I send out press releases and email campaigns on a regular basis. I find that generally, most people who don't want to receive your emails will hit the old Unsubscribe or Opt Out button without any problems.
But occasionally they might email you directly to ask you to unsubscribe. Now in the case of media, how should you respond to that?
A situation like that happened to me last week. I had an editor who, up until last week had opened almost all of press releases, when he suddenly unsubscribed. So I took the time to find out why. I emailed him and said that I had noticed that he had recently unsubscribed, and would he mind telling me why and how I could fix the situation.
Now some people will just not bother to answer, but if you've been building a relationship with them over time, they usually will. He replied that he was noticing that most of the news wasn't B.C based, that it was based in other provinces, and wasn't a national story, so he wasn't very interested. However, he did say that if it was going to be B.C based, too send it directly to him- not as a mailout, and then very kindly gave me a list of reporters he would like me to send my stories to.
Now not all of your subscribers will be so nice, but it really pays to contact them and find out how your emails and information can be of benefit to them- not you.
In the case of a newsletter, these days there is so much information on the web available, that people just don't want another piece of information dropped in their inbox. So you have to really work on the information that you put into your newsletter to make it stand out from the crowd. Don't write anything that isn't unique to your business or product. Make sure it's information that you can't find anywhere else and then ask the person who unsubscribed if they would like to contribute to the newsletter. Offer them an interactive role, ask them questions- what would they like to see? How often would they like it delivered? How will it benefit them? Of course, these are most likely questions that you asked potential subscribers before you started your newsletter, but it pays to revisit to keep a customer.
So overall, I would say choose which subscribers are the most valuable for you to keep and then do the best you can to connect with them.