Yet another reason to unsubscribe

We’re all sending newsletters these days.

Photo by timothy muza on Unsplash

I get a lot of newsletters. I like signing up for them, I like reading people’s lists of recommendations, updates on their passion projects, news and opinions, and I like unsubscribing from them when I decide I’ve had enough.

I rule my inbox with an iron fist.

Sometimes I stay subbed because I signed up to the newsletter in the grip of whatever research mania I was in at the time — lifting weights, perfume, careers in hospitality — but the dispatches are so well produced and interesting that my enjoyment supercedes the fact that the novelty or the interest or context or whatever it was that made me sign up in the first place has passed.

But more often, I don’t.

I unsub* because my tastes have changed. I unsub because the content just isn’t relevant to me anymore. I unsub because the format has changed for the worse, or there’s been a dropoff in quality.

*‘Unsub’ is happening. Just go with it.

And sometimes I’m offered the opportunity to share feedback with the newsletter’s creators:

From Mailchimp

Sometimes I wonder if people know you can edit these reasons.

Many newsletters don’t even prompt you for feedback when you decide you’ve had your time together.

Feedback is a gift, people!

However, frequently I unsubscribe from emails for a reason that is never, ever on this list.

I really like these newsletters, but they have a problem.

Or should that be, their authors have a problem?

The problem is simple. It’s curable. And yet writers, marketers and content curators don’t seem to want to hear about it.

I wrote to one recently, after receiving their latest roundup of links from around the web:

Hi XX,
Every single thing or person you mention in your newsletter is a man.
When I receive newsletters like these, I unsubscribe. Sometimes I take a moment to tell the newsletter writer why.
When I, a woman, receive a newsletter from a man, full of things by and about men, it says to me: ‘This isn’t for you.’
It’s as simple as that.

And it seems simple enough to me.

When I get an email in my inbox, and it mentions let’s say five, six, seven things, and each of them are about men — things men have done, created, said, reviewed, written, built, photographed, etc — I switch off.

Men are only half of the population. So why is your whole newsletter about men’s accomplishments?

Did no women do anything this week?

Try a little harder to achieve balance.

The email quoted above is one that I actually sent to the author of such a newsletter, before unsubscribing for evermore.

The author wrote back to me almost right away:

This is the 2nd email I’ve had where this has been pointed out. I didn’t realise it. Thanks for letting me know.

He wasn’t unfriendly. And if he’d never replied, I might have thought he was really taking my feedback into consideration.

But with this one, simple, arrogant reply, he let me know that it really wasn’t a concern of his.

Yet another reason to unsubscribe.