This is part five of my series on advanced email marketing for bloggers. In case you missed the past articles or need a refresher course. Here are the links to the past posts:
- How To Do Behavioral Targeting
- How To Get Personal
- How To Geo-Target Your List
- How To Segment Your List
In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to really clean your Aweber mailing list. There are many reasons to keep your list clean but I would say the number one reason would be it saves you money. You see, Aweber and most email service providers, charge you based on total subscribers. So if you have 450 people on your subscribed list and 100 on your unsubscribed, you have a total of 550 subscribers even though the 100 unsubs will never get your email. What’s more, you will be billed for 550 subscribers.
This will push you into the next price bracket. By not removing the unsubs, you end up paying an extra $10 for nothing. If you remove the 100 unsubs, you’ll be back in the first price tier. Here’s a video I did a few years ago on how to remove unsubs.
If you have a large number of unsubs then the method in the video will take too long to do. In that case, you just click the “Live Chat” button at the bottom of your Aweber control panel and ask the tech support guy to do it for you. Within 20 minutes, all the unsubs will be deleted from your list.
Removing unsubs is the most obvious way to clean your list but it’s only the start. Most email marketers don’t clean their list beyond removing unsubs because of ego (or not knowing the other methods). They want to show a nice big subscribers number (Na! Na! Na! My list is bigger than your list!). However, it’s much better to have a super clean list of 10,000 than an unclean list of 100,000. It’s also a lot cheaper. Why pay for subscribers who are not active?
Let’s do some advanced email list cleaning!
Remove The Not Confirmed
Many people enter fake email addresses hoping there’s no double opt in so they can get whatever free incentive is behind the squeeze page. When they see a page asking to confirm instead, they just leave.
Aweber requires all subscribers to double opt in to your list. That means they must confirm their email address. This is the main reason why Aweber has the best delivery rate in the industry. They will not send a broadcast message to a subscriber who hasn’t confirmed his email.
The not confirmed emails will count towards your total subