Not All Subscribers Are Created Equal: Follower Counts Are A Useless Metric!

Orren Prunckun
3 min readMay 15, 2023

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I recently decided to revive my marketing & selling newsletter…

The last time I sent it was 3 years ago — I simply got lazy.

Then once I got into a habit of not sending it, that habit stuck and 3 years passed.

Instead of sending the newsletter to previous subscribers out-of-the-blue, as my first email in 3 years, I asked them to opt out (let me know if you would like to see the wording for this)!

Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive, but if you can think about life from their perspective, a lot can change in 3 years…

*A LOT*

Like a global pandemic!

Plus, people’s interests and needs change.

Further, I don’t want to send anything to anyone that is not relevant or useful, in email form or not.

Put another way — I only want to communicate to people who welcome it.

There is an argument for not doing this: “You’re losing subscribers!”

I sure am, and I am totally okay with that.

And in a world obsessed with follower counts, I understand why that is a concern…

But, not all subscribers are created equal:

First, you would have lost them anyway — that person would have eventually unsubscribed, if not at the time of sending the newsletter out-of-the-blue because they were no longer interested.

You writing to them, no matter how good it is, is not magically going to convince them to stay — spend your time on people who are already convinced.

Second, because there was no context (like providing the reason they are receiving it or reminding them on how they got on the email list etc) to getting a newsletter out-of-the-blue, there is a high likelihood that it would make a withdrawal out of your brand equity with them.

You don’t want that — brand is everything.

Third, they could report you for spam, which affects your account with your email delivery provider and potentially future email delivery to the remainder of subscribers.

Forth, it puts those who remain subscribed on-notice about what they will get.

And in the case of my newsletter, that will be:

A weekly digest/summary of all the marketing, branding and selling content I published around the for the week including observations, things that are working, what I am testing and so on, to help you get more brand awareness, leads, or sales.

If you’d like to jump on the list, you can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/ghaD7v

I got quite a few replies to that request to opt-out email: people were excited it will be revived, as well as new leads.

Being front-of-mind without a hard pitch converts.

This is the reason advertising and constant communication works — it means you are front-of-mind when a need arises and if you have not hard pitched, AKA provided value, you’ll likely be picked over competitors.

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Orren Prunckun

Entrepreneur. Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Unley. Recognised in the Top 50 Australian Startup Influencers. http://orrenprunckun.com