Spring Clean Your LIST

I’m always an advocate for delegating things!  But some things we absolutely have to do ourselves, like cleaning out our closets and cleaning our mailing lists.  We’re in the process of cleaning my own subscriber list, and here are the reasons why.

We recently sent an email to anyone who hasn’t opened ANY of my messages since January 1, 2012.  The message explained that it is important to me to only be sending messages to those who actually want to receive information from me.  I tell my own clients to unsubscribe to anything they don’t read on a regular basis.  Having a lot of emails clogging up the in-box is not a good business tactic.

Also, subscribers who rarely open or click email messages can drag down your emails’ reputation. Nowadays ISPs, such as Hotmail, Gmail, etc., expect marketers to audit their mailing lists on a regular basis.  Mailing to inactive subscribers can negatively impact your reputation should you unknowingly hit a spam trap or if your messages get reported as spam.

Futhermore, sending messages to unresponsive subscribers can negatively affect how your email is displayed within your subscribers’ inboxes. Most of the popular ISPs now use engagement metrics to decide whether to put your email higher up in the inbox, or into the recipient’s junk folder.  So your deliverability is at stake as well.

Then there is the last motivating factor to clean your list, which is cost. Why bother emailing inactive subscribers if they’re never going to see it or respond to it? Better to remove inactive subscribers and save the money.  aWeber charges me based on how many subscribers I have, so why pay for subscribers who aren’t engaged?

If you haven’t cleaned your list in awhile, or ever, take advantage of your email marketing provider’s analytics, and take a look at the engagement metrics of your subscribers.  Then get scrubbing to you can have a clean list of subscribers who are active members of your community.

What are your thoughts on deleting subscribers? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below.


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  1. This is a great article from Cheryl and it’s the truth. Indeed, I learned the hard way! thus, I clean my lists on a weekly, and sometimes bi-weekly basis, depending on the volume. Fortunately, I found a great tool on the internet after spending hours searching and testing. This is a REAL FREE open source tool that helps clean my email lists and databases. It doesn’t do it all but to me as a rule of thumb is the first stage I take to have a preliminary scrub of my lists. The Website URL is http://www.FreeEmailVerifier.com
    It’s actually FREE as they seem to be sponsored by advertisers. It works for me very well. Also, it looks as a great tool for international or non-English speakers as it is multilingual. Love it!

  2. Hi Seong, Watch for a flood of upcoming information on how to build your list. I also am hosting a teleclass next week on list building: http://www.CherylHeppard.com/free

  3. My pleasure, I’d recommend doing it once a year.

  4. I actually never thought about cleaning the email list! Thanks for the great tip! Do you have an article or tips on how to build the email list?

  5. Good afternoon!
    I quite agree – seems a bit pointless hanging in there hoping people will do the sensible thing and delete themselves from the list if it’s costing you. But on the other hand there’s always the possibility that a headline wiil catch their attention and bring them back onboard again. I know I’m ‘guilty’ of going several weeks without checking in…sorry!

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