How To Put Your Email List On A Diet

One thing John stresses that every blogger should do is create an email list. And for good reason as it’s how he makes the bulk of his earnings every month (if you don’t have an email list then sign-up for an Aweber account now). But, an often over-looked aspect of having an email list is the clean-up.

Unless you follow a proper diet and exercise, as you grow and get bigger your body will store unwanted fat. The same can be said for your email list. As your subscribers list gets bigger it starts to collect unwanted fake or non-existing email addresses and subscribers who are generally uninterested or didn’t realize they signed up for your newsletter (yes, this happens even though they confirmed).

There are many reasons to put your email list on a diet:

  1. It can save you money – Most autoresponders charge you based on the amount of subscribers you have, so you can potentially save yourself a lot of money by getting rid of these unwanted email addresses.
  2. Lower your spam complaints – If you have a big enough list or have been email marketing for a fair amount of time, you will eventually get a spam complaint, but by following a few simple tips you can lower the chances of this happening
  3. Multiple bounces can get you blocked – ISP’s track how often your newsletters bounce and will block them if you attempt to continually deliver messages to closed subscriber mailboxes.

Now, that doesn’t mean to start deleting users that aren’t opening your emails, but rather put the following tips into place to cut out the fat and build a strong, lean list.

Tell Subscribers What They Are Getting

A great way to explode your subscriber list is to give them something for free if they in turn subscribe. But, many people don’t realize that they are also signing up for your newsletter in addition to getting your free product. This can lead to subscribers marking your emails as spam or just simply ignoring your emails completely.

A way around this is to tell them exactly what they are getting. For example, instead of just offering a free product by signing up, tell them they can immediately access your free product by signing up for your newsletter. This way they know that they will be receiving regular emails from you in addition to the free product.

Tell Them Again

Sometimes you need to beat a dead horse. In your “Welcome” email your subscriber receives after signing up it may be a good idea to tell them again that they will be regularly receiving emails from you. If you want you can give them a time frame on when to expect these emails and the frequency in which you typically send them out so there’s no surprises and they know exactly what to expect. I’ve even seen email marketers include a prominent unsubscribe link at the top of the “Welcome” message to help push those that might be uninterested out the door.

Subscriber Addresses

If you don’t already, ask that subscribers use their primary email address, an address given to them by their ISP, before even signing up. Free accounts like Hotmail or Yahoo are commonly used as throw away or temporary accounts. The life span on these accounts can be minimal.

So for example, on your opt-in form you could replace “Email Address” with “Primary Email”. And under the opt-in form ask that subscribers use their primary and valid email when subscribing.

Delete Bounced Addresses

Addresses that bounce with a permanent error 2 or 3 times in a month should be deleted from your list. As stated above, ISP’s track these bounces and will block your newsletter if you attempt to continually deliver messages to closed subscriber mailboxes.

Bonus Tip

In typical John Chow fashion, I’m going to leave you with a bonus tip. If you’re using Aweber as your autoresponder (which is highly recommended), then make sure to delete unsubscribed users. These count towards your total amount of subscribers and depending on the amount of unsubscribers you have, it could save you some money by lowering your monthly fee.

Tory runs a low calorie diet blog that focuses on creating healthy habits for permanent weight loss.