more freebie seekers as a result of the instant offer nature of how it’s timed? I don’t know, just thinking out loud really. But if they’re new to this place, they’re subscribing before they even get a chance to dig into your content. It would make sense then that some would later unsubscribe if they find it doesn’t do it for them. I wouldn’t worry about it though. It just means that you’re keeping a strong core who do dig your stuff.

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 18:56

Hi El

Very good points raised here… Thank you.

I have actually, just now DEACTIVATED the pop-up plugin. Let’s see how things go for a while without it. I appreciate the numbers will drop, but I’m curious to see how they also stick, too!

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Florian July 25, 2011 at 19:16

Yes. That was my point as well. You should definitely provide a “don’t show this message any longer”-button or sth. like this.
If you’re using a caching-plugin like WP Super Cache: I know that popup-domination has problems with caching. I’m currently searching for an alternative plugin (cause I have the same problems :-))

Beside that: I think that you’re doing very well with your blog. I’m follwoing you a very long time and I think that there are a lot of people out there who don’t “need” you any more. They found it helpful what you did and loved your great tips and advices. But there are a lot of guys out there who “grown up” now. Guys who are entrepreneurs now. I guess that this is a reason as well.

But that doesn’t mean that you should stop writing blogpost… don’t do that man. That would be horrible for me as well ;-)

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 19:44

Hi Florian
:-) Thanks for the great comment, man. And yes, I know you have been following the VBL for a long time – pretty much since the beginning, so thank you again for all your support.

I especially like your feeling behind the fact that some of the readers might have ‘outgrown’ the blog, after achieving entrepreneurial status themselves. That puts a MASSIVE smile on my face, I must say – because thats what its all about – to inspire, education and motivate people to do just that.

Really cool comment, bud. Thanks again.

C

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Matthew Needham July 27, 2011 at 05:56

I deactivated mine too, a few months ago basically as I didn’t want to force the relationship thing. Plus Popup Dom was everywhere, especially in the how to make money online niche, which therefore attributes your site in that niche (even though it’s not aobut making money online). That being said it worked well, but I’ve have much fewwer people unsubscribe since I got rid of it.

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Derek Jensen August 23, 2011 at 12:43

I’d actually figure out a cool, kickass, creative way to incorporate freebies differently but still being somewhat automatic. “Well Derek, what would that be?”

I’ve always believed that things that work in other sectors of work can be applied or tweaked to fit in other sectors of work. For instance I visit premiumpixels.com a lot for web design goodies. Mr. Orman Clark offers freebies and premium products.

What happens when you download a freebie? It directs you to his premium products. I’ve always been wondering to see how blog communities could take this process and incorporate it. The content is free and most of us are relying on premium products.

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Chris C. Ducker August 23, 2011 at 14:33

Hi Derek

Thanks for the feedback and ideas, bud. Much appreciated.

There are a few changes in the midst right now, and I will be launching them, slowly but surely over the coming weeks and months.

Thanks again for the support.

C

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Damian July 25, 2011 at 17:46

Chris,

Almost every single copywriter I have respect for warns you to disregard the people you put off. If you aren’t repelling people you probably aren’t attracting anyone either.

I have always said that if I am not pissing someone off, I am not working hard enough!

DT

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 18:58

Great insight, Damian.

I appreciate you dropping by, and commenting.

Thanks, buddy.

C

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Stuart July 25, 2011 at 17:58

This has surprised me Chris, I don’t think there’s anything that you’re doing ‘wrong’ here with VBL. And yet, people have unsubscribed…

To be honest, if I was in your shoes, I’d contact these unsubscribers (if it’s possible) and ask why they unsubscribed. Nothing harsh, just a polite, inquisitive e-mail. If they say why they unsubscribed, then lessons can be learned and put into action.

Always ask questions Chris, because questions get you answers :-)

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 19:11

Hi Stu

I’ve actually done this already, buddy…! ;-)

Some replied saying that just wanted the eBook (fair enough!), some said they were simply cutting down on email subscriptions, but the vast majority didnt reply. I can only assume that they:

A) Were simply no longer interested in what I had to say
B) Were never really interested, and just wanted a freebie
C) Never check their email..! :-)

Either way, to be honest, I didnt really get any major feedback – hence this post! :-)

I figured, if I want REAL feedback, then I’ll blog about it…

C

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Steve Wyman July 25, 2011 at 19:28

Hi Chris

1/ to understand if loosing that many subscribers is an issue we’d need to know the totla number that joined left and you already have. I suspect its a drop in the ocean so focus your attention on creating great content and growing the Tribe (oh thats sounds like advice from your good self :-))

2/ LOOSSSE That very annoying popup I HATE it (just incase you werent sure) I stupidly bought it as i saw it everywehre. Its what gives IM a bad name its o anoying. Ive actiually requested a full refund through clickbank for my copy as i never implemented it. Lets see if they honor their product ! Its also very expensive.

3/ Why not give the freebie away its great to have people just come and get it and read it. You could consider not even adding them to the mailing list or a sub mailing list. Some people such as perry marshall do that (i think im on 4 sepreate one sof his)

4/ With the prompts on comments can you just change this to an opt out thing I actually like them :-) If i have to remebr to come to VBL to read stuff I would vist less often as there is so much a) work to do b) other things shouting for your attention.

Hope those comments help, disregard the one sthat dont :-)

regads

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Chris C. Ducker July 25, 2011 at 19:41

Hi Steve

All good on all accounts, here, mate.

Pop-Up has been switched OFF already – as of about 30mins ago.

But, can I ask for a little clarification on your last point – not making too much sense to me. I am assuming you are rushed and er… have too much work to do!!! ;-)

Thanks, bud.

C

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steve July 26, 2011 at 00:16

Hi Chris

My apologise thats a poor post, written english and typing my weakest skill set :-(. Yep heavy KW research day but thats no excuse.

4/ Where you said “secondly id’ stop sending the post update emails” I was suggesting this is a bad idea. Many busy people will simply forget to check in frequently or have to set a task to do this :-) If you wished you could make this a seperate opt-out list so if they dont want it they opt out. I opt out of perry marshalls religion based posts but not anything else.

regards

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:25

Understood mate…

I hear ya. Thanks for clarifying!
:-)

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Srinivas July 25, 2011 at 21:11

Chris,

So I have a few thoughts, but I”m no expert on the matter of email marketing. It’s kind of one biggest weakness and one that I’ve been working hard to fix.

1) First on the pop-up I actually am not a fan of those basically because I reached out a a well known author who refused to be interviewed by BlogcastFM because of the pop up we had. We ditched it. It sounds from the comments above as if you’ve already ditched it.

2) One other thing you might consider is providing content on the email list that you don’t provide here on the blog. Your own archives have gold in them that can be used for that as well, since most bloggers archives never get read.

3) You mentioned that people an get an email update with every post. I actually have set mine up so that they get an email update for every 3 posts. I think you can do that in aweber as well.

