Why it’s worth dumping your mailing list


Every now and then it’s worth dumping your mailing list and starting again. Really?!

Recently someone I know lost her newsletter mailing list. On it were about 300 contacts to whom she sent a regular, monthly newsletter. At first the open rate was really good at 80-90% and over time that percentage dropped as low as 40%. Then, due to technical reasons, her whole list was lost.

Her initial reaction was panic and then dispair. How could she possibly recontruct her mailing list? Then she remembered that all her contacts were still in her Outlook file and that the data was probably more up-to-date than what she’d had on the mailing list. She hadn’t actually looked at her mailing list for some time, to make sure it was recent. She’d probably been sending her newsletters to people who weren’t her ideal clients, or to email addresses that had changed.

So my colleague spent some time going through her Outlook contacts; she decided who she still wanted to send her newsletter to and who didn’t need to be on the list any more, and she checked for current email addresses.

The result? A much more targeted mailing list to which her newsletter will be sent. It will be read by people who really want to read it, who will recommend it to other people, rather than just deleting it.

So, you could dump your entire mailing list and start up a clean one. Or, less drastically, you could go through your list and do some spring cleaning. Take out anyone you know won’t find your newsletter useful or relevant anymore. Check that you’ve got correct email addresses and delete any that you know have ‘gone away’. And then watch your open rate shoot back up!

When did you last clean up your mailing list?


2 Responses

  1. Hi Chantal, I like your post. I find is really helpful in my list building campaign. You got a point there, sometimes we need to ignore some list of contacts in order to sort the most targeted of them all but not to the point that were going to delete them and can never be recovered forever. You can use the not so targeted group as a testing for your new product or services offers or you can give it to a friend it might be useful for them.

    • Hi Kyla
      I’m glad you like the post!
      Using a list to test a new product or service is a very good idea, and be careful about giving a list of contacts to anyone else. Under data protection, you should not give contact details to someone else unless you’re registered and are charging for the service. If you have some contacts you’d like to put in touch with other people, then making individual introductions is best.

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