Do or Do Not…

I don’t know about you, but I did not expect a company to turn unsubscribing from a mailing list into a positive.
Enter Hubspot. Like many others, they have an email newsletter that they use to connect with their audience. Unlike many others, if they notice you haven’t been clicking on their notes, they send this:

There is No Try…

A couple of weeks ago, Rogers was in the news for receiving the largest fine to date from the CRTC for violating the new anti-spam law. According to the CBC article, Rogers has agreed to pay $2 million for sending emails with a non-functioning unsubscribe button as well as for failing to remove users from their email lists within 10 business days between July 2014 and July 2015.

There were bound to be fines issued by the CRTC right off the bat to set examples and prove the anti-spam law is serious business. However, “There are no automatic penalties for violations. The CRTC judges each case based on a series of factors, including the nature of the violation, your history with CASL, whether you benefited financially from the violation and your ability to pay a penalty.”

Let’s compare the two:


is beyond brilliant in more ways than one:

1. Their audience doesn’t get the chance to resent them.
They aren’t giving their audience the chance to resent them because they’re removing themselves from your inbox before you have to take that step. If it has to end, it ends on good terms!​​

2. They’re rekindling interest.
This email is written so well that not only do potential ex-audience members get a great vibe from Hubspot, but it also makes you wonder what you might be missing if you let them unsubscribe you. The most brilliant part is that they’ve done so in a way that does not feel pushy or like they’re trying to trick you into re-subscribing. It feels genuine!


is bad in more ways than one:

1. The audience complains to the authorities.
How many people do you suppose had to complain to the CRTC before the fine was issued? Not to mention the chances are pretty high that many if not all of these people complained to Rogers directly first and had their concerns go unanswered.​

2. They’re fuelling angry passion!
The bigger question: why did Rogers let their audience’s unhappiness reach that level? The biggest problem with the Rogers situation is not only that they chose to ignore the new law, but that they also ignored their audience. ​

​Just because a person has signed up for your email list or likes your product doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in hearing from you forever. You have to keep earning that interest, and as soon as it starts to disappear, either be more interesting or let them go. Don’t try to force them to stay, because not only will they be uninterested but they’ll be mad to boot.

The big lesson Rogers could have learned from Hubspot:
If your email relationship with a subscriber/potential customer/past customer is going to end, it’s going to end. Let it end on good terms – just because they’re leaving doesn’t mean they won’t still share the experience with their friends, and we all know the value of word of mouth advertising!