4) I’m with you on the freebie collectors. That’s kind of annoying when people do that just to get your free stuff. I guess the key is finding an incentive for them to stay on the list.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:16

Hi Srini

First up -thanks for the great, insightful comment. Love that you dropped by and spent some time at VBL today. :-)

Your point on the archives of the blog having a butt load of content that could be used for the email list is HUGE. To be frank I hadn’t even thought of it like that – and you’re right… Not many ‘new’ subscribers go back into the archives – and I do have some great stuff in there… (if I may say so myself!).

Thanks for the eye-opener, my man.

C

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Christian July 26, 2011 at 09:41

Srini that’s a great comment about using archives as a way to DIFFERENTIATE the content of your email list vs just reading the blog. There needs to be a reason to subscribe (the popup does this…or any effective optin device), but there also has to be a reason to STAY subscribed. That’s where the real work begins ;-)

I stopped auto-sending content recently, and I write a personal note to let readers know about latest articles. I found the most common reason I heard for opt outs was too much email. Every blog is different of course, but that’s what I’ve heard in my business.

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Keith July 25, 2011 at 22:30

I am on your RSS and e-mail, and I come back to you via both. But if ever I unsubscibe it would be to just clean up all the e-mails I receive. If they leave you they are just a sod!

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:14

Hi Keith

Thanks for the interaction, buddy. And I’m glad to hear that you’re on BOTH of the lists!

Awesome… :-)

C

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Tyler Tervooren July 25, 2011 at 22:57

Hey Chris,

My $0.02 are worth exactly that, but:

1) People always say they hate pop-ups, but I think the truth is that they hate how its implemented. If it pops up every time they come here after just a few seconds, yes that would be quite upsetting, but what if it only appeared on post pages and after a reader read all the way to the end of an article? I hate pop-ups when they’re implemented poorly, but if they show up exactly when I want them to, I actually appreciate them.

2) I would only stop sending article updates if you plan to change your email strategy. If the people on your list subscribed because they want the convenience of reading via email rather than coming to the site, then taking that away will probably just lower readership overall. Of course, if you only want the *most* dedicated readers to hang around, that would probably do the trick. :)

Tyler

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:13

Hi Tyler

Great point on the fact that people might tolerate the pop-up’s more if they were not so ‘in your face’. Saying that, I hope my sidebar and ‘bottom of the post’ opt-in’s now work slightly better and convert maybe a higher ‘class’ of subscriber, too.

Also, good point on the email side of things. I am now weighing that one up in a big way… Time will tell.

Thanks so much for dropping by, buddy.

C

PS. Everyone else – I have a great interview with Tyler coming up soon on the VBL Podcast! Stay tuned for that!

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David July 25, 2011 at 23:11

Hey Chris

I am responding to your personal twitter message.

Hmm, what would I do if I were in command of the VBL blog. Difficult, being a 0,5 on a scale from 0-100 in comparison to you. Neverthless, I’ll share my thoughts here. You never know, maybe there’s something useful inside for you.

- I also think that these pop-ups are very annoying, so yes: I would get rid of that. It should be enough to have a ‘prominent’ notification that there’s a free ebook.

- I don’t understand why, in general, somebody has to subscribe for an ebook. You’re giving it away for free anyway and if somebody likes your content and wants to get updated, this person will likely subscribe. Maybe by offering it through a simple download button and writing something like: “if you like it, sign up to my newsletter” or so you will make sure that the people that sign up indeed aren’t only looking for a freeby. Does that sound logical only to me?

- If I were in your shoes, I’d ask my buddy Pat Flynn if he experiences the same unsubscribe rates. Without doubt, Pat is a high flyer so if even he has the issue I wouldn’t be worried about myself :)

Regards from Greece,
David

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:12

Hi David

I have the side bar and the ‘bottom of the post’ opt-in’s that do convert well, and I hope that now that the pop-up has gone people will use these methods to subscribe to the email list, going forward – I also feel that these are slightly ‘better’ subscribers, as the unsubscribe rate of people that used these methods to sign-up have been smaller.

You’re right on Pat – he gets killer amounts of sign-up’s, and from what I understand from his open-rates (around 60% I believe), not too many unsubscribes, too. :-)

C

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David July 26, 2011 at 01:42

Chris,

One more thing I might do if I’d be as interested in that as you say your are and seem to be (maybe somebody has aleady mentioned that though);

As far as I know, you can check exactly who unsubscribed, right? Why not contact those people themselves via email and ask? There’s no better feedback than what you’ll get from them :)

Regards from Greece,
David

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:39

Hi David

I have done that, buddy…

Pretty much the same comments as I am getting here, too! Which is good to know, I think.

C

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Maxine Fack July 25, 2011 at 23:30

I also dislike the pop-up domination. It would be good if there was a way to disable it (don’t show this again button). I also hate any videos or other pop-ups that appear an often interfere with the use-ability of the site.

On the other hand I think there are lots of cruisers that visit a site to see what its all about, get the freebie, find its not for them (or maybe they are just competitors) and then find the spam mail too much.

I personally find that unsubscribe is not a bad thing, it weeds out the wheat from the chaff and makes sure that the people you are reaching are actually interested in your perspective. Its not something to be taken personally. Some people will just bookmark for future reference and then unsubscribe.

Don’t worry, don’t blog too much (keep below the irritation factor) and keep it interesting and useful.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:09

Hi Maxine

Wheat from Chaff is a great term to use here, and I think you’re right, it does help build a better environment!

Thanks so much for the feedback, its much appreciated.

C

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Christopher Roberts July 25, 2011 at 23:46

I’m glad you’ve disabled the pop-up function. Since I visit your site by clicking through the emails you send, those pop-ups were wasted on me anyhow. (Also, I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t sign-up via a pop-up in the first place, but…)

I hope you keep sending the emails. I think you happen to do those pretty well — they’re brief, assertive, and totally match your “voice” as I’ve come to know it through your podcasts. For me, they are the difference between checking in and consuming your new products (posts, podcasts, etc.) and letting it slide because, you know, life and work have a funny habit of getting in the way of blog reading!

In other news, I’m a member of Kitchen Table Companies, along with Matthew Needham — I put a question out there on the forum about VAs and he was sure to give you a good shout-out. So buy him a beer or something!

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:08

Hi Christopher

Thanks for dropping by.

I really appreciate your candidness on the blog post email alerts and love the idea of them prompting you to check out the blog. I mean, that IS the reason why I send them, obviously… :-)

KTC rocks…! Michael and Chris are awesome (Chris is coming up on the VBL Podcast this week!). Matthew – if you’re reading this, thanks, buddy! A beer will be purchased, for sure…! :-)

Thanks again, Christopher.

