How often do you 'prune' your email subscriber list?
— iContact (@iContact) March 27, 2014
My answer is: Never! I've got two really good reasons for you:
#1. There's value in being seen even if your email goes unopened. If someone has not unsubscribed, don't make assumptions about their wants and needs. Perhaps the timing just isn't right. Being seen in your subscriber's inbox serves as a reminder that can still keep you top of mind.
#2. Your open rate is over rated. If you make decisions about deleting contacts based on open rates, you're effectively negating all the hard work you do to build your list. Open rates are understated by the number of 'plain text' or 'text only' views; an image has to be viewed in order to count as an open. With more use of mobile devices, the gap between actual opens and reported opens is increasing. You could be deleting a contact who regularly reads your newsletter on their phone.
Are you using these reasons to justify pruning your list?
"I want to reduce my subscriber count to save money on bulk email fees."
OK now, think about that. You've invested a lot in building your list and your email reputation. The cost of additional subscribers is a pittance in comparison - don't scrimp on this.
"I don't want to spam people who don't want my emails."
If you think that what you are sending out is spam, stop doing that right now!
Building an engaged contact list takes a lot of effort, don't sell yours short. Stop making assumptions. Instead, make it easy for your readers to unsubscribe and let them do the pruning for you!
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