Did I Piss Few People Off With My Email Yesterday

Raghuram Sukumar Edu News 26 Comments

Looking at the email replies and facebook posting, I did piss people off with the email I sent out yesterday.

Here was the first reply from a reader

Dear Raghu,

To begin with, let me thank you for how helpful your blog has been in my efforts to find a Ph.D position. The reason why I have not been actively following your posts is because I have been accepted into several universities and as such, am busy finishing my ongoing projects before I leave.

Now, I am not aware of what redundant ‘intellect’ you refer to in your mail but, I can assure you that my intellectual pursuits go way beyond reading your blogs. As for who you want as a part of your group and why is entirely upto you. However, there is something you are unlikely to have heard of, so allow me to enlighten you.

It is called POLITENESS.

Another Reply

Not surprised to see such an arrogant and rude email from you. Lately language of some of your posts do indicate your “arrogance”. Seems the appreciation and success has gone to your head.Sorry for writing such words but then you may like to know where you are heading to.
You could have been more polite in asking for  non subscription if you have an issue.It would have been appreciated much more.You do not provide any ‘intellectual entertainment’ but provide content which helps people.Not able to understand what were you expecting me to do.Write an appreciation for each post or say that you are doing a great job? Your email suggests you are moving up in the ladder of ‘egoism’.
You can remove the name if you want- I will NOT miss it for sure.There are many such blogs who are more professional and can be accessed anytime with dignity.
My dear friend ‘arrogance’ never ‘pays’. Knowing you I am sure you will try to find fault in every word but that’s you.

Now, you are wondering what was in the email.

Following is the email that was mailed out to a subset of total subscribers.

Subject: At least 1,000 of you should unsubscribe

Let’s not waste each other’s time.

If you haven’t taken action from my emails and you’ve been reading for over 3 months, the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of this email. I want those people off my email list.

Sometimes, people take the high-level material, feel good for a couple days…and then NEVER DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Why would I do this? What kind of business person ASKS his readers to leave?

I do — because I’d rather have a core group of people who are invested in taking action than a large group of people who use these emails as intellectual entertainment.

If you are like, I want to unsubscribe from email, but still stay connected? Then Follow HSB in Facebook.

To unsubscribe, click on the link at bottom of this email.

Contents of the email an extract from email I received from Ramit Sethi (New York Times Best Selling Author).

I wonder what would be the reaction, if I were to include more details from Ramit or have a personality similar to Ramit.

But, why such an email?

I’m speaking based on pure data, analytics and cost involved to maintain email list. I’m using Aweber for my email marketing. It’s not free and it’s not cheap. You can check their site for pricing. They don’t  even list the pricing if number of subscribers are greater than 25,000.

My data shows less than 10% of the people actually open and read the email.  Trust me, I have been sending email almost every day for last 4 years. When you get updates from the blog via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, visiting the blog directly, etc why waste each others time?

I have to maintain the list and pay for it. You have to spend few seconds to delete the emails or archive it.

If you haven’t opened an email in last 3 months or taken any action after reading the email, why stay in the list?

Probably I should have said what “Action” means in the email. If you are reading, but not commenting in the blog is perfectly fine. Those folks who never opened an email is last 3 months or never visited the site?

So, I decided to sent an email by being upfront.

For folks who had one-one-one with me know about me.  I will be upfront with you about my advice. I make suggestions based on facts.

I don’t like to add cream and butter  to the way I say things. I’m upfront with my answers and that’s how I write my posts.

One of the above  reply said about recent articles being arrogant and not being polite.

You see my posts as arrogant, but I see the posts as reality and facts.  If you think its arrogant and not written to your liking, then there is nothing I can do about that.

Here are few replies in contrast

Dear Sir,  I am really sorry. I really want to do this. I will start reading those i have in my folder from today only. I am really sorry. I need it. Thank you for the mail.

I love reading your blog and it has been of great help to me.Your blog is always been a great source of inspiration for me.
Thanks for everything. I am currently doing my post graduation from National University of Singapore and I will not deny the the pivotal role played by HSB in this.

I am unsubscribing from HSB as I won’t be able to take actions on your emails due to busy academic schedule. Thanks once again … 🙂

In your dreams, Raghu, I am not unsubscribing. :))) –

What made you think am inactive, I still visit blog every week and what forced you to think that am idle i.e. no action has been taken ??

