I love this. Jason Kottke (who has the best freaking blog in the world) recently started sending an email newsletter (which is also fantastic). He noticed a slew of unsubscribes with each send and looked into things a bit more, soliciting advice from his massive network of followers. He then (correctly) concludes that, while subscriber counts and newsletter performance are important, they are not the main reason for sending a newsletter.
It’s all about connection and doing the job he was meant to do: sharing interesting things and writing about people, culture, and the world.
He learned something that a lot of people (and companies) sending emails haven’t learned in decades. It’s about the value you provide for the subscribers that stick around. Anything beyond that (massive lists, buzz, revenue, etc.) is just a bonus. If you focus on the value—which Mr. Kottke is most definitely doing—and stick to it, the rest will come along in time. Just give it that time.