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Posted 24th March 2013 at 03:01 PM by Daniel Evans
Updated 27th May 2019 at 12:23 PM by Daniel Evans

If you use an autoresponder in your day to day IM business to build and manage a list, you'll know that a good portion of your list won't actually even open any of your emails. This is due mostly to the fact that people use free mail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Google Mail where messages sent by popular autoresponders unfortunately just end up landing in bulk / spam mail folders.

In other cases subscribers may get the initial email (or confirmation and first follow up depending on your single / double opt-in settings) download your free product never to open another email again in the future. Many people use the free email services as a lower priority station to retrieve emails from a source that may prove to be a spam risk.

Naturally there are also those folk who will also unsubscibe from your list after getting the initial free product or they may unsubscribe if your content is unethical, too frequent or if the contact doesn't apply to them.

All of these people, both unsubsubscibers and unactive subscribers add unnecessary dead weight to your list and (for paid autoresponders) cost you money.

To avoid having to pay more to your autoresponder company, to keep subscription numbers more realistic and less decieving, it's important to do a clear out of unsubs and inactives.




Deleting Unsubscribers


Unsubs should be deleted as soon as possible. They are absolutely worthless but are, in some cases (Aweber for example) still factored in to your list size and thus, you'll pay to hold them. That's right, your unsubs despite being unsubscribed are still held in the autoresponder database.

To delete unsubs using Aweber, ensure your list is selected from the main page, click the "Subscribe tab and select "Unsubscribed" from the segment dropdown then click the green "Search" button (not "Delete").

You are now able to click the "Erase" checkbox to highlight all.

Once done, click "Save" to delete.

Repeat for subsequent pages.




Deleting Inactives


Follow the same step as above but instead of selecting "Unsubscribed" ensure that "All Subscribers" is selected and do the following:

Click the "Select Field" dropdown and select "No Opens"

Click the date field to the right.

Click back through the calendar to the point where you want to delete inactives from (I go back 6 months).

Click the green "Search" button.




IMPORTANT



The results returned will also include those who have signed up to your list recently.

As such, some people might be still waiting to access their email to open your first follow up message.

Bear this in mind as you delete.

You can delete by checking the "Erase" checkbox, however if recent signups are important to you, you should run down the list manually and uncheck them to keep them included in your list.

You can spot recent signups by looking at the "Last Message" column and the "Last Follow Up Time" column.

If the "Last Message" is 1 and the "Last Follow up Time" is "Today", "Yesterday" or anywhere close to the current date, you should consider unchecking thoe to keep them.



Segmenting


If you are hesitant in erasing the unresponsive contacts, you might want to consider segmenting them and firing out an email to see if anyone opens.

To do this, you simply type a name into the "Save Segment" field and the search results will be saved as a separate portion.

Name your segment "inactives or something similar.

Be creative in the brodcast email you send. Be creative in your title. Your aim is to summon them to open (assuming they can see the message) and reintroduce them back into your list.



I hope this guide has proven useful.

With any luck the dead weight you rid of will allow you to work with a cleaner list whilst saving you a penny or two!
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