A lot of people think blogging is a free hobby. Or, as I’ve seen it promoted – a free marketing tool. As you know (especially if you are regular reader of this blog), blogging isn’t free. If you want to make your best impression you will need to self host rather than have a site has yourname.cheapskate.com on it, so that means you’ll need hosting, possibly a framework and probably a premium theme. Then of course you’ll need a decent pop-up that isn’t on drive people bonkers settings, and an account with Aweber to manage your list efficiently. Not a lot of change out of $400 if you are lucky and have your logo and graphics already.
In today’s post I want to talk about a blogger or marketers biggest ongoing expense – the list.
Many bloggers and online marketers have lists with hundreds of subscribers, often thousands. They’ve heard that the money is in the list but if these subscribers are not clicking on the links nor participating in the discussions, why are you still clinging on to them?
An email management service starts at $19 a month from Aweber, and this fee increases with your amount of subscribers – the more you have, the more it costs.
Twice a year go through your email lists and cleanse them.
The best way to do this is to simply delete subscribers who have not read or clicked on any links on the emails that you send them in a specific time span.
If you are a nice blogger / online marketer, you might like to warn your subscribers that you’re going to delete them if they do not take action.
Having a big list is useless if the subscribers are not reading your content, just deleting as soon as they hit your inbox and generally ignoring you. And that’s their choice. Your choice is not to continue paying for them to be on your email list. Tough? You have to be, because you want your marketing to work for you – you want to build an awesome relationship with your readers.
Email list cleansing – how to do it
The best way to do this is to segment your list.
Segment your list by putting all your inactive subscribers into one list. This way you can target these subscribers in a way that you have not previously. You might try telling them that they’ve been inactive for a while, and you intend to remove them. These subscribers many need a push instead of a pull to act, and of course you can try a new approach on these inactive subscribers compared to your active subscribers.
It could be a terrific market test on more aggressive ad copy, different placement of links, and brand new or fresh approaches.
Another reason to clean your lists is that you’re being forced to look at your metrics and performance. I know it is boring, but honestly, you need to do this so that you know what is going on with your subscribers. For instance, if you have an inordinate amount of inactive subscribers, meaning, if most of your subscribers are very inactive consider that your current advertising copy, and email copy, might not be meeting their expectations when they signed up for your list. Look back to where they signed up, read your first email to them, what did you promise. Have you delivered?
If you haven’t, quickly correct this issue and start delivering value right now. It wouldn’t hurt to eat a bit of humble pie and send your readers a free gift or a truly great offer, explain that you’ve re-evaluated your marketing strategy and it should improve. You might be surprised at how this small change will help with your conversion rates and encourage engagement.
The entire point of email marketing is to get some kind of return on investment (ROI) and if your list is not paying for itself, modify it until it does. If they have not unsubscribed, and you’re not going directly to the spam folder, you still have a chance to convert them.
Another type of subscriber to remove…
The subscriber that engages, but is never happy. Some subscribers only subscribe to a few lists. Yeah, they are rare but they are out there. So if you email them every day they get hacked off, and they email you back to moan. Other subscribers love the value that you send but the monthly offers you source or create to make their life easier isn’t appreciated. So they moan right at you rather than unsubscribe. Delete them. Harsh? As I mention right at the start – blogging is not free. It costs you time, energy and money to blog and then start a relationship with your readers. If it is not working, do something about it, start a dialogue with the subscriber, call them… but if it’s not making them happy, delete them.
It is important to remember that even if your copy is perfect, and you’ve done it all right, some people will simply just stop opening your email for no reason whatsoever. There are reasons for this, sometimes it is that your email is disappearing into the spam black hole, and sometimes it’s just that they weren’t interested to start with. Perhaps they were a freebie seeker and really did only join to get the ethical bribe that you were offering. This happens, if you try to re-engage them and it does not work, then it is time to delete them off your list.
Are you inspired to clean your email list?
photo credit: mliu92
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