How do you make sure your subscribers keep getting your emails? Well, if you’re like most online entrepreneurs, you’re probably not doing the most important thing you need to do to increase your email open rates.
Nope. It’s not what you think.
It’s not subject lines. I’m talking about cleaning your list.
I know, I know. It sounds kinda boring.
But trust me, it’s important.
Let’s talk about why you need to clean your list and how to make cleaning your list simple.
Why Cleaning Your Email List Matters
When it comes to your email list, you need people open. If they don’t open, you don’t get any benefit. Right?
But it’s not like you can show up at their house and make people open. So what’s an online entrepreneur to do?
Simple. Instead of obsessing about open rates and subject lines, you’re better off cleaning your list to remove people who aren’t interested.
I know this sounds shocking, but hang with me.
Here’s what generally happens: as your email list grows, your open rate starts to trickle down and gets lower and lower until it’s in the basement. Sometimes this is due to deliverability issues, like your emails getting flagged as spam or sent to the promotions tab.
Basically, if people aren’t opening your emails, the algorithm interprets it as people don’t really want to get this stuff so they’re moved to the spam or promotions folder. Then when Gmail starts sending a bunch of your emails to those other inboxes, guess what’s gonna happen? Your open rates hit the walls and crash down.
So how do you salvage your list? You have to ensure you have an engaged list. And no, you don’t need to try to trick people into opening your emails by using sleazy subject lines. Instead, you need to focus on the overall health of your list.
When a person isn’t opening your email, you need to stop emailing that person. You need to have a system in place to clean your list and remove those cold subscribers so they don’t continue to drag your open rates down. You can move them onto a list of people not engaging or you can delete them altogether.
Identify People Who Haven’t Opened Any Email In 90 Days
In order to clean your list, you need to have a way to identify subscribers who haven’t opened, clicked, or engaged with any emails you’ve sent in 90 days.
Let’s be honest… if they haven’t engaged in three months, what’s the chance they’d want to get emails from you again?
If you keep sending them emails and they no longer remember you, they’re gonna mark you as spam, and that’s bad for your reputation.
Another reason to get them off your list is there’s a chance they’re not using that email anymore. Sometimes those emails get turned into what are called spam traps, which means that a system starts monitoring them. Then anyone emailing that email address is marked as a spammer because nobody’s using that email address anymore.
Ask Them If They Want To Stay On The List Or Not
Once you’ve identified the people who haven’t opened your emails in the past 90 days, you just don’t want to eliminate them.
The way that email opens are calculated is not perfect, so there’s a chance it’s just a technical issue. That’s why you should send an email sequence to those people and ask them if they want to stay on your list or not.
I recommend sending three emails with increasing urgency. I usually say, “Hey, I’m removing you from my list. If you don’t want to go, just click on the link to tell me you want to stay.”
All they have to do is click a link, which takes them to a page that says, “Wohooo, you’re staying!” or something like that. If they don’t click on any of those links in those three emails, then we remove them and stop sending them emails.
How often should you do it? Every quarter should be fine, but you can do it more frequently if you want. Depending on your email service provider, you can even set up your system so that it happens automatically.
Clean Up Your List Now
Cleaning your list, as boring as it sounds, is the most important thing you can be doing to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing. If you’re being vigilant about it in your business, you can keep a clean and engaged list.
If you want to learn more about email marketing, I have a course called BADA$$ Email Marketing. I used to charge for it, but now I give it away for FREE. Just head over my signature program, BADA$$ Online Marketing University to get started.