Monthly Archives: July 2009

Why Aren't Customers Signing Up For My E-Newsletter?

Do you publish an e-newsletter as part of your customer acquisition program? Are you pleased with how many subscribers you’re getting, or disappointed?

If you’re not getting as many subscribers as you’d like, it might help to think about some of the factors that might make potential subscribers reluctant to give you their email address.

  • They fear that you will give or sell their email address to someone else
  • They don’t know what benefit they will get from your newsletter. Do they get something free for signing up? Is the content valuable?
  • They worry that that they won’t be able to unsubscribe if they decide they no longer want it.

On my personal e-commerce site,, I’ve noticed that the vast majority of people who buy things from me do not choose to receive my e-newsletter. One would think that if someone is interested enough to make a purchase, more of those people would want to become subscribers. What am I doing wrong?

The shopping cart software I use, osCommerce, requires customers to create a profile in order to complete a purchase. Customers can select whether or not to receive an e-newsletter during the sign-up process. I decided to pretend that I am a new customer and fill out the form to refresh my memory of what the customer sees – something I haven’t done since I first set up the site.

In the box where I ask if they want the newsletter, I had links to the first three issues and the checkbox to select to opt in is worded "Sign up for Carolyn’s Newsletter". There was no description of what the newsletter is about, so I have added the following descriptive paragraph:

The Carolyn Hasenfratz Design and Carolyn’s Stamp Store E-Newsletter is sent to your inbox around 6-8 times a year and features articles by Carolyn about rubber stamping techniques and projects, as well as online marketing and other business tips. You will also be updated on my sales and specials, free template downloads, new products, and show appearances. Click here to view my privacy policy.

In that paragraph I have attempted to answer potential concerns that customers might have about getting yet another newsletter in their already crowded inbox. "Is this newsletter of interest to me?" "How many emails will I get?" "Is it easy to unsubscribe if I change my mind?" I also changed the wording of the call to action to "Sign up for Carolyn’s Email Newsletter – check box if yes"

What do you think – can I look forward to an increase in the number of customers who subscribe? We’ll see!