If I am not interested in HSB, why would I clutter my inbox with your emails? I will unsubscribe on my own and you need not tell me to do that.

For some my posts seem to be arrogant, but for others its not.

People are different and I can’t write to satisfy everyone’s views and needs. I can write based on my thinking and views.

Hope this clears up things for you.


  1. Hey Buddy, Why you posted this one here? Are you trying to prove some thing here? You made mistake by choosing wrong words in your mail and just accept it and move on. Intention is not wrong, just the words!!

    Continuous success , some times makes us choose wrong words and opinions 🙂

    I read all your arguments in column and subsequent comments section.
    >> Why only part of people found it wrong??
    Some people are more polite than needed. Some people are Not. Some people got more help from this blog, for other it does not matter.

    >>Why not to un-subscrive??
    They don’t realize that it costs you some money to send emails due to aweber. But how can you question others? You are using sniffing tech. like Aweber. You doing it for business.

    What Ever, i really really like your blog.

  2. OMG! People stop screaming your asses off please. Why would you always wait for people to do a small mistake and then kill him by blaming him and bringing down his image to a rubble? Okay, the language might have been a little problem there but why speak about his arrogance while you yourself are complaining and finding faults with him. If you don’t like his email, forget it. Just unsubscribe. There is no need to make this issue a huge one. Everyone has better things to do instead of complaining and calling others suckers. Stop it, at once.

  3. MAN Raghu you suck big time! i am afraid i have to use thes kind of words but its totally true! i wanted to tell you this a long time back! Yes, u have displayed immaturedness when you wrote such an unprofessional email, it shows your frustration. whatever bunch of (or majority of) ppl say in your favour, that email was of a bad taste. you need to learn a lot how to handle ppl whom u dont know personally – on a professional level!

    however i am feeling offended for another reason.

    first I KNOW its your blog and u love to display your ownership on it. you use anybody’s comment and posts it as a new article, it is not entirely fine but still acceptable as it has not been misused yet. ( whatever your privacy policy says)

    however, how much ethical it is to completely block the “delete profile” option ? you have disabled “deleteprofile” option a long back. you want every member to stay forever with your blog so that you can display the numbers to advertisers to bag dollers, how mean is that? you gave reason of spam behind closing that option but its notwithstanding! you cant force ppl to stay registered to your blog forever, its totally cynical! if i want to delete my profile i have created once my work is done, i should be allowed to do so. what are you, modern Nazi? if your blog is realy popular ppl will keep coming to it. i hate you big time for disabling this option.

    another reason why you suck is standard of your articles has deteriorated long back! majority of your posts has nothing to do with the intrest of the blog (at least what we feel ur blog is all about). motivational stuff/psychological analysis etc etc all these things are available on internet. ppl come to your blog for US related info, give as much as you can afford to offer freely.to be very sincere very old posts are best posts your blog have, current posts are pathetic. Ppl come to your blog after googling USA related info and once all archieves are done with, your blog fails to provide anything exciting except how India is pathetic and how america is best! because only such articles cater lots of comments currently, see your latest posts and show how many of them cater appreciable comments except these ones?? dont you think you need to do SWOT analysis about the quality of your posts before shooting such unprofessional email to your subscrubers? may be ppl now think visiting HSB is a waste of time thats why they are sending your newsletter directly to trash without opening it even once???

    We need “intellectually stimulating” posts related to USA only (or whatever the country u have on ur radar in ur website expansion plan).


    1. Additionally, instead of directly addressing these pissed off replies you have received after shooting such an unprofessional email, you have created a post out of it to display how arrogant you are?? you would have opted the same channel you have initiated conversation with. nether there is an apology for pissing off, nor it has poliateness as at the end you say you cant saitsfy everybody’s needs…its a sorry effort of getting a pat from other viewers. too bad!

      1. You think is arrogant and I posted reply from folks who don’t think it as arrogant as well. I would have to apologize only if I think its arrogant. Lets say that my way of saying things.

        + Previous comment about being Nazi, you need to talk to WordPress Developer/Founders (sites what is used to power over 60 Million blogs) why they don’t have the feature.

