Summer Project: Clean Up Your Email Subscriber Lists


cleaning your email list

Like many marketing managers, you probably set your email subscriber lists on day 1 and thought “job done.” But just last year, the Huffington Post, among others, reported that “Spray and Pray” emails are a thing of the past.

Subscribers are busy people with busy lives and even though many people carry their inboxes around in their pockets, chances are very good that some of your emails will go unnoticed. While 25% of anything may not sound like a lot, a 25% open rate is on the upper end of email benchmarks.

For every subscriber that may miss your email, chances are there are several more that are generally disinterested in them. With a little research and some testing, you just may be able to figure out the difference.

Creating list segments

In order improve your numbers you first need to identify who are the culprits. This is easily done by segmenting.

Segmenting out subscribers that have not opened your last several emails allows you to formulate a strategy on how to deal with them.

  1. Develop a reengagement campaign in order to find out if a person still has interest in your emails
  2. Remove inactive subscribers


There is no use spending time and money on subscribers that have no interest in reading your emails. But don’t kick them to the suppression list just yet. Try a reengagement campaign and give them one last chance to get back in your active list. Our friends at Campaign Monitor have a 5 step plan that should help get you on your way.


Recently predicted to be a rising trend in email marketing, personalization is a way to regained interest in your emails. Sure, adding a name to the subject has been seen to increase open rates among some industries but why not take it a step further.

  • Change the sending email address on the campaign to a name within your organization that may be more familiar to the recipient.
  • Give them a link to update their preferences to change options like frequency, type or even list some areas of interest.
  • Change the subject line entirely or use dynamic content in the email based on the information you collected about their needs and interests.

These types of changes not only help with your reengagement campaigns but could also help increase readership with some of your more occasional readers.

Pruning your email subscriber list

Sometimes even your best efforts still won’t compel someone to open your emails. If your reengagement efforts still leave some subscribers in your inactive segments do not be afraid to cut your losses and remove them from the list. Mark them as inactive, deleted or whatever term your email services uses to mark subscribers not worth your time or effort.

You will have a renewed sense of purpose with your future email campaigns and your open rates will never look better.

If you’re not using email marketing to connect with your audience, or you just need help with your current email marketing practices, we can help. Contact us today to find out how!