C

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Conor Neill July 25, 2011 at 23:52

I share your pain… the unsubscribers hurt… even though they shouldn’t. I know a few switch over to reading my blog via RSS and only signed up to email because they wanted an eBook – they want to keep their email as clear as possible. There is a growing number of people who really want to reduce email to minimum levels. I am one. I would suggest that not all unsubscribes are abandoning you! ;-)

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:03

Hi Conor

‘Hurt’, not sure I would use that word – I’m more curious than anything else…

Great point on getting the freebie and then switching to RSS feed. Excellent point, and I’m sure its happened for me, too.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy – much appreciated.

C

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Leah July 25, 2011 at 23:57

Hi, Chris! I myself was going to unsubscribe. I’ll try to explain the reason. Normally when I sign for a free e-book, it does not come up again. On your blog, each time I click the link to your blog in my email, I see the pop-up saying I can subscribe to the e-book. When I fill in the address it said that I am on the list already. When I saw the notice, I thought that I had to put some other e-mail. When the same window came up for the second time, I thought I have to pay something or do something to get the access to your blog. Stupid as I were, but it took me about a couple of months to understand that I have just to skip this offer.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:00

Leah

I am glad you didn’t unsubscribe and appreciate the comment.

The pop-up is ‘no more’, so thank you again for sticking with us all.

Cheers,
C

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Allison July 25, 2011 at 23:57

In addition to what some of the others have said, I’ll add this – it’s summertime. I usually see a dip in traffic and people unsubscribing in the summer. Everyone is outside as much as possible, they don’t want to sit inside and read emails. Maybe consider a “summertime schedule” where you send emails less. I know that if I come back from a long weekend away and have 10 emails from one site, it makes me annoyed and more likely to unsubscribe even if I like the site.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:02

Hi Alli

Awesome of you to drop by, thanks so much – I appreciate it.

I hear ya on the less emails thing – like I said, I think I’ll be dropping from ‘every post’ to ‘every 3 posts’, or possibly even less… I’ll work it out soon enough.

Thanks again for the feedback.

C

PS. It’ll be interesting to see how many people unsubscribe following today’s post alert!!! YES – I did send one out… nonetheless…. :-)

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Benny July 26, 2011 at 00:04

Count me as not a fan of the pop ups. Yesterday I was at a friend’s blog to sign up to his list in the sidebar. As i was typing, then came the popup!!! Very annoying.

Maybe those people who unsubscribed were in it for the freebie. You can’t please everyone really. Those people aren’t your true fans. Instead focus on the ones that enjoy you and the VBL brand.

It’s not the size of the list but the responsiveness of the list. I’ve heard in interviews a list of 10k+ just getting a couple clicks!

Keep up the good work!

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:26

Hi Benny

Thanks so much for the feedback and kind words, bud.

And you’re right – its not the size that matters. However, tell that to readers of Cosmopolitan!!!!! :-) LOL

Keep smilin’.

C

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steve July 26, 2011 at 00:44

Cough – Cosmo is right :-) cough

In all thinks size matters. Not that some things are best in small sizes – like the mini :-). LOL

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Benny July 26, 2011 at 01:24

LOL!!! That comment was classic!! Thanks for the laugh!

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Diggy July 26, 2011 at 00:34

Hey Chris,
Interesting timing, today Micheal Dunlop’s released a new beta version of Popup Domination, I’m about to try it out.

Another thing, while you may get freebie seekers on your email list, if you have a good autoresponder sequence you may actually convert more people into loyal subscribers that you would never have gotten if you didnt get them to opt in to your list.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:50

Wow. Strange timing, and not meant to upset Michael – he’s super smart and a very nice guy! :-)

Will REALLY appreciate you coming back and letting us all know how the new version works, and what additional features it has. I must say I personally unsubscribed from Michael’s list as all I was getting from him and James were ‘sales’ emails. I originally subscribed for the great content, but the ‘content’ based emails became few and far between…

That being said, what I have read on Michael’s site since then (I still ‘manually’ pop back there from time to time) has been great, as always.

Let me (us) know!

C

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Paul July 26, 2011 at 00:45

Hi Chris,

I am a new visitor to your site and and a very green ‘newbie’ to the world of internet entrepreneurship. I have found your content extremely useful and I particularly liked the vid with Derek Halpern. I too found the popup irritating and, as I write, notice it’s absence.

As a consequence of being keen to gain as much knowledge as I can, in as short a time as I can, I do find I subscribe to a plethora of sites depending on what they have to offer in terms of quality information. BUT, when reading and sorting through the emails I find that my time is greatly compromised because it takes so much time to read them all! So, I have to filter them and purge my inbox periodically.

Needless to say, your site passed the filter test and I remain an avid VBL’er.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 00:52

Hi Paul

Great to hear from you, and glad to still be on your list, buddy!

Thanks for commenting on the VBL for the first time, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

C

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Mars Dorian July 26, 2011 at 01:41

Hey Chris,

you have to ask the people that are on your list ;)

But now for realz – the pop-up thing is super-annoying. Sure, you may get a lot of peeps on your list, but do they really want to part of it or just get the freebie ? I think you “worrying” about its effectiveness are well justified.

Seriously, ask people on your list – maybe you aren’t sending them enough value, or you offer too many sales pitches ?

Get down in the trenches, my man !

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:38

I’ve done it, my man… Some interesting feedback – and actually along the lines of the comments here, too.

So, happy to see the consistency…

Happy to see you here, too – been a while, my friend.

C

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Michelle Dale July 26, 2011 at 01:54

Very interesting what everyone has said about the pop up – I used to dislike them, but I have used it for about a year now to follow up on potential clients, putting it on the maximum 7 day setting, and I have to admit it has done quite a lot for my business because I needed a list in the early days, but then I follow up one-2-one with people of interest rather than mass market. I am curious to see the results of you turning yours off. I would like Pop Up Domination to make one which you can adjust so it appears once per month, I think that’s more reasonable.

Also you switched from weekly email updates and then back to per post updates, I was curious why you did that?

Very good reach out Chris, I always like the way you involve your readers in your business :) Looking forward to seeing the results of the changes you make.

M

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:40

Hi Michelle

Switched from the weekly to ‘postly’ (is that even a word!?) emails because I noticed the traffic went down, per post.

I think a lot of people have said here that they like the reminders (even though there are always a few that unsubscribe on them) that those ‘postly’ emails bring them. I think I will no doubt continue with them now…

C

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Harold Dodd July 26, 2011 at 02:15

I don’t know why those people left. It could have been that they wanted the freebe and then they were gone. Personally, I like the information this site has to offer. The freebe was just the beginning for me. I am trying to start my own business and the fact that other people deliver info throws more into the mix. I like the dynamics of it.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:41

Hi Harold

Thanks, buddy.

Glad you liked the eBook and the blog. Appreciate you commenting.

C

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Harold July 26, 2011 at 02:21

I can’t agree more with you concerning the PopUp. I just removed mine from my blog few days ago. I was proofreading one of my article and that *bip* PopUp came over.

