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Why is it important to clean your subscribers base

Large list of email addresses doesn’t mean efficient email marketing building. You can send newsletters to thousands of your subscribers but only a few open them.

We use Advanced Newsletter + MailChimp for our email marketing purposes. The Advanced Newsletter extension allows us to segment our subscribers and send them the information they are interested in only. MailChimp is very cool and useful email marketing service which lets us to successfully send our campaigns as well as thoroughly analyze them afterwards.

MailChimp allows reviewing subscribers' activity. Don't forget that this member rating is counted according to email opens and clicks. Here an email is tracked as "open" when recipient has images turned on. Unfortunately, it is not possible to define who has images turned off. So be careful and apologize if the email was sent to your regular reader by mistake ;)

I analyzed the level of our subscribers' engagement and came to the conclusion that about 50% of them either did not open our emails at all or opened them long ago. Our subscribers' base is rather "mature". No wonder that for several years many of our emails readers could move to other CMS, change their area of activity, forget password or get new email address.

I intended to clean out inactive members from our list as we didn't want to boost our ego with laaaarge list of email addresses, but aimed to work only with those who are interested in the things we share with them. So it was decided to find subscribers with low member rating and send them our last email from aheadWorks.

Email marketing gurus say that you shouldn't hope for high open rates of such emails. But I couldn't just delete those people from our list – I wanted to give them the last chance.

When sending an email to people who haven't read your newsletters for years you have only few seconds to attract the recipients' attention and single your email out in the everyday flow of messages. So I had to find a "hook" – an emotionally strong phrase which makes people open the email. Such subject can be of any kind, but it should definitely touch people’s feelings and emotions. I found such phrase and got 6.2% open rate!

Great! People opened my email. But what's next? I had to arouse their interest in Magento and aheadWorks and motivate them to keep reading us. A couple of teasers and 1.5% asked me not to delete their email addresses. So I can assure you – tell people what vitally important information you are going to share with them in the nearest future and get profit!

In my email, I also asked our subscribers to let me know why they had broken off the relations with aheadWorks and stopped reading our emails. I didn't expect for a single answer but it was nice to get several emails where people told me that they were very busy at the moment and hadn't a spare minute to check their email. I am proud and thankful that they've managed to find time to open my email as well as answer me.

My email sending gave the following results:

  • successful deliveries – 98.9%

  • opens – 6.1%

  • unsubscribers – 0.3%

  • asked to keep their email address – 1.5%

So, finally, let's sum up what I've done and what you should do to cut "deadwood" from the subscribers' list:

  1. Use a "hook" in email subject
    to make them open your email.

  2. Ask your subscribers why they stopped reading your messages
    to analyze what's wrong.

  3. Motivate your subscribers to keep reading your emails
    to convert them in your return customers.

Now I am sure that we can build our email marketing efficiently and will get trustworthy results. And the same I wish to you :)