How To Clean Up Your Email List And Why You Should

Wait! What? You want me to get rid of subscribers to my email list. Girl, you crazy!

I know. I know. It sounds so counter productive when you first hear it. But it’s not. Seriously, occasionally you need to clean up your email list.

Are you finished hyperventilating? Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.

 

It’s true, you’ve worked hard to get to where you’re at and you are proud of your accomplishment. But there are some honest questions you need to stop and ask about your current list.

Are the numbers a true reflection of your audience? Do you have spam accounts inflating your bottom line? Are there subscribers on your list who have never even opened one of your newsletters?

Get my weekly emails designed just for small bloggers and your success.

First, let me say cleaning up your list will not kill your blog. I promise. If anything, a good spring scrubbing will not only trim the dead weight it will also promote growth and sustainable health as you move ahead on your path to success.

BAM!

Now, let me be crystal clear for those of you who still aren’t convinced. Cleaning up your email list is for bloggers who are serious about their success. I understand that some of you want to see big subscriber numbers so you can show them to potential marketing partners and affiliates. However, for those of you who are looking to build a successful blog based on healthy interactions and true readership numbers, cleaning up your list will always lead to a positive outcome. It will never hurt you.

Just so you know, I practice what I preach. Last week I trimmed over 200 subscribers from my list. They were all subscribers who hang like a rock from the neck of my otherwise healthy list. They were “zero percenters.” The ones who have never opened a newsletter or haven’t done so in at least six months.

Whew! I feel so much lighter now.

Are you ready to try it? Here’s why you should.

A clean email list will improve your open and click-through rates, enhance reader engagement, and position you for maximum blog success. Learn how to clean up your list and prepare yourself for growth. ★ Learn HOW To Blog ★

1. Clean up your email list to get rid of dead weight

Start by reading this step-by-step post if you’ve never done a major clean up of your list. Using some basic segmenting parameters you will be able to keep your most loyal readers and get rid of those who are weighing you down. And you can do it without sacrificing any of the subscribers who are contributing to your percentages such as your open rate and your click rate.

I started by getting rid of anyone who hadn’t opened any of my last 20 newsletters. If a subscribers hasn’t taken the time to read what I work so hard to produce, for the past 20 weeks, they will probably never engage with me. That’s almost six months of amazing content I give away for free. I think that’s plenty of time to decide whether what I write is a good fit or not.

Those who fall into this category aren’t helping my open or click rate at all. They are dead weight and I don’t want to carry them around any longer.

I have a very high open rate for my newsletter. Most people who get it open it, read it, click the links, and often write to me about how much they have learned from it. I know what I produce is helpful and it’s one of my favorite parts of being a blogger. So, I don’t feel bad ditching subscribers who aren’t engaged. I have plenty who are and they are the ones I want to help and encourage each week.

2. Discover your VIPs

After doing an initial clean up I was able to go through my list and discover my most loyal readers. I found that 20% of my remaining list open my newsletter 90% of the time or better and half of those open it Every. Single. Time. That’s huge. These are the people for who I am writing and researching. These are the subscribers I care about. They are the ones I want to treat like royalty.

So I do. Any subscriber with a 90% or better open rate is automatically placed on my VIP list. They are the first to hear about new products and services. They are the ones I tell others about. They are the ones I go to first with new ideas and recommendations. They are my tribe and I want to treat them well.

I leave VIPs on the list for 12 months. Each year I clean and update the list and each year without fail it grows.

It doesn’t matter what size your list is – small, large, gigantic. You should have a VIP list of subscribers and treat them like gold.

3. Focus on the right numbers

As a blogger your world revolves around numbers. Even if you say it doesn’t. It does.

But there are good numbers and not-s0-good numbers. Not-so-good numbers are subscribers. Yes, you want subscribers but how many doesn’t matter. What matters is how many are engaged.

Your number one goal as you build your email list is to keep track of how many opens and clicks you are getting when you send out a newsletter or other correspondence. If your subscribers are reading what you write and clicking on the links you are sharing, you are on the right track.