I was like : “WTF ! Move away !!!” … Sorry for that but… that’s so true !

I couldn’t believe that’s what I was doing to my readers.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:42

Hi Harold

The more I think about it – the better the move I believe I’ve made, in the long-run by removing it.

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t use the pop-up on other types of sites. It does work brilliantly for building up lists on a couple of niche sites that I have, but, on a blog, where people come and visit over and over, I can see where its become a pain.

C

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Trevor Chapman July 26, 2011 at 03:07

I have to aggree with the majority here, pop-ups are b****Y annoying especially when you go onto somebodys site for the first time and you want to check out what they have to say before thinking about suscribing and what it will do to your inbox :)

In an ideal world they would appear after say the 3rd or 4th visit to a site and say something like “welcome back, would you like to suscribe to our site and recieve this free ebook on blah blah”

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:43

Hi Trevor

Indeed. Pop-Up Dom actually has a schedule feature that can pop-up the opt-in form every 7 days (which is the most in the current version). Even that seems to be too much by the looks of things, for some people…

C

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Tullibo July 26, 2011 at 07:29

Hey mate – I unsubscribed from the email list, for me its better to digest this type of content in google reader. Also found the email updates too frequent for me

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:44

Hi Tullibo

Thanks for the feedback, nice to know that even though you’re not on that list, that the blog is still on YOUR list!!! :-)

Cheers,
C

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Dan July 26, 2011 at 09:25

One interesting thing about this discussion– everybody here ‘hates’ popups, I guess myself included– but we are all still here reading. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever not read a blog because it has a pop-up. Sure, I’d prefer if it were gone, but if it’s costing you 60% of your opt-ins, hmmm…. maybe I should install a pop-up!!??!

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:46

Great point, Dan.

But, the question then comes up again (or pops up!) – are those sign-up’s just signing up for the freebie, or to be kept up to date with the content of the blog itself…

How many of the people on my list are ‘real’…? That’s the big question here, I think.

C

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Christian July 26, 2011 at 09:47

Chris, I love your attitude. It’s natural to feel you did something wrong when someone leaves, but it’s just not necessarily the case. In fact, it may very well mean you’re doing something RIGHT. No one’s target market is “everybody” :-)

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:47

Amen to that, brother.

Thanks for the reminder of the old adage “You cant please all the people, all the time…”. It’s so bloody true!

Appreciate you popping by today, mate.

C

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Rick Resch July 26, 2011 at 10:41

Hey Chris,
I’m a person of few words, but I found the popup annoying. People only signed up to VBL to get the free stuff when you had it. Another thing is I personally like it when you remind me when you have a new post on the blog. If you are going to remind me once every three posts or whatever, then be it. I need to be told when there is an update otherwise I might forget. I try to read everything you have and listen to your videos. Then I like it and tweet the post. I think you have a very valuable blog here and I wouldn’t get discouraged if a few people unsubscribe from it. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your knowledge that you impart.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:48

Hi Rick

A man of few words, yes… But, appreciated words…? Absolutely.

Thanks for the kind words and vote of confidence – very cool of you to drop by and comment.

C

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Adam Stanecki July 26, 2011 at 10:42

G’day Chris,

The conversation seems to have leaned to pop-ups. So, I’ll start there. I don’t like them. But it’s more an implementation thing. If they popped up on the first visit and never again that would be cool. But, as I visit a site like VBL often and still get the pop-up it makes me feel like a newbie visitor not a member of the site community. That said, if you are getting good sign-up rates then the pop-up is working. I know Pop-up Domination just released a new beta, perhaps this “show once” functionality will be in there?

The best thing to do – in my opinion – is to follow Derek’s ideas on conversion. I’ve watched all of his recent site reviews and can see that his ideas would be awesome on my sites too.

I’ve added a sign-up box on my blog at http://adamstanecki.com.au/ that says: “I’ll be honest, I have nothing to send you right now. But if you are feeling a little daring and aren’t interested in some free ebook that you’ll probably never read, sign-up. If nothing else, you’ll make me feel loved :)” It’s a bit of fun but I’m also testing the quality of sign-ups.

Now, to the big question: “If you were in control…”

I’d magnify your personality! Add a welcome video to the sidebar. Let people know that you’re a confident Brit living the good life in Cebu. Let them know how you can help. Focus on the video/audio aspect of the site. Put a photo of yourself in the header. Let everyone know who you are and what you stand for. At the moment, visitors only really get ‘you’ by listening/watching a few episodes of the podcast. I think ‘you’ should be front and centre.

Cheers, Adam.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:50

Hi Adam

Thanks for the great comment and insights.

Magnify my personality…! :-) I’m all for a little personal branding / promotion – but, do you think that the header and sidebar could take me being in there permanently..??!!!! I appreciate this though, as I have thought about it from time to time… You never know – there could be a few changes made in the future.

Thanks for dropping by, mate.

C

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Adam July 26, 2011 at 10:44

Ironically, your buddy Derek Halpern (that dude is everywhere all of a sudden) had a post on using images correctly on your blog today. The image on this post violates pretty much everything he said : )

The picture appears to be a stock photo, not a “real” person.
The subject of the image is looking away from your content; Furthermore, every element of the photo (the megaphone!) is pointing away from your content.

What do the conversions, bounce rates and time on site look like for posts where you have a stock photo vs. one where your mug is starring right at us?

Plus, not everyone is ready for outsourcing…maybe they are still trying out all the “magic bean, press one button, you’ll live on your own island with a hot chick waxing your Ferrari in the driveway of your mansion” stuff out there.

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Chris C. Ducker July 26, 2011 at 13:53

Thanks for the comment, Adam.

Images have been something that I have been doing a lot of thinking about recently… So, I appreciate your input.

Thanks and you’ve (along with Derek today – I saw his post after publishing this one!) jolted me to take a look at things a little more closer.

Cheers,
C

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Corbett Barr July 26, 2011 at 14:43

Hey Chris, awesome discussion going on here!

I’ll share a few thoughts about how I do things and why.

First, I like to treat my readers how I like to be treated when I visit a site. I don’t like popups, so I don’t use popups on my site. If a site has a popup, it raises the content bar the site will have to cover for me to stick around. If a popup comes up a second time, I usually won’t stick around.

Second, I actually think you can do better in terms of conversions without popups if you’re creative (my sidebar forms are converting 2-3% of all visitors consistently). I’m not sure what you’re getting as total conversions for your pop-up, but it sounds like it’s in the same ballpark. Also, like you mentioned in the post, popups are likely to attract a different type of reader to sign up, one that may not be the best fit for you.

Third, I don’t think your unsubscribe rates are all that bad. I don’t know exactly how big your email list is, but I have a feeling 125 unsubscribes represents less than 3% of your list on a monthly basis. I have about 2.3% of subscribers leave my list every month for comparison. People will come and go, and many leave simply because they get your info somewhere else (twitter, RSS, etc.), or because they’re focusing on other things at the moment. It doesn’t mean you’ve pissed them off or they don’t like what you’re providing.

