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Don't Let Some Opt-Outs Get You Down

by Tom Ruwitch

I still remember like it was yesterday the time when Jay Wolf screamed at me: “I hate you! You stink!”

I was 7, and I had just “killed” him in dodgeball.

The ball I threw grazed his leg.

But Jay was a liar and a cheat. He denied it and stayed in the game.

I appealed to our gym teacher, Mrs. Frank. She sided with me.

That’s when Jay hurled the insults.

The insults stung.

At our family dinner that night, I shared the story with Mom and Dad.

“He hates me,” I whimpered.

My dad set me straight.

“Do you like Jay?” he asked.

“No,” I said.

My dad continued: “Then why are you so worried if he doesn’t like you? He’s a bully. He’s not worth your time.”

And then he added one last point that has stuck with me since that day 45 years ago: “Not everyone will like you. That’s OK. Don’t worry about the bullies.

Your job is to find the good people and give them reasons to like you.”
I told that story last week to a client who was fretting over email opt-outs.

She launched a new email campaign recently, and 15 people opted out after she sent the first email. Five more opted out when she sent the second email.
“What am I doing wrong?” she asked.

Those opt-outs sting.

“Believe me,” I said. “I can relate.”

Then I told her the dodgeball story.

When you feel that opt-out sting, you often assume the worst: Maybe your message is off. Maybe your products or services are subpar. Maybe you don’t deserve email subscribers.

But most often, people opt out because they’re not the right people for you and your business. They’re not ideal prospects.

Not everyone will like you or your content. That’s OK — especially when those who opt out aren’t among your true targets.

As marketers, our job is to connect with the people who would benefit from our products and services and give them reasons to like us and our businesses.
If we spend time connecting with people who would not benefit from our products and services, we’re just spinning our wheels.

Most email lists are littered with contacts who have no interest in what the senders are selling.

When they opt out, you’re not losing a true prospect. You’re disqualifying someone who is suspect.

We marketers talk a lot about “qualifying prospects.” That’s not only about finding the good ones. It’s also about discarding the bad ones.

So when a few people opt out from your list, don’t fret — unless you know that most of them were ideal prospects.

If they’re not ideal prospects, those opt-outs mean you’re qualifying the prospects and disqualifying the suspects.

That’s a good thing.

Tom Ruwitch is the president and founder of MarketVolt, an interactive marketing firm. For more business-building marketing resources by Tom Ruwitch, go to

Submitted 173 days ago
Categories: categoryHigh Voltage Marketing
Views: 817