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Improve Email Marketing: Clean Up Your Email Subscriber List

Bethenny Carl
For most companies the goal is to get as many people subscribed and receiving those email messages as possible, so the idea of trying to clean that list up and remove some people sounds crazy.

Why take the time to eliminate people on your list? Does anyone really benefit? As it turns out, there are quite a few reasons that a small business would benefit from a clean subscriber list, and this means doing some sorting and removing.

Why It’s Important to Clean Up Your Email Subscriber List

There are a few different moments when you know you need to do a little bit of spring cleaning (or fall cleaning in this case): If you purchased a list and it’s gigantic, if you’re list is growing at an usually fast rate, or if you’re offering something for free and people are only signing up to get your offer. Cleaning up your subscriber list is beneficial for a few different reasons:
  • Improved Results. You will have better results; therefore making your company look better to future investors, advertisers, or even customers. If more people who are on your subscriber list are interested in what you do, the higher the CTR. On that same note, if you yourself get rid of those uninterested your unsubscribe rate will go down.
  • Lower Cost. If you’re working through an email marketing company or service provider (which most are), they are typically going to charge you more for a longer list.
  • Stronger Connections. You’ll be able to focus more of your time on those that actually do care, so you can create stronger connections and give them the attention they deserve.
  • Fewer Complaints. Less people will complain about receiving emails they don’t want.
The next step is then, of course, actually going through your entire list and sorting through those that matter and those that can be deleted.

How to Clean Your Email Subscriber List

Of course, actually cleaning this subscriber list can be tricky. What if you have a few people who always read your emails and just don’t engage with them? You want to make sure you don’t miss anyone who is interested in your company, so it takes some work. A few ways to make this happen include:
  • Go through and manually remove addresses that look suspicious.
An address looks suspicious if it begins with a very generic term like “info” or “support.” Others will even mention “spam” or “junk” in the name, and sometimes you’ll even find that you have duplicate addresses. If this is the case, removing both is probably a good idea.
  • Separate your qualified leads by talking with them.
Chrisina Gillick explained in an article on Crazy Egg that you should send an email asking those who are at the end of your campaign if they are still interested in hearing from you. Tell them who you are and how they got to be on your list, and then ask them to click if they still want to hear more from your company. If you get a few yes’s, these people are very qualified leads and you should reach out to them more personally and see what else you can do to help them reach their goals. If they don’t answer, keep them for a little while and then ask again in six months before deleting them from your list.
  • Make unsubscribing easy and send reminders.
Ensure that your unsubscribe button remains easily locatable, and then take an additional step (occasionally) to inform readers within your actual content that they have the option to unsubscribe whenever they choose. This approach also serves as an excellent method to identify individuals who are genuinely committed.

Tips to Keep Your List Quality Right Away and Avoid the Cleaning

Of course, this can all be avoided if you try to start with a clean list. You can do this by requiring people to opt-in twice, or confirm their subscription, so that you know they are really interested. It’s also a good idea to never buy people to put on your list—you may start out with a small number, but that number will naturally increase with time.

Have you seen the positive effects of cleaning up your subscriber list? What are your tips for making it happen? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: creativeatheart.com

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