One thing I notice about your aweber list is that you offer a free guide in the sidebar, but the mention that people will also get updates from you when you publish new blog posts is at the very bottom of your subscribe box. People might be missing that last bit and then they become surprised when you send other updates.

You might also try to deliver regular value outside of blog posts to your email list by offering other downloads, workbooks, special content, etc. exclusively to your email list. That gives people a better reason to stick around.

Cheers man, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. You’re delivering a ton of value here, and the people who recognize that will stick around. Just look at all the engagement you’ve attracted on this post!

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:17

Hi C

Thanks so much for contributing to this chat, first up – it’s right up your alley, I know…! :-)

Love the simplicity of your opt-in forms at TT, too. And I know they work for you, for sure. Also, your insights on creating additional value through the email list (away from the blog content) is duly noted – its been something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time… And I believe I will start putting a good quality list of emails into the auto-responder pretty darn soon.

Thanks again for dropping by and adding to the discussion!

C

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Pat July 26, 2011 at 15:54

Hey Chris – it’s very reassuring to know your’e concerned about your subscribers like you are – it shows that you obviously care about each and every one of them, as we all should.

I wouldn’t worry about the unsubscribes though because they are absolutely, 100% normal, especially as your list grows bigger, which I know yours is doing as we speak. And, every single email you send out gives a person an opportunity unsubscribe, so someone who was meaning to do so who gets an email may do it right then using the link that comes along with it, and you know what – that’s actually a good thing, because you don’t want subscribers who don’t want your content and recommendations on your list anyways.

You may have lost 125 subscribers, but how many new and more engaging subscribers did you get?

Good move on dropping the popup. As you know, I’m not a big fan and have been doing pretty well without it.

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:15

Hi Pat

Yes, the subscribers and readers are ALWAYS front and center, as they say.

Yeah, actually I was thinking of you on this discussion in regards to the pop-up when people started mentioning it a LOT!!! I know you dont like ‘em.

You are right, the sub’s numbers do continue to grow, and actually, I have 13 yesterday (without the pop-up around), so it cant all be bad…!! :-)

Thanks for the support, brother. Much appreciated – as always.

C

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Benjamin July 26, 2011 at 17:17

Hey man, I remember discussing the dropping of the popup with you. Definitely go down that road.

I also watched your video with Derek last week (great guy) and I 100% agree with what he said in terms of simplifying options, both in your nav bar and your sidebar. I recently put something on my free-ebook page saying that they are also opting into weekly updates from me, but they’re welcome to unsubscribe any time. I think people appreciate the honesty straight up.

Something I’ll definitely recommend is keeping the email updates, but maybe only do one a week (at the weekend) with a short summary on all of your posts. Benny from FI3M, who I know you know, does this and I personally love it. If he were to email me three times a week with each new post I’d get pissed and probably unsubscribe, but once a week with a nice message and break down of each new post is really cool.

Keep it up, and as Corbett said, engagement on the VBL has been HUGE recently. That’s the main thing ;)

- Benjamin

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Steve July 26, 2011 at 19:18

Hi

The frequent emails have a direct impact on how quickly and how many comments get made on VBL posts i believe. Im sure Chris can measure this.

When a mailing failed/was slow recently it took 1/2 day before comments were really started to be made. then the email hit and people came over and commented.

This may or may not be an important element of blogging. And i know some of the established Guru’s in the LIFESTYLE business dont bother they assume people love them and will go out of their way to go read every word. :-) for most mortals (Exclude Chris he’s probably got Guru with feet on the ground status :-)) its probably wise to promt the list to let them know of new, great stuff. If people unsubscribe in that situation well at least you get feedback and a valid email list.

regards

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:10

Hi Steve

‘Guru’, gosh I hate that word… But, yes, like to think my feet are firmly on the ground…!

You are right on the comments / emails ratio. When I dont send out those reminders I do get slightly less comments, which leads me to believe they are required to remind people to check the posts out.

It’s a 50/50 split really – do I, or dont I…….?! :-)

I believe I will continue to do the ‘postly’ updates…

C

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:12

Hi Benjamin

I also remember the conversation… :-)

Amen to the engagement, you’re right – I’ve been really happy on that side of things recently.

Thanks EVERYONE!

C

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John July 26, 2011 at 20:00

Hey Chris,

I agree with the others on the annoying pop-up. I use a bottom slide-up on some of my niche sites but definitely not a full pop-up. If you make your opt-in forms visible enough, people will find them. Instead of killing the post update emails, how about a weekly wrap-up email on Fridays like Copyblogger does?

Oh, and a personal request. Please turn on full articles in your RSS feed. That’s how I keep up on my iPhone & iPad and it’s a much nicer read.

Keep up the great work Chris!

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:08

Hi John

Thanks for the insights, bud.

Will have a chat with my VA tomorrow on the ‘full articles’ thingy – waaaaaay too technical for me!!! :-)

Cheers,
C

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Matthew Needham July 26, 2011 at 21:03

Chris, sorry I misread the post when I saw the heading on my google reader. I thought you were talking RSS. 125 that’s a big loss, but you’ve got to take it in context of the total number of subscribers.

I think all of the reasons for unsubscribing are fair enough, people want the free stuff (hey, I’ve done that myself) and then unsubscribed and fair enough, but you can’t ignore the fact that email is getting more and more intense. The number of emails I get overnight (nearly all of which get deleted without opening) is stupid sometimes because I’ve signed upto too many great blogs.

Maybe a more accurate thing to look at is % of opens and see if the trend is growing, as these are the engaged readers, not the ones simply on the list.

Cheers buddy.

Matthew

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:07

Hi Matthew

Great comment, mate and thanks for the support.

My opens % is around 30% – which I am very happy with. So, not all bad… :-)

C

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Kenneth Larsen July 26, 2011 at 23:17

Hi,

I unsubscribed today!

I will still come around to see the blog, though. For me the problem was that I got too many e-mails saying what I would be reading in the next blog. As I will still come to the blog every now and the I see no reason to fill up my inbox :)

In short, the blog is very useful and interesting, the e-mails were not.

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Chris C. Ducker July 27, 2011 at 01:06

Thanks for being so upfront, Kenneth.

Much appreciated and glad you’ll still be popping onto the VBL from time to time!

C

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Dan July 27, 2011 at 05:08

Popups can never be part of a long term strategy for someone who wants to create an authority style site imo. It just doesn’t feel professional.
Personally I don’t like emails from bloggers and prefer to read the content through the feed reader instead. If you do have an email list it need to be separate and true ADDITIONAL value from the blog posts which they very rarely are, especially not from someone using popups…
And then you use another tactic that I don’t feel is professional. You don’t allow the user to select text in your articles. The obvious reason is to make them stick longer so they cant mark a word and insta google it and disappear. Just doesn’t feel like a user friendly & long term way to build a site.
Don’t take this the wrong way cause I like your content but I just think you should stop using these cheap tricks that deflates the value of your property since your readers are far to smart to not notice and only gets annoyed instead

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Chris C. Ducker July 28, 2011 at 00:19

Hi Dan

As you can tell, the Pop-Up is history.

