Delete Unopens From Email List?

by SeanyG
16 replies
Hey guys,

I have an email list that is a little more than 22,000. With this many subscribers my monthly fees are pretty high.

So I poked around in Aweber and realized that 13,000 of these subscribers haven't opened an email in 6 months.

It dawned on me that I should probably delete these subscribers because it would cut my Aweber fees in half.

Is there any reason not to clean out my email list?

I have this feeling as though MAYBE some of these people my open an email and buy something but its pretty doubtfull.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,

~Sean
#delete #email #list #unopens
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by SeanyG View Post

    Is there any reason not to clean out my email list?
    E-mail open rates are usually triggered by an image placed
    within HTML e-mail messages. However, not all e-mail clients
    allow the tracking image to be displayed by default.

    For example, I tend to read my e-mails in Outlook and by
    default it doesn't allow the tracking image to be displayed
    so it wouldn't trigger as an open in your stats.

    That said, opens can also be triggered if someone clicks
    on a trackable link - but this depends upon the service
    you use for your autoresponder.

    Therefore, I wouldn't use open rates as a very accurate
    indicator as to whether a subscriber is actually actively
    reading your messages.

    If you go ahead and delete the unopens for the past
    six months, you could be deleting people who actually
    have been reading your messages all along.

    In any case, rather than having one big list, focus on
    segmenting your list out into smaller lists to filter out
    your most responsive subscribers so you can focus
    more of your attention on them.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Drez
      Why not break the non-openers out into a separate segment.

      Then try a few free offers or other promotion to breathe some life into the segment.

      After a few tries ... delete the true dead-ies
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      If you go ahead and delete the unopens for the past six months, you could be deleting people who actually have been reading your messages all along.
      ^^^^ This - exactly.

      For me that information from Aweber isn't reliable enough actually to delete people from my lists.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cliff_OBA
        I would not delete anyone. Aweber is not 100% reliable, and I would not assume any other autoresponder is either. The suggestion to segment the list is a good one.

        If cost is a concern, such as paying Aweber for the subscriber numbers, maybe try segmenting, then export and make an account somewhere else. Although I prefer Aweber's functionality, GetResponse for example has better rates I think. Or grab one of the many free self-hosted things and put this list there.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Evaluate the potential sales and the probability they're just deadbeats. What I do is automatically delete subscribers if they don't buy within 90 days, but that's from testing. I have found in my marketing for example, less than 5% will buy after 90 days of inactivety.
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  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    With a list of 22k I would think that if half weren't responding to your emails you would know it by your results...

    Do you get 500 clicks per broadcast or is it 1000 (or more)?

    If its 500, I say nuke em, doesn't sound like they are opening them...

    If its at least 1000 clicks per broadcast I say leave em on...

    Because like Shawn said, if they are reading the emails in the text version they will not be tracked... If you don't believe me send a plaint text broadcast to your entire list and it will read "0" opens and "0" clicks
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    • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
      Originally Posted by Coby View Post

      With a list of 22k I would think that if half weren't responding to your emails you would know it by your results...

      Do you get 500 clicks per broadcast or is it 1000 (or more)?

      If its 500, I say nuke em, doesn't sound like they are opening them...

      If its at least 1000 clicks per broadcast I say leave em on...

      Because like Shawn said, if they are reading the emails in the text version they will not be tracked... If you don't believe me send a plaint text broadcast to your entire list and it will read "0" opens and "0" clicks
      Thanks for the help guys!

      I didn't realize that the text version of the email didn't track opens.

      I haven't put much love into the list over the past year so opens fluctuate between 2000 and 2500 on average.

      Clicks average 500 and I have the odd broadcast generating 700 - 800 clicks.

      So how do you recommend weeding out the dead emails then?
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      • Profile picture of the author Cliff_OBA
        I overlapped the post asking about weeding out deadbeats. Let me suggest a different question: "How do I identify the best subscribers and how should I treat them differently". Instead of thinking about a problem, maybe you can look for an opportunity.

        In Aweber, you can see opens and clicks for HTML messages - I don't know how reliable Text messages are, and maybe someone else can chime in here. But the only solid information you have is what Aweber shows you on the positive side. You may be missing some positives (opens, clicks), but you can be certain of the openers and clickers you do see. So, given that this is the most accurate information you have, I would say this is what you should act on. Make a segment of openers and clickers, and give them some extra value. It will pay off.

        One last thing, the non-openers and non-clickers can also have value. These are the people you are not too concerned with. That makes them an excellent resource for trying out different things, split testing, etc. Make it a challenge to get a response from them, and any success you have will be extremely valuable.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        Originally Posted by SeanyG View Post

        So how do you recommend weeding out the dead emails then?
        Rather than weeding out the dead e-mails which would
        be inaccurate, instead focus on identifying your most
        active subscribers.

