I'll contend that business should be separate from personal feelings or disputes. And then I'll send out an email newsletter and a few unsubscribes will come in, and I'll get a distinct feeling: Did I do something? Say something? What happened?
Now I'm talking about people who actually remember who you are, who may have expressed interest in a product or service. Of course, the e-newsletters aren't spammy, but just fabulous, wrought with the sweats of my labor and sharing hints to the meaning of life. What's not to love?
I've told several groups that if someone unsubscribes, it's a good sign: You're getting a clear-cut answer as to if this person is "into" you, or not. You can focus on the prospects who are actively engaged, and keep the communication lines open.
And then sometimes, it's not that clear-cut. I recently sent a newsletter, only to go to a luncheon the next day where a woman told me she was so glad we had connected. She had just unsubscribed. She continued to tell other mutual acquaintances she was glad we'd met and we'd be doing business.
So, what happened? Was she mistaken? Click-happy? Stupid? I knew the exact moment she unsubscribed from the list, and we work in the same field, so hopefully she had a clue as to email analytics. But frankly, it didn't matter: Not too long after, she disappeared out of my networking sphere altogether.
The answer was there all along, she was just too passive to say it. And perhaps that's for the best: The uninterested ones go quietly into the night, and I soon find other prospects who are into me.
It sounds glib, I'll admit. But what with all we have to steal our time, attention and focus, looking ahead works far better than focusing on what just didn't work. And who knows, maybe I wouldn't be into them either!