Why should you take care of your email list hygiene

You might get a kick out of this.

Last year, before the summer, my girlfriend and I bought a car. Mostly for her needs to go to work, I rarely have a need to use it.

It’s a great car though.

Beautiful dark blue Renault Clio.

Fancy looking black seats.

Extremely pleasurable to drive, very responsive, love it.

So we had the car for a few weeks and I notice it’s getting pretty dirty.

And I say to my girlfriend: “Love, how good you’ll take care of it, that’s how long it’s going to last you.”

She never made time for it.

And then few weeks later, one morning, I get a call on my phone.

It was my girlfriend from the parking lot: “The car won’t start. Come down!”

It really didn’t wanna start.

So I come down to the parking lot and it didn’t look good.

We were lucky enough that our postman (yeah, postman!) just came by, who helped us jump start the car.

That was good enough to drive it over to the nearby car service.

Turned out that the car, which was parked usually under the trees, got clogged up with the leaves under the hood.

You couldn’t see them that good from the outside though.

And because of those leaves, water from the rain filled that area out (it was raining the night before) and it screwed up all the car’s electronics.

The whole front electronics had to be replaced.

Like I cursed us, hah…and it was not a small bill by the way.

That was a good lesson for my girlfriend that I’m always right. 😛

Seriously though, the lesson here for her was to take care of things so that they don’t end up costing more money.

This is the same thing you should do with your email list on a regular basis.

Email list hygiene is very important, but often overlooked part of email marketing.

It’s important, because each time an email address doesn’t open your email, the chances increase that the email address is inactive.

And inactive email addresses become spam traps, used primarily for catching people sending unsolicited email.

They figure, if you are sending an email to an inactive address, you probably didn’t even get a permission to send it there.

And then you may get flagged for spam.

And your deliverability drops.

And your sales drop…

And it will cost you, it will cost you a lot to repair that damage and get your sender reputation back.

Even if the email address isn’t inactive, your emails are still not getting opened.

You are paying to have that email address on your list, it costs you money, and you don’t get any money out of it…because it doesn’t open your email.

And both of these things can easily be avoided by taking care of your list on a regular basis.

Clean it from the dust, dirt and the leaves.

Don’t let it get clogged.

You know, good email list hygiene.

Try doing this every 2-3 months.

Segment out all the subscribers who haven’t opened any of your emails inside that period (60-90 days) and send them a reactivation email.

Tell them that you’ve noticed they haven’t been opening your emails and/or just ask them are they still interested in receiving your emails.

For the “yes” call to action
Place a link to some kind of a thank you landing page. Good idea here would be to squeeze in some kind of a welcome back discount to generate sale. Or just send them to your homepage. Or a funny thank you cat, doesn’t matter really. You just want to get that click so you can segment people based on that.

For the “no” call to action
Place the unsubscribe link on the “no” part.

And tell them in the email that you’ll unsubscribe them inside 2 days manually if they don’t respond.

Segment out people who clicked the “yes” call to action, leave them on the list.

Delete everyone else.

That’s it.

You don’t have to risk ruining your sender reputation because of few bad apples.

And you don’t have to pay extra money for those who aren’t interested in you.

Let them all go, trust me, it won’t hurt.

It will cost you less and you’ll see better open and click rates.

Of course, because now your list is more responsive and is consisted only of those who want to receive your emails.

Cheers,
Zoran

 

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