How To Clean Your Email List 

Removing non responders from email lists improves deliverability, increases open rates, and can drive sales.

12 December 2008  
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Everyone’s talking about value these days.  If you want to get real value from your email marketing, you need to clean your email list every so often. Why?

  1. To improve deliverability and ensure your email lands in inboxes and not promotional tabs. 
  2. To get better reporting with more accuracy.
  3. And of course, it will impact on the cost of send, you don’t want to be paying for those ones who aren’t reading you – now do ya?

Here’s how you can go about cleaning your email list.

  • Go to your email messaging software, download non-responder lists from 3 random emails you sent in the past 6-12 months. Get jiggy on Excel with it and create a list of names that appear on all 3 emails. I’m sorry I can’t help you with that bit, I’m no Excel whizz!
  • Now that you’ve got your list of non responders, you need to send them a campaign email to tell them that you’ve noticed they’re not opening and that you’re going to remove them because you don’t want to bother them. Write this in a friendly tone. Make sure that there is a big button on the email you send as the main call to action that says “keep me on the list”. Anyone who opens or clicks you will remove from the non responder list.
  • It can help to put an offer around this, so you have an attractive subject line to compel them to open.  And you can also add a link to the latest newsletter so they can remind themselves what they’re missing.
  • Send a couple of reminders, re-send the email once or twice in a week. And on the date you have chosen, put on your big girl pants and remove those subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked from your list.  Remove them – I mean delete them! But not everyone has the balls to do that straight off. 

I know this can feel painful. It takes a lot of hard work to build an email list, but this is the most worthwhile housekeeping activity that I know of because it directly impacts the bottom line.

For every €1 you spend on email marketing, you get a €36 return. 
Email marketing drives sales.

If you clean your email list, you can expect higher open rates. 
Higher open rates means they see your content which can mean increased sales.



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