6 Tips to Make Email List Spring Cleaning a Breeze
It can help you improve your email open rates, click-through rates, and deliverability!
By Olivia Dello Buono April 15, 2020
There’s something about spring that inspires us to freshen up our homes, closets, yards, finances — you name it!
But what about our email lists?
Not only does regular list cleaning do wonders for email open rates and click through rates, it can help you avoid the spam folder by improving your deliverability.
In keeping with the spirit of the season, here are 6 tips to guide you in tidying up your email list.
1. A healthy list is non-negotiable.
Want to succeed with email marketing? List cleanup is non-negotiable.Want to succeed with email marketing? List cleanup is non-negotiable. Click To Tweet
A healthy, well-maintained email list is the foundation for any successful email marketing program. If you’re spending the time and effort on your campaigns, you want to make sure you get results.
Unfortunately, the average email list depreciates over time – nearly 25% a year, according to MarketingSherpa. This is due to a combination of things: bounces, unsubscribes, email address changes. And if you’re not bringing in subscribers at the same rate as they leave, it can feel like your business is taking a hit.
2. Think quality > quantity.
A big list certainly seems impressive. There are dozens of blog posts and case studies out there touting strategies to go from 0 to 10,000 subscribers in no time. But not all of these list-building tactics are legit – buying an email list, for example, might get you subscribers, but it won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
Why? Because these subscribers never opted-in to receive your emails. They don’t know who you are and they most likely have no interest in buying what you’re selling – be prepared for your emails to go straight to the spam folder. Plus, if you’re using a reputable email service provider (like AWeber), purchased lists are totally off limits.
Wouldn’t you rather have a smaller, curated list of ideal subscribers who are super excited to read your emails? This would certainly bring joy to your email list – and your open rates.
Don’t give up on growing your list just yet! Check out this video for list building ideas that won’t harm your sender reputation and our free online list growth course to learn how to grow your list fast.
3. Commit yourself to letting go.
Letting go of clutter is hard to do. The same can be said for your subscribers. Cleaning up your list means having to part with subscribers that you spent time and money to acquire.
Keeping your goal in mind is a great way to stay focused. Are you sending to attain more sales? Readers? Connections? The people on your list should be the ones who help you achieve that goal.
4. Imagine your ideal subscriber.
For us, the ideal subscriber is someone who looks forward to seeing your latest newsletter hit their inbox, engages with your newsletters, clicks through to your offers and shares your emails with friends. While these are the people you want to see on your list, you might find that there are different characteristics and traits among your specific audience.
Having a visual ideal for the type of people you want to send to plays a huge part in how you plan your email strategy. These personas will make sure your content, cadence and promotional strategy are all in check.
A good way to identify these subscribers is by sending out a survey. Ask questions about the type of content they’d like to receive and how frequently, as well as what they expect from your emails. With the feedback you receive, you can learn a lot about your list.
5. Identify your inactive subscribers.
Inactive subscribers are people who signed up for your email list, but haven’t opened any of your emails in a long time – or possibly ever. And we always seem to make excuses for keeping these people on our lists.
There are lots of reasons why these perfectly valid subscribers go dark: they no longer need your products or services, they don’t have time to check all of their emails or maybe they just aren’t interested. Sometimes people sign up for a one-time incentive offer but have no intentions on purchasing from you again.
Fortunately, your inactive subscribers aren’t too hard to spot. Simply take a look at your subscriber stats to see who opens your emails and who doesn’t. People who open but don’t click aren’t necessarily a lost cause – they’re showing some interest in your brand, but maybe the content doesn’t completely resonate. It might be a good option to segment them out from those who don’t engage at all, and follow up with more targeted content.
Cleaning up your list from inactives isn’t easy. It’s hard to part with your subscribers! Before you remove these people from your list, try running a reactivation campaign to give them a second chance and increase engagement. If they still aren’t opening your emails, it’s time to let go.
6. Spark some joy.
Email marketers can take a page from Marie Kondo’s playbook — that is, her New York Times #1 best-selling book (and popular Netflix show), The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Rather than give a laundry list of items to throw away, she encourages us to focus on what we want to keep.
Keep your list healthy and maintained by delighting your subscribers with relevant content. After all, these are your ride-or-die subscribers. You should be showing them as much attention (if not more) than your prospects.
Need some ideas for reigniting the spark with your subscribers? Try employing one of these tactics:
Send subscribers a special promo code or discount offer
Share helpful tips or hacks for using your product or service (bonus points for GIFs)
Ask for feedback with a customer survey
Reward customers who frequently purchase from you with a loyalty program
So fresh, so clean.
There’s nothing better than the feeling of a clean email list. Have you employed some of these tactics in your email marketing strategy? What kind of results did you see?
Let us know in the comments or share your own ideas for keeping a healthy list!