If your open rate is low you need to retool your content. If your click rate is low you need to reconsider what you are sharing. It may take a few tries but by paying careful attention to these numbers you will find out what makes your list happy and what they want to hear from you.

If you are currently sending out just blog posts to subscribers, check your open and click-through rates. These will be a clear indicator as to whether you should consider a monthly newsletter or not.

If you aren’t getting a lot of opens but still have good traffic it means your readers are finding you via another source. You are ready for a newsletter.

Need to know where to start? Check out this

4. Clean up your email list at the right time

If cleaning up your list sounds scary don’t worry. You are not alone. I was petrified the first time I cleaned up my list but it didn’t take long for it to bounce back and start growing even bigger. I attribute some of that to “when” I clean up my list.

I write about blogging. So, cleaning up my list just after the new year makes sense. This is the time when people are making resolutions to write more, get serious about their sites, and try to make money from their writing.

I know if I clean my list just after the new year those who are serious will have a lot of opens and clicks. Those who may have decided to move on from blogging won’t be opening my newsletters and it’s pretty safe to scrub them off the list.

People’s situations and goals change, often just after the new year. I get a very healthy VIP list and base subscriber list at this time of year.

If you blog about anything having to do with resolutions, fitness, healthy eating, or goal setting, this may be the right time for you to clean up your email list.

If you write about homeschooling or education your best time is probably just after the school year starts. Late September or early October.

DIYers should consider cleaning in the late spring or early summer so you can start to rebuild your list and focus on your VIP members as you head towards fall and the holiday season.

Timing is everything. Make sure you don’t clean your list when you are upset or depressed about your blog growth. Word to the wise – eat chocolate instead – not that I would have any experience with this. And have a goal in mind. Clean up your email list and then set a new goal for number of subscribers you want to attract in the coming year.

Remember, you are focusing on the right numbers – opens and clicks. So don’t be afraid. You will set yourself up for success with a clean, healthy list.

 

Spring is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when you do some serious scrubbing, downsizing, and purging. For bloggers it’s when you clean up your email list.

A clean email list means more newsletter engagement, healthier numbers for your blog, and better audience interactions. Cleaning up your list is easy and there are some good reasons why you should take the time to do it.

Need Help?
It’s easy to start sending out your own newsletters.

Check out this series for beginners on Mastering MailChimp.

Try this post on how to create a killer newsletter too!

4. Clean up your email list at the right time

If cleaning up your list sounds scary don’t worry. You are not alone. I was petrified the first time I cleaned up my list but it didn’t take long for it to bounce back and start growing even bigger. I attribute some of that to “when” I clean up my list.

I write about blogging. So, cleaning up my list just after the new year makes sense. This is the time when people are making resolutions to write more, get serious about their sites, and try to make money from their writing.

I know if I clean my list just after the new year those who are serious will have a lot of opens and clicks. Those who may have decided to move on from blogging won’t be opening my newsletters and it’s pretty safe to scrub them off the list.

People’s situations and goals change, often just after the new year. I get a very healthy VIP list and base subscriber list at this time of year.

If you blog about anything having to do with resolutions, fitness, healthy eating, or goal setting, this may be the right time for you to clean up your email list.

If you write about homeschooling or education your best time is probably just after the school year starts. Late September or early October.

DIYers should consider cleaning in the late spring or early summer so you can start to rebuild your list and focus on your VIP members as you head towards fall and the holiday season.

Timing is everything. Make sure you don’t clean your list when you are upset or depressed about your blog growth. Word to the wise – eat chocolate instead – not that I would have any experience with this. And have a goal in mind. Clean up your email list and then set a new goal for number of subscribers you want to attract in the coming year.

Remember, you are focusing on the right numbers – opens and clicks. So don’t be afraid. You will set yourself up for success with a clean, healthy list.

Spring is just around the corner. Why not do some serious scrubbing, downsizing, and purging? Clean up your email list and set yourself up for success.

 

#YouCanDoThis

Get my weekly emails designed just for small bloggers and your success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.