        Make them offers to do something. E.g. to click on a
        trackable link, or invite them to join another list to get
        a free report or buy a paid product.

        That way you'll find out who your most active subcribers
        are and that's where the real money is and therefore that's
        where you should focus your resources on.

        That said, you can never tell if or when some of your other
        subscribers will become active again.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by SeanyG View Post

        So how do you recommend weeding out the dead emails then?
        Another consideration may be to ask is it worth to keep inactive subscribers for 90days, 6months, or years? My cutoff is 90days, because what I found after testing is that less than 5% actually buy after 90 days. Your mileage may vary, but I do generate tons of leads and my model is to quickly sort buyers, not to cultivate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mehak
    hi,
    the non-opens aren't always 100% accurate therefore it's a personal judgement. I have been deleting some if I can tell the email address seems dodgy, it's really a personal call.
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  • List 1) Active buyers.
    List 2) Have bought but it's been a while.
    List 3) Have never bought, let's try this instead.
    List 4) Pending deletion.
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    • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
      Originally Posted by Bradley J Anderson View Post

      List 1) Active buyers.
      List 2) Have bought but it's been a while.
      List 3) Have never bought, let's try this instead.
      List 4) Pending deletion.
      Breaking it down like this is great but when you're mailing affiliate offers, how can you tell who's a buyer?
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      • Profile picture of the author tkulzer
        Most of the advice in this thread is well intentioned but wrong, dated
        information from 3-4 years ago or more.

        I'd recommend everyone here review our site for topics on re-engagement
        campaigns and overall subscriber engagement.

        In 2011, culling inactive subscribers is essential to healthy email delivery
        and overall campaign performance. Use segments to divide your subscribers
        based on their recency of engagement and deliver your messages to them.

        Email inbox providers measure your reputation based on subscriber
        engagement with opens, clicks, replies, deletes, spam complaints,
        etc. Fail to act upon what your subscribers are doing or not doing
        when they receive your emails and you *will* get relegated to the
        spam folder eventually.

        Don't believe me? Do some reading on the Google Priority Inbox for
        a bit of public information on how Gmail is changing their algorithms
        to filter wanted emails.

        Email in 2011 isn't just about what people originally requested, it's
        about what they continue to want and request more of based on their
        behavior.
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        Tom Kulzer
        CEO & Founder
        AWeber Communications, Inc.

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        • Profile picture of the author helterskelter
          Tom beat me to the punch, but I was going to say that I work for a good-sized media company with a big list. They clean it a couple times a year due to the reasons Tom described above. Cleaner list = lower chance of landing in the spam folder = better overall results (even though you're sending to a smaller number of recipients).

          That being said, I have no idea how stringently you should clean your list.
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        • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
          Originally Posted by tkulzer View Post

          Most of the advice in this thread is well intentioned but wrong, dated
          information from 3-4 years ago or more.

          I'd recommend everyone here review our site for topics on re-engagement
          campaigns and overall subscriber engagement.

          In 2011, culling inactive subscribers is essential to healthy email delivery
          and overall campaign performance. Use segments to divide your subscribers
          based on their recency of engagement and deliver your messages to them.

          Email inbox providers measure your reputation based on subscriber
          engagement with opens, clicks, replies, deletes, spam complaints,
          etc. Fail to act upon what your subscribers are doing or not doing
          when they receive your emails and you *will* get relegated to the
          spam folder eventually.

          Don't believe me? Do some reading on the Google Priority Inbox for
          a bit of public information on how Gmail is changing their algorithms
          to filter wanted emails.

          Email in 2011 isn't just about what people originally requested, it's
          about what they continue to want and request more of based on their
          behavior.
          I was just about to post the same...

          Ok, open rates may not be 100% accurate, but if someone hasn't clicked a link in one of your emails for 6 months, they're not likely to...

          Everyone needs to get over their "my list is bigger than your list" mentality, and stop treating the number of subscribers on their list as a measure of success.

          The number of people on your list means nothing... NOTHING... the number of people who consistently open your emails, click your links, and take some kind of action on the content... now that's worth something.

          -Gary Ambrose
          List Wire
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          If you have an automated webinar in the IM, biz opp, or make money space, and if it already converts to cold, and/or paid traffic... I want to send free traffic, and free leads to you registration page, every single day, until it stops converting. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS NOW.

          P.P.S. Viral Marketing Doesn't Work ... Tell Everyone You Know! ;)
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