On the subject of not allowing readers to select text, this has nothing to do with getting people to stick around longer… It is purely a copyright protection issue.

I have been plagued recently, at this blog and other business websites that I own, with people copying and duplicating my content all over the internet (see this VBL Facebook thread for a view on this)- because they are either:

a) Too lazy to produce their own content.
b) Too stupid to produce their own content.
c) Both of the above!

And it goes far beyond just blog content, too – I’ve even had people take my videos and re-edit them with their company telephone number and websites splattered all over them.

The plugin used to not allow any of the text to be selectable is in place to just make it harder for people to STEAL MY STUFF……!!!! Simple as that.

I don’t class myself as using ‘cheap tricks’, ever, on this blog.

Either way, I appreciate your feedback.

C

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Linda August 4, 2011 at 07:03

What software do you use to prevent theft of your content Chris?

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Sam July 31, 2011 at 22:27

Hey Chris,

Glad to see that the pop up is gone, always a bonus. I’d say the overall feel and look of the website is very good and for someone that actually wants to dig through the site it’s pretty easy to find. For someone that is just getting a feel for the site, as Derek Halpern talked about, there were too many options up top. The 4 large areas are great and I like the ease of it, but the menu’s underneath kind of get left behind. May want to try to incorporate them more seamlessly into the site so it feels more organic and flows.

Merely an opinion of course, but I really enjoy the site and see myself checking back often.

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Chris C. Ducker July 31, 2011 at 23:09

Hi Sam

Thanks for the feedback, its all well appreciated, really.

I am going to be spending some time in the next few weeks to tweak VBL a little.I am having to finalize a long-running project to first, before a launch – and then the VBL fun can commence!

Thanks again for the comment.

C

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Richard Scott August 2, 2011 at 21:02

Here’s my take on the email list… I almost never sign up. In the past year I believe I’ve only signed up for 3 or 4 lists max and that’s because I truly like the person and really connect with them, not because of the “FREE” item. I feel all the “FREE” ebooks are pretty much crap (except for one – I loved Pats) made just to sucker you in to an email list that is also crappy where they can try to sell you stuff. And even the couple that I’ve signed up for that were really good in the beginning, great content, great messages, tapered off and now give me nothing of great value. Some sent too many emails, more than 3 a week is horrible. Once a week is enough. I don’t want to unsubscribe, but it makes me wonder why I’m holding on. I haven’t signed up for yours yet, I’m new here and still learning who you are. :)

I also feel that bloggers are going to put their best info online in their blogs anyway. And even if they put it in an email first, it usually pops up on their website soon after. So why bother?

If I like the person I bookmark their site and come back often (I don’t use a reader). If they have something to sell, they usually post about that and if it gets my interest I’ll purchase. I’ve never purchased from an email before. I feel if it’s that good of a product, the blogger will write about it in a post and the comments will help me decide if it’s worth buying or not.

P.S. I also hated the popup, and have stopped going to some sites because of it. Very annoying. Just ticks me off. It makes people seem desperate to get my email which I never want to give out.

Peace!

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:28

Hi Richard

Great bit of feedback, and I highly appreciate it.

I am in the process of re-working my email list strategy, to be frank. Not sure if I will continue with the blog post updates, or ditch them. One minute I am hot towards them, the next, I’m not and want to focus on creating new, exclusive content for the email list altogether. Still deciding…

Hope you’re enjoying ‘getting to know me!’.

Best,
C

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Philipp Knoll August 6, 2011 at 03:44

Chris,

I love the fact that you turn to your readers and your community to ask why WE might unsubscribe. Its a great move.

Things like the subscribe pop-up work, no doubt there. But for what reason? Not because people are really interested in subscribing. I guess you can compare it to POS marketing (point of sale). You advertise right in your shop so that people pick up your goods. But readers actually interested in a connection, the ones you want to subscribe to your blog as they will be loyal, will subscribe anyway. They won’t need that pop-up. I’d say get rid of it asap.

I’m subscribed to your list and enjoy the updates. But the post updates could really be stopped. I prefer to get this kind of update vie RSS, Twitter or even Facebook. You could create a second mailing list for people who prefer to be informed about new posts via email. That gives your readers another option to choose from. Options are almost never a bad thing. Everyone can pick what they like best.

Your blog is a valuable resource so don’t worry about the content. Nothing wrong with it. I believe we just have to stop throwing around with free stuff that much. I appreciate free quality eBooks. But to be honest not every blog has to offer one. Most don’t really keep the promise. Why not find other ways for people to “earn” the free book? Like tracking interaction and giving it away for participation, or for staying subscribed for a period of time etc. Guess you get the picture. The “all free” days might be almost over as people are spammed with free BS and would rather “pay” in money, loyalty etc. for quality.

Hope those thoughts help you a bit.

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Chris C. Ducker August 8, 2011 at 15:31

Hi Philipp

Thanks so much for your comment. Much appreciated.

I also appreciate your comments in regards to the idea behind putting together a separate email list for those that want updates, etc. Not a bad idea, and although its something I’ve thought of doing in the past, I haven’t pulled the trigger on it, obviously… You’ve got me thinking again now! :-)

Thanks again for dropping by, and I look forward to more insightful comments in the future.

Cheers,
C

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Paul August 11, 2011 at 15:51

Hi,

I just wanted to say that I hate too much talk about nothing, whenever I see a “marketing page” the sell talk really dont do anything for me, I just skip to the end, join with a trash email if I want the e-book/video/whatever and forget about it afterwards. Sometimes when I visit my trash email I have thousands of sell/affiliate/join/porn crap and I dont even want to read the headlines. I dont give a crap about any fake guarantee, testimonials, whatever. And if there is a pop-up, it goes away without me even reading it. And yes, I use Firefox with Adblock Plus.

That said, I do bookmark a good site, good information, that I know I will come back to. I wish more of these sales oriented people would simply just put the content there on their site, available for anyone, instead of trying to hide it away in some sub page you only can get to after “subscribing” or stick it into an e-book. Hell, no one remembers the mantra “Information wants to be free”?

If I saw one of those pages, bookmarked it, maybe I would be interested in subscribing to a RSS feed, twitter, or a >>monthly<< email (so I dont get spammed every other f-ing day).

I just wonder how "successful" that page would be. I'm sure those that subscribed would be real interested.

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Chris C. Ducker August 12, 2011 at 15:47

Thanks for the insights, Paul.

Much appreciated.

Pop-up has now disappeared on VBL, as you can see!

