How to Deal with Haters on Your Email List

A couple of weeks back I sent an email with the (admittedly provocative) subject line:

“I don’t want your stupid product”

And a few minutes later some guy named Areeb fires back:

“I don’t want your stupid newsletters either!”

A few years back, a reply like this would have bugged me all day.

I still remember times when I spent an hour or more writing up a fun and useful tip for my Sublime Text mailing list…

Only to have people gripe and complain because I included a link to my ebook at the end of the email.

A few “nastygrams” like that can make you gun shy about emailing your list.

The reality is, when you’re sending out messages that are read by hundreds or thousands of people, it won’t be long before SOMETHING you say will make SOMEBODY mad.

How do you deal with the “haters”?

Two things:

First, realize that it’s their loss.

Areeb clearly didn’t read my email, so he missed out on the critical point — that your customer doesn’t really care one way or another about your product, and their ONLY interest is solving their problem.

And Areeb also didn’t stop to think about (or even ask) why I might have chosen that particular subject line (which happened to be one of the most-read emails I’ve sent in the last few months). So he also missed out on learning by example how a little “shock value” can wake up sleepy subscribers.

Too bad for him.

Second (and this part is fun), banish them for their misbehavior.

Your list is YOUR LIST.

You set the rules.

Your subscribers are like guests in your house — they’re welcome to stay… as long as they abide by your rules.

If a guest starts stubbing out cigarettes on your living room sofa and smashing your expensive dinnerware, well…

See ya later.

And in Areeb’s case, the “eviction” couldn’t have been easier.

Since he’d replied to my email, I just scrolled down and — CLICK — hit the Unsubscribe link.

Hater be gone.

I highly recommend doing this.

Troublemakers like Areeb rarely shape up or change their ways.

They sap your enthusiasm and suck the joy out of running your business.

So eliminate them ruthlessly — and get back to focusing your attention on the problems your customer wants you to solve.

Want to read the email that triggered this whole fiasco? Here you go.


Originally published at joshuaearl.com.