5 risks of not cleaning your email list

When you’re trying to grow your email list, every new subscriber feels like a victory, and every unsubscribe can seem like a monumental loss. That’s why the idea of email list cleaning—deleting disengaged subscribers who haven’t actually unsubscribed—can seem scary and even downright crazy.

But the truth is that as heartbreaking as it can feel to actively delete people from your list and watch that subscriber count drop, avoiding email list cleaning can harm your business.

How does it do this? Check out these 5 major risks of NOT cleaning your email list and how to avoid them.

 

 

Want a high-quality email list that’s full of engaged subscribers?
Send a welcome email series to new subscribers when they join.
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1. More spam complaints

When you continue to send emails to subscribers who aren’t interested in hearing from you, many of them will simply delete your emails or unsubscribe. But some people will be annoyed enough to mark your email as spam. In fact, when LeadPages asked people how they respond to marketing emails they don’t want anymore, 8.9% of people said they mark the emails as spam.

Why is it harmful to your business to get spam complaints? Email service providers, like Gmail and Yahoo, keep track of spam complaints. And if your emails get marked as spam too many times, they’ll start to automatically send your emails to subscribers’ spam folders. They’ll do this for everyone you email, not just for the people who complained. So if you receive several spam complaints, it’ll make it harder to reach, engage, and convert even those subscribers who actually want to hear from you.

It’s much easier to proactively minimize your risk of spam complaints than it is to recover from being blacklisted because of past spam complaints. This is why regular email list cleaning is totally worth the time it takes. It keeps your spam complaint rate low. And it ensures that more of your emails arrive where they belong: in your subscribers’ inboxes.

Related: 10 expert tips for writing marketing emails that convert + 63 email subject line templates

 

Gmail inbox, which is where emails are more likely to end up with email list cleaning

 

2. More bounces

Spam complaints aren’t the only problem that can harm your reputation with email service providers. Bounces can too. A bounce is when your email never reaches a subscriber on your list. This can happen for many reasons, including a technical error, a full inbox, or a change in email addresses.

If too many of your emails bounce, those diligent email service providers take notice and may block your messages. Just like with spam complaints, this affects the deliverability of your emails and makes it harder to get opens, click throughs, and sales.

When you stay on top of email list cleaning, you can quickly identify and remove subscribers who repeatedly generate bounces. This reduces your email bounce rate, protects your sender reputation, and improves email deliverability.

 

Tennis ball bouncing on a court

 

3. Higher costs

Most email marketing services charge you based on the number of subscribers you have, the number of emails you send, or both. So when you have disengaged subscribers on your list, you’re unnecessarily spending money to email people who aren’t even listening to you.

Regular email list cleaning ensures that you’re paying only for the people who are opening your emails (and hopefully also clicking through and converting!). And when you do this, you have more money to spend on other areas of your business—score!

 

 

Want a high-quality email list that’s full of engaged subscribers?
Send a welcome email series to new subscribers when they join.
Download my FREE swipe file with a full welcome email series copy template.

Send me the free template

 

 

4. Lower open and click through rates

When your email list is bloated with subscribers who don’t engage with your email list, you’ll have lower open and click through rates. If you’re the only person who sees these numbers, low open and click through rates won’t threaten your reputation in the way that spam complaints and bounces will. But they can be discouraging and make you less motivated to invest time and energy in your email marketing (which can be one of the most effective ways to generate sales if you do it right!).

Log in the time for regular email list cleaning to keep those open and click through rates where they should be. It doesn’t make sense to beat yourself up week after week about your dismal email stats just because your list is full of people who shouldn’t even be on it.

Related: 10 effective ways to increase your email open rate + 63 free email subject line templates

 

Email inbox open on a laptop

 

5. Email stats that are difficult to interpret

When you have lots of disengaged subscribers on your list, it’s harder to tell whether your email marketing strategy is working. Are your sales from marketing emails low because your strategy isn’t resonating with your ideal customer? Or do you have too many of the wrong people on your list in the first place?

A bloated list also creates noise in your results when you run A/B campaigns or test email marketing tactics in other ways. A strategy you tried in your last email may have been incredibly effective with the portion of your list who wants to hear from you. But if disengaged subscribers make up a large portion of your list, this success may show up as a lacklustre 2% increase in your click through rate rather than a noteworthy 10% increase.

When you use email list cleaning to prune your list, your email list stats will be more accurate. And it’ll be easier to tell what’s working and what’s not so that you can make the most of your email marketing.

Related: 7 email copy mistakes that are destroying your conversions + 63 free email subject line templates

 

Smartphone and analytics

 

It pays off to stay on top of email list cleaning

When you’ve worked so hard to get new subscribers on your list, actively deleting people who haven’t unsubscribed can be incredibly hard (and can even seem counterproductive).

But in reality, regular email list cleaning makes your email marketing MORE effective and LESS expensive. It does this by protecting your reputation as an email sender, making sure more of your emails end up in inboxes, and ensuring that only the people who actually want to hear from you are on your list. The result? It’s easier to get more of your ideal customers to open your emails, click through, and buy your product or service.

 

 

Want a high-quality email list that’s full of engaged subscribers?
Send a welcome email series to new subscribers when they join.
Download my FREE swipe file with a full welcome email series copy template.

Send me the free template

 

 

 

 

 

5 risks of not cleaning your email list

Email list cleaning: 5 big risks of NOT doing it + free welcome email series swipe file
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