C

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Eric August 12, 2011 at 11:04

Chris:

I have been subscribing for some time now, and I find your stuff really interesting and informative. I am an American expat living in South Korea, but planning at some point in the future to move to the Philippines. Although my expertise lies in other areas than yours, my thoughts had been focused on virtual business when I happened onto your website. Please keep your great content coming! I think your videos are especially informative and useful.

I am an English teacher, published author, and someone who spent many years in marketing in the U.S. Based on this, I was surprised to read that you have lost subscribers. The only additional explanation I can offer for the drop in your list may be that you sometimes use profanity for added emphasis. Many people are sensitive to this usage and become offended by it. You might want to tone it down. Think Shakespeare, not schlock! After all, you are doing a great job creating NEW “business classics”! (That’s why everyone is copying you!) Keep up the good work!

Best to you,
Eric

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Hope August 12, 2011 at 12:07

I agree with Eric. Even though some people speak profanity as if it were their second language, I consider it a verbal assault. There is no reason for you to use it to get your point across.

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Chris C. Ducker August 12, 2011 at 16:29

Hi Hope

Like I said in my comment to Eric, I dont think I use swear words very often. But, I also appreciated and respect peoples opinions. Apologies if you’ve been offended by it at any point.

But, with Chris Ducker, and his blog – what you see is truly what you get! :-)

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Chris C. Ducker August 12, 2011 at 16:28

Hi Eric

Thanks for the comment and kind words – and I hope S.K. is treating you well :-)

As for the ‘profanity’ point, I cant remember REALLY swearing on any of my posts here at VBL. Don’t get me wrong, if I have, then so be it – but, I think that this just comes down to being yourself. I mean, why would you be someone different online than you are in real life.

I’m not of those people that swears and drops the F-Bomb every other word – but, I do swear. From time to time. I think we all do… Bottom line on this point – be yourself on your blog, as far as I’m concerned.

However, I appreciate where you’re coming from in the way that some people might not like it. Maybe some did unsubscribe because of this – but, I doubt the number was a big percentage.

Think Shakespeare… I like that! :-)

C

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Sam August 12, 2011 at 21:38

Hi Chris, Eric and Hope,

For some swearing isn’t just them speaking, my Uncle swears like it were going out of style, but that’s just the way he talks. It’s not good, bad or indifferent, it’s just who he is. There are some that use swearing to emphasize something and for many, does add that extra umph you may be going for. Ash over at http://www.themiddlefingerproject.org/ uses profanity a bit, but it’s just who she is and she doesn’t shy away from it, but she does have some great content and ideas. Her reasoning is that if people didn’t want to read it, they won’t and I tend to agree.

There are so many places out there to get information these days that you have the option to get it from where you like. If someone doesn’t like swearing, there’s usually a place to find similar content without the things you don’t like. Chris does swear a little bit, but like he said, it’s who he is and why wear a mask for one group and another mask for another group? In the corporate world that has a ton of uses, but in the business Chris is in, that can be very harmful and even destroy a reputation.

Personally I don’t care if someone uses profanity online if it is in context, but swearing just to swear can get irritating so I see both sides and appreciate them both. Chris, keep up the great work, love the site. Eric and Hope, I love the opinions and standing up for them. :)

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Chris C. Ducker August 13, 2011 at 23:40

Thanks for the comment, Sam.

I know Ash’s site, and LOVE IT! She rocks.

I hear you on the ‘being who you are for business’ side of things. I do, sincerely have to be exactly who I am – EVERYWHERE, at least i know that way, whether it be in the office, a clients building, home, a convention, I simply just need to be ME! :-)

Thanks for dropping by.

C

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Meg August 30, 2011 at 07:54

Personally I hate pop ups and find them insulting as if I can’t locate the form I need to sign up for a newsletter or download somewhere on the page myself when I’m ready to subscribe. I really dislike the popups that come up within seconds of me getting to the site, I need a chance to read the content and know whether or not I want to subscribe to it. I have often left a website altogether without reading any further if the pop up comes up within the first 2-3 minutes of me arriving on the site. Pop ups that continue to come up after I’ve declined the first pop up will cause me to leave the site immediately. Getting rid of your pop up was a good call!

As for the email posts, I too would like to see either an opt out for the email posts or maybe even a once or twice a week digest of posts. Daily from anyone is typically too much and only serves to flood my inbox. I work full time as a virtual research assistant currently and I’ve found my free time to read and clean up email has been greatly reduced. I also truly am annoyed when I get emails for the same webinar or event/product from multiple people that I subscribe too. The other day I received at least five emails from five different people enticing me to sign up for the same webinar event! I often will unsubscribe from anyone’s list who seems to be just promoting everyone else’s webinar’s hoping for affilate sign up credit.

So I guess I say all that to say this…if your content is good and yours often is, people will seek you out. There’s nothing wrong with a regular reminder but if you’re going to do daily ones, give people an option to pick a less frequent delivery. Think carefully before you promote someone else’s product or event and before you give them carte blanche to promoter yours…..maybe even compare email lists so that you can be sure you and your colleagues aren’t over promoting to the same people which can actually negatively reflect on you.

That’s my two cents. Thanks, –Meg

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Chris C. Ducker August 30, 2011 at 16:17

Thanks for the insights, Meg.

Highly appreciate it all. :-)

C

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Justin November 3, 2011 at 01:12

Hey Chris,

This is an older post I see…but I was wondering what your thoughts were on dropping the pop-up. It’s been very successful for us, but I’m wondering if it’s too aggressive. We’re getting 15-20 sign-ups a day now…but how did it work out for you now that you’ve dropped it? Less subscribers? More “sticky” subscribers? Anyway….best of luck with Blog World Expo, man!

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Sham December 6, 2011 at 13:42

When I see pop-ups, I think “hard sell” which is a turn-off to me. I’ve been researching making money online, have found my niche and am blasting away adding serious content and affiliate products as time permits. I think serious online entrepreneurs do not want the pop-up because the content should speak for itself….

I think people are unsubscribing because once they get your free books, they find your niche is a little advanced for them.

This is a very intense learning curve and a person can only absorb, test and assimilate only so much info and technique and clever software at once. Your blog comes across as very advanced. I didn’t get your ebook because I have too many already and am still absorbing information, but it does seem pretty specialized at my level so far. That’s why I think pop-up people are unsubscribing…

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The Beach Bum Entrepreneur December 25, 2011 at 16:26

Hey great post Chris. You are right in many ways, giving away free information is ok in a business sense, but instead of making them SIGN UP for the free info i would recommend try giving it to them anyway without signing up.
That way if the information you provided them is good content and relevant to what they are looking for i.e Answers a question they had, great! they will click on your link below which should lead to a sale, after the download once they received the information IF THEY WANT TO.
If they are just browsing to see what the competition is doing, or getting ideas. then you don’t have to get them on your list wasting your money and copying you.
A true leader is not going to worry about other people copying their stuff because they are not original! so keep it real and add value with what ever you provide being free or not. You have to build up trust and they will follow as im sure you are aware. After being out of contact with you for some time I registered out of curiosity to see how your going, you certainly seem like a leader to me! GOOD WORK you have a strong business model and a great service to beat!

