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Why you should NOT clean your elist

July 17th, 2018 by Bob Bly

The conventional wisdom has long been to zap people from your
email list if they have not responded to any of your offers
within the last 6 months — and especially if they have not opened
any of your emails within that time.

But now, a new study from MailChimp suggests you should not.

The reason?

MailChimp found that inactive subscribers, contrary to what many
believe, are far from worthless.

The MailChimp study shows that just because an online subscriber
is inactive does not mean he will remain so.

In fact, many inactive subscribers eventually buy again — even
after a year or several years of taking no action.

MailChimp says that, on average, about one-third of online
revenues from your elist will come from inactive subscribers — so
clearly they have real value.

Because keeping the inactives on your list is relatively cheap,
and inactives are 26% more likely to purchase than
non-subscribers, to me it makes good sense to leave people on
your list until they opt out.

Many of my readers have confirmed with me the value of inactive
names on their list.

BS says: “Yes, we just had one of our leads who ignored all of
our emails and phone calls for 7 months buy a product from us
today.”

JH comments: “Dean Jackson is as good as it gets with email. He
recently said the people who convert to some of his highest level
stuff have been on his list for 2 years.”

SB: “I convert customers who’ve been on my lists for 1,2,3,4
years later. This purge thing was partly started by the advice of
not sending to unopens.”

JL: “If someone raises their hand in terms of going to a workshop
or seeing me, we keep them on our newsletter until they cry uncle
or die. We get at least a few new clients a year that have been
on that list for years. There is gold in unconverted leads.”

KD: “I had one guy order a product, then two weeks later bought
another product. Week after that bought another. So I checked him
out. He’d been on my list for years but never bought before.”

AR: “I’ve had email subscribers who tune out for months at a
time… and then suddenly hire me or buy stuff I recommend.”

The major argument in favor of purging inactives is that having a
lot of them on your list hurts your email delivery rate.

Well, yes and no. There are two types of services providing email
delivery. The first includes vendors such as Constant Contact and
Bronto, where the bigger your list, the more they charge you.

These email service providers make more money from clients with
large lists. So they have no incentive to penalize you for having
a big list. And as far as I know, they do not.

The other category is services that give you an unlimited number
of email distributions for a fixed monthly cost, such as
1shoppingcart.

Since it costs them money to distribute … and earns them no extra
money to email to large lists … they have a motive for actively
encouraging you to drop inactive subscribers from your list, and
some of them do so.

That being said, I agree with JL: In my experience, there is gold
in unconverted leads. And I am really not into throwing gold in
the trash (or delete folder).

The other argument in favor of purging inactive subscriber names
is that their non-responsiveness brings down your key metrics
including click-through rate and open rate. JA comments, “If your
open rate is below benchmark despite having consistently good
content, there’s probably some dead weight in your list.”

However, low CTR and open rates are a problem mainly if you have
a boss or client judging you by those numbers.

But if you are an entrepreneur with your own internet marketing
business, the most important key metric to use is weekly gross
sales.

And as MailChimp and others quoted above note, continuing to
email to your inactives can boost what is arguably the most
important key performance indicator — revenue — substantially.

So what’s more important to you — good-looking analytics reports
… or money in your bank account?

It’s your call.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 at 11:43 am and is filed under Online Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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