All About Email Lists

18 July 2016  
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List Cleaning?

The removal of dead emails from your email list.

You might be thinking “why would I ever want to make my email list smaller?”

Surely any addition to my email list is a good thing?

Having a whole pile of inactive email addresses on your email list actually costs you money.  And they can contribute to diminishing your results.

Email List Cleaning Blog

Why You Should Clean Your Email List

There are 3 main reasons you should do a clear out of your business’s email list. Firstly financial, email list providers such as MailChimp charge you based on how large your email list is or the number of subscribers you’re carrying. The cost may be relatively low at the start but as your business grows and your email list grows alongside it, you will see your costs rise exponentially. You’ve never cleaned your list despite being years in business?  Do it now!  It makes financial sense: less dead emails, less outlay.

The second reason to take a vacuum to your email list is spam. Internet service providers, email providers and spam monitors all have preset thresholds based on unsubscribers, undelivered messages and people marking your emails as spam. If you get too many of these, all of your emails will be banished to people’s spam boxes which is the email marketing equivalent of being sent beyond the wall in Game of Thrones.

Only 79% of permission-based emails sent by legitimate email marketers make it to inbox.


And last but not least, we at Brightspark advocate the removal of dead emails from your life for psychological reasons.  Uh huh – there is a science-y bit!  There is a natural wastage for all lists, and this alone will force your open and click rates to drop naturally. If you’re a results focused marketer, you’ll want to be scoring as high as you can, so this is another good reason to get cleaning.


Why Do I Have Inactive Subscribers?

  1. They are not receiving your emails
  • The email address may contain a typo or other error
  • The person may have changed email address. “17% of Americans create a new email address twice a year” – ConvinceandConvert
  • The email may be stuck behind a corporate firewall
  1.  They are receiving it, but aren’t opening
  • They may be no longer interested in what you have to offer
  • You might be sending emails with unappealing subject lines
  • Perhaps your timing is off?  For example, if you’re sending emails at 3am in Ireland if your audience is primarily Irish


Brightspark’s Tried And Tested Approach For Bringing Them Back To Life…


  • Before you hit the delete  button on those non responders, give them one last chance to remain with you.  
    • Make them an offer they can’t refuse
    • Send a simple “hey, it’s been a while” message
    • Offer a discount code or voucher if you’ve got an ecommerce site
  • You must tell them you’re going to remove them from your list unless you hear back by X date.  
  • Ask them to let you know if they are still interested in receiving emails from you.
  • Then communicate to that date, ie. 3 days to go, etc.  And when you reach the date, you’ve got to be strong and remove everyone who didn’t engage with you.


Process For How To Clean Your Email List

So you’ve tried to engage your inactive subscribers, now it’s time to move onto the cleaning process.

Start with your unsubscribed list.
These are people who have actively told you they are not interested in what you’re offering. They’re taking up room in your email list and are costing you money with most email service providers. Remove them forever now.

Next set parameters for culling emails.
You can base this off how long it’s been since a person has opened one of your emails. Anywhere from 1-2 years is generally the norm. You’re doing this because if a person hasn’t opened an email from you in over a year, it is likely that they have changed email address, are no longer interested or there was an error in their email address from the start.  Remove them forever now.


What Results Should You Expect?

Your email list should shrink significantly. Here at Brightspark we conducted our own list clean a while ago and cut approximately 45% of our subscribers from the master email list. This had a very positive effect on our open and click through rates.  We know that people who receive our email actually want to get it.


If you are interested in cleaning out your email list and getting rid of dead emails, why not get in touch? We’re done this tons of times for many clients, we’ll help you clean your list in record time.

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We’ll always get back to you within one business day.

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