Why we unsubscribed > 1 Million members from our Community Newsletter

I just shared this on Twitter, and thought it might be nice to post here too:

Yesterday we unsubscribed over a million people from the @Sketchfab Community Newsletter. Here’s why we did it, and how our community reacted:

We send out a LOT of email at Sketchfab, about 50% is transactional (‘you have a new follower’), the rest is our Community Newsletter.

Not only is this expensive (and our community is doubling in size almost every year!), it may be filling up your mailbox with noise. We’d rather send fewer emails that provide value and that actually get read instead.

This will also help improve our email deliverability: better open rates improve email ‘reputation’, leading to fewer messages getting flagged as spam.

So we looked at our data: our email platform (like everyone else’s) tracks who opens our emails and clicks links. We used this information to unsubscribe and contact everyone who did not open OR click our newsletter for more than 180 days.

Of course, this open/click detection isn’t 100% accurate: some email clients will block it, making us think that people have not opened their newsletter when they actually have.

So yes, perhaps you DO read our Community Newsletter (THANK YOU!) and we still unsubscribed you. Sorry about that! Please resubscribe in your Sketchfab settings and we won’t remove you again in the future.

We want to do this for other emails too, as well as add email digest options (‘email me once a day/week’) and more controls (‘I like emails about game design but not about business’). They’re not easy to implement, but we’ll get there.

(And yes, the irony of emailing over a million people to tell them we’ll send them fewer emails did not escape us :wink:)

3 Likes

I thought I had already unsubscribed from the Community Newsletter back in April 2020, but then 10 November 2020 there was “Thanks for reading our Community Newsletter. Share your feedback?”.

Then 10 February 2021 “We have stopped sending you our Community Newsletter”.

I’ve not read it because I unsubscribed long ago. I’ve now found the setting to turn off the “[Sketchfab Forum] Summary” because that is another email I don’t read.

Could I get fewer emails with the subject “draft models will be deleted soon” I realise this is a new feature but depending on day of upload you might get an email saying models will be deleted soon when the deletion date is actually four weeks time. (I’m not expecting a tickbox for every sort of sketchfab reminder/suggestion email). – Maybe 2 weeks before deletion, 1 Week, 24 hours.

Hi Hamish,

I checked but we’ve been sending you newsletters all year - I suspect you may have unsubscribed from another email list that we have, and that you filtered our newsletters.

I’ll pass on your suggestion for the draft model emails. Right now they’re sent every Wednesday but you’re right, it doesn’t make much sense to send these too soon after uploading.