        1. in a business sense you cant really tell ppl that u dont want them!! Just imagine what will happen if a mall owner erects a bigg banner telling “enter only if you want to buy goods, i have no time for those who want to just pass time…how many ppl will come in such a shop? what will ppl think about the owner? arrogant or kind???? i am sure its hard for you to totally comprehend, as you are not really having the business sense. no real businessman would opt to send such mail. of course u wont agree with me on this. but its the reality. apologies for having tough/harsh words.

          1. Just see the politeness that PhD guy has displayed in replying your mail. he has not crossed the boundries of his poliateness while addressing your mail. this PhD guy is the best example. and even after his so soft mail you got pissed off!! funny!

          2. In such a scenario i would have written this mail if i were you.

            Subject: Appeal from HSB owner …

            Dear HSB Subscriber friends & well wishers,

            I have decided to write you all this email in an effort to reach out to you and share some of my concerns!

            As you all know, i send you a daily newsletter of selected blog posts and some exciting stuff once you have subscribed to it.

            Being a single owner of this blog, it costs me $… (all necessary statistics) to send you this newsletter, its okay as long as you open it and read the content. However if you dont even open the mail, i suffer huge set back, not only this discourages me, but …..(details)

            I hereby, request you to preferably always read the HSB newsetter i send , if you feel you no longer need the HSB updates, you have option to unsubscribe them!

            In such a case, you can stay connected via Facebook, twitter…etc.

            Please let me know of you have any suggestions which will improve this beautiful blog.



            Note to Raghu: Dear Raghu, do you think this type of content wont positively effect on the minds of the users, and you will earn appreciation not just in the form of mails but in active participiations??


            PS i wrote all this even when i know u know how to wrire such a mail, just because i really care for your blog as it has helped me immensely. dont take my all replies personally, i only wanted to indicate what so many others might be feeling simultaneously,


          3. 🙂 Do you think, I didn’t think about writing the email in the way you have suggested? Appreciate your comments and words.

    2. What delete option you are talking about – WordPress never had a option to delete or edit comments feature.

      Every email has unsubscribe option link at the end.

      1. In a un restricted/controlled wordpress site, in the profile settings, there is a option called “activity”, and every comment is displayed there along with the option to delete it. if under any comment delete option selected, that comment gets deleted from the thread it belongs.

        i was not talking about the comment deletion though, i am talking about the option in the profile settings called delete the profile.

        i has asked you in Q&A section why i am not able to edit my profile, add/delete profile picture and delete my profile, upon which your answer was, i have disabled that option because of lot of spam …something…i had expressed my displeasere in the subsequent reply.

    3. + You said it right.

      >> may be ppl now think visiting HSB is a waste of time thats why they are sending your newsletter directly to trash without opening it even once???

      I really don’t want those who are sending the emails to trash or not opening in my list. Why waste your time and my time when you are not opening the emails.

      1. Come on man!! what are you 8?? how can a MS Degree holder can talk such a childish..like i dont want this type of ppl etc?? grow up!! now expected from a person like you!

  4. Yeah, your email’s fine. But you should have mentioned about the costs of maintaining the email list in your first mail.

  5. Raghu I think you are right, those people who think you are arrogant are selfish who needed help from the blog at certain point of time and now they think you’re arrogant because it is actually their ego which is hurt. That ego was not even self respect when one fine day they were helpless asking everyone what to do? where to go? how to get scholarship? Infact, many of them just liked your articles and liked things on facebook because they needed free help and advice.

    I am pretty sure they don’t even have respect for people who read each and every article and give valuable suggestions and contribute to blog through articles.

  6. Why can’t someone just ignore the same email like they ignored the other email sent to their inbox’s in the past. Well, You deal with it or you don’t, why reel about it? I’m glad if someone tries to keep my inbox clean by sending such reminders to unsubscribed if i’m no longer active. Great job but may be the verbatim might have been done in a bit different way. Move on people… 🙂

  7. Your email didn’t piss them off . . . the two mail replied which you posted really pissed you off and hard luck . . . they actually said correct about you. And who asked you to use cream and butter . . . bro they are costly ingredients to cook rather be soft and polite in your words that you use.

    1. Yash – Do you think I was not expecting such replies. I’m doing this for over 5 years. You know whats interesting about this. Email was sent to about 38,000 people and only 800 opened the email. I didn’t use cream and butter, that’s why they got mad. Probably that’s the way they are used to hearing things.

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