We all want a healthy email subscriber list and we want those subscribers to receive, open, and read our emails, right? I recently went from 19K email subscribers to 10K email subscribers and it made my week. Not only did I clean up my email list but I improved deliverability of those emails to my subscribers inbox. Learn why and how I did it.
Why You Need to Focus on Your Email Subscriber List
We are in a decline in traffic to our blogs. What matters more than ever today in driving revenue to your business is your email subscriber list. The social media space is crowded and is it is getting harder to not only reach potential customers. Building your email list should be a priority for your business.
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Before you create a strategy around building your list, though, it is imperative to clean up your email list. You need to focus on two main points: 1) quality of your email list and 2) deliverability of your emails. We need the quality to be high so that subscribers not only receive the email but they act on it by opening, reading, and eventually buying your product or service. Deliverability matters a lot and shockingly it is a topic no many focus on within their email marketing startegy.
Tools I Use to Clean Up My Email Subscriber List & Improve Deliverability of My Emails
I use Glock Apps to optimize for deliverability of my emails to my subscribers' inboxes. Deliverability is key. In order to make money and get paying customers, we need to be able to reach those potential customers. I pay $39 a month for Glock Apps to spam test my newsletters. You add a piece of code into your email newsletter and add a short list of emails to your master list. I sent my email newsletter to this base list first to test the email. Will it land in spam? Am I blacklisted? Will the email land in the promotions tab? Once you get the results, you start your testing the subject line, the body of your email, text-only versus adding images, and so on. You also track down the reason why you're blacklisted (which happened to me) and get delisted. The process is daunting and I admit that I panicked but it is doable. You can get delisted.
I use ConvertKit to delete bounced emails and prune cold subscribers. ConvertKit also allows you to segment your list based on bounced emails and cold subscribers. I automatically deleted the bounced emails no questions asked. I didn't do the same for cold subscribers. There are nuances to how email service providers determine what defines a cold subscriber and unfortunately the approach doesn't accurately capture whether subscribers are actually NOT reading your emails.
So, how do you prune your COLD subscribers?
- Choose “cold subscribers” from your drop down subscriber list (in ConvertKit) or segment as “has not opened for 90 days” in other email service providers.
- Create a tag with the label “COLD” (on the right side of the page)
- Choose all subscribers from that COLD list and tag them with the label “COLD”.
- Go over to your website and create a page on your website that simple reads “Thanks! You're in!” and maybe includes a fun Gif. Here is my page if you want an example.
- Go back to ConvertKit, click on Automations from the top toolbar, then click on “+Add Rule”
- Choose the Trigger “Clicks a Link” and add in your “Thanks You're In” url
- Choose the Action “Remove Tag” and choose “COLD”
- Create a new broadcast to send only to these COLD subscribers that asks the subscriber to click on the “Please Don't Delete Me!” link. So, any subscriber that clicks on that link will be removed from the COLD list within ConvertKit.
- Wait a week to give subscribers a chance to open and read the email. Maybe send the email one more time with a different subject line at a different time to get to the most people.
- Delete your COLD list.
I used Mailbox Validator to validate the emails on my subscriber list. I was shocked at the results. At the point when I uploaded my list, I had already pruned down my list to just over 13K simply with cold subscribers and bounced emails. The result came back with over 3,000 invalid emails based on syntax, domain, blacklisting, graylisting, role, and level of risk. Crazy, right? The tool is not inexpensive. I started with a large list and spent $150. If you have a smaller list, you don't have to spend as much money. I don't regret spending the money and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Totally worth every penny especially since I now pay ConvertKit $60 less per month and have a much higher quality list.
- Amy Porterfield's interview with Michael Stelzner: Preparing for Future Traffic Declines: What Content Creators Need to Know.
- Social Media Marketing podcast on Conversion Rate Optimization