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Chris C. Ducker December 26, 2011 at 22:38

Thanks, Kyle. I appreciate your kind words, mate.

The sales funnel approach, the one you mention, is of course used by many successful entrepreneurs online. But, to be honest, I haven’t really been ‘selling’ stuff online until very recently. I have to admit to re-thinking the strategy behind it a little, and seeing what I can come up with.

Again, I appreciate the kind words, and please stay in touch.

Cheers,
Chris

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ralph@cantankerousoldcoots April 21, 2012 at 05:56

Losing subscribers is definitely a secondary problem because you can’t lose what you don’t have. It’s an interesting perspective. Why did they sign up and when they sign up does what they want get delivered. I’m guessing that getting them to sign up has more to do with not wanting to miss anything you might say than anything you might give them.

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Kirsten November 6, 2012 at 08:37

Hi Chris,

I am very new to your site and have absolutely enjoyed it very much. I can really understand and appreciate your concern about drop off (even if it is fractionally small) that says that you continue to care regardless of how your site is succeeding. That is great. I would also drop the pop ups because I detest them and look for ways to get in front of more qualified members. I think your boot camp is a fantastic platform and I think I will even steal it and morph it into my own thing. This is a great tool for getting people who really want to do some work with you. What if you gave people a task at the end of the daily lesson and asked them to share it on your site to get them feeling more like members of your community? Kirsten

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Chris C. Ducker November 6, 2012 at 11:40

Indeed, Kristen, you’re right. Pop’s are not for everyone, and for everything – I turn mine on every now and then.

Appreciate your insights and feedback.

C

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Anas Mir December 10, 2012 at 02:08

I learned a lot from this article, and one thing I’m going to use on my blog after reading this blog is pop-up subscription box. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chris.

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Jignesh January 14, 2013 at 00:00

This is actual “reader’s” website.. and not search engine’s. Lovely, Chris. Keep it up! Will be waiting for more from you.

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Robi June 27, 2013 at 01:33

Hi Chris!

I just signed up for your freebee without a pop-up. If I am forced to sign up with a pop-up, then I already have in mind that I can unsubscribe if the promised value is not there, OR I get too many emails right away. I DON’t want daily emails, I need time to assimilate info and I am on many lists.

I usually like the freebie to see how knowledgeable the blogger is about the material they will eventually try to sell me. I also gauge how generous they are with info in these freebies. If they give me something of value, for free, then I am more likely to buy in hopes that I will get even MORE value when I pay.

If when I buy I am constantly sent to upsell pages, or told that this is my ONE chance for the upgrade (when I thought I was getting everything I needed on the first sales page) then I lose trust and won’t buy from them again. Better to give me a week to try it out and THEN send me the offer to upgrade, that way I see the value of what I bought and have more trust in spending more.

Some freebies are nothing more than regurgetated info that I have seen all over the net. So those blogs I will unsubscribe if I find they email me every day sometimes twice a day. I might stay if the blog gives me an option to reduce emails to a couple times a week or once a week with summaries so I can pick and choose which blog posts to read.

Another reason I might unsubscribe:
1. Every email is a masked sales pitch. (I start feeling like their personal coin purse, not a relationship)
2. Too many products for sale (JV Zoo comes to mind – so irresistable till I look at my bank account and realize I have spent shit-load of money on too many products that I don’t have time to absorb and implement…I start feeling like a smuck and “been had”)
3. Overload of information that I am not ready to implement (missing pieces and what step do I take first, second, third)
4. “How to make money on the internet” where it seems to benefit only those that have/know what product to sell. Picking the product(s), where to find them, how to get approved, etc. seem to be missing…I know, that is the secret that newbies have to find out for themselves.

So to summarize, they may be feeling “too much info, too often, don’t know how to implement to benefit me”, or “I don’t want to be sold to every time.”

That is kinda like a friend who has joined an MLM company and you start realizing that the reason they call/email you is not out of friendship, but because they are going to, once AGAIN, try to sell you on their business. What do you do when that happens? For me, I stop accepting their Phone calls, avoid meeting them, and ignore their emails and pretend like my laptop is broken, LOL.

Everyone has their own pace of learning…sometimes we newbies will look at the experienced successful people and think, wow, way over my head, too fast, too expensive to implement everything one needs, I’m outta my league, so I’m outta here.

And yet, that may be the one person that could really benefit but felt they did not know how to prioritize to match a gradually increasing budget.

To the experienced marketers that might be reading this: I feel if I have spent, say, $100, it would be nice if I could have a 5 minute phone contact or email where I can say, “ok, I bought your product for this reason, but not sure if my idea fits, or what I should do next, etc”. Then the marketer could tell me to try xyz and shoot him/her an email when that is done, and THEN you sell me the next useful product.

You see, when I sign up, I am looking for a mentor/partnership. I really don’t want to be on 10-20 email lists…I just want one or two that can help me make a few bucks so I can buy their next trusted info product. I am very loyal when I feel I am more than a number.

I would also be willing to sign a contract with a partner if anyone out there was interested. I’m no dummy as I got my website in Number 2 spot above Wikipedia, before I started seeing/buying cool gadgets that my head is swimming to implement. I never understood why “how to make money marketers” don’t offer partnerships with 50/50 split. Seems like having 100′s of people doing that would be more lucrative in the end than selling 100′s of offers to people who don’t really have the experience to carry it to the next level, thus, they quit. I guess that is why high traffic is needed…to cover the high turnover of customers? Just a thought.

Hope this long comment (sorry) helps the more experienced marketers understand the newbie mindset. Give me a shout out if you want a hard worker on your team.

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Chris C. Ducker June 27, 2013 at 11:31

Awesome comment, Robi. Thank you for your insights.

It’s just as good as the post, I reckon – if not better!!! :-)

Great insights and got me thinking a little, too.

C

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Robi June 28, 2013 at 02:00

“Just as good as the post”…whoops, sorry, I did read the post, then I rambled my thoughts from over the years. Sorry if it ended up sounding like a repeat. Your post was actually insightful for me and got me thinking too as evidenced in my long ramble :^) Cheers!

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Brankica September 8, 2013 at 00:13

I am going to go on a limb here but the title here has nothing to do with the post content and that is a reason I would unsubscribe from a blog’s list. I love your stuff but this one just confused me.

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Chris C. Ducker September 8, 2013 at 13:09

Hmmm… I think this is an old VA of mine trying a little hard hard on the SEO side of things!

I see what you mean, Brankica – and this is an OLD post, too. How did you get to it? Curious.

I’ll see what I can do to change this a little…

C

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