Decluttering is the latest buzzword, and the whole world has jumped on the organising bandwagon. (Except for me; I refuse to give up that clothes-pile-on-corner-chair in my bedroom).
Decluttering promotes a sense of accomplishment, and the same applies to business. This is why every six months or so, I go through and cull my email subscribers down to a lean list of keen engagers.
Why bother? I mean after all, a lot of my resources and hard work have gone into acquiring them in the first place.
Keeping your subscriber list healthy, that is, limited to those who are engaging, enhances the quality of your email list and ensures your emails are reaching the people who are actively interested.
There may be a number of reasons your subscribers become inactive. If you are confident that the content and intent of your emails are still hitting the mark, pondering the various reasons people are inactive is like pondering the meaning of life, and ‘ain’t nobody got time for that.
In fact, there are some very good reasons a regular trim of your subscriber list will increase the quality of your emails.
Save your money
Having a big email list, while valuable for bragging rights, will just cost you more. I know my Active Campaign costs me a bucket. If a percentage of your emails are hitting someone’s spam folder or being deleted there is no good reason to keep throwing money into maintaining those subscribers. Spend your money on those who are buying/engaging/converting, they deserve your email love!
Have good engagement rates
While you may have to skip showing off your numbers, you will be able to brag about engagement. How disheartening is it to have a return of 2% engagement on a huge subscriber list? Better to have less subscribers who engage at a higher rate. Also good for your ego when the stats come back.
Just like how Facebook filters content to suit the reader, email providers are following suit. They are tracking which emails are being opened, and general inactivity, in order to decide whether to send your email to spam/promotions/inbox.
By my superior skills in the mathematics, this means the more people not opening your emails, the increased likelihood your beautifully crafted emails will start hitting spam folders.
Send the freebie-hunters on their way…
And then this. Ask me what happens when you get a massive big list of “freebie-hunters” and then one of them spoils your pure-as-the-driven-snow email list by hitting the SPAM button when your email arrives in her inbox?
Yep that happened. To me.
And I wanted to cry.
Because, you see, the backend of my email program showed me that the woman had gone through and downloaded EVERYTHING I’VE EVER CREATED… and read every single one of my emails.
Then the kicker. She hit a button that said, “I didn’t sign up for this, I want to report it as spam”.
Let’s just take a moment to understand what this actually means in Email-ville. When a load of people report you as spam, the Mayor of Email-ville identifies all your good emails as not so crash-hot and, as described above, they get relegated to an arid wasteland (or spam folder, same same) at increasing rates.
Let’s face it, no-one wants un-loving, disinterested, freebie-hunting fibbers on their mailing list
I’m happy for anyone to download my freebies. (Yes, even you, copycat.) But then I’m just as happy to wish them well and watch them unsub.
I for one, will save the seats for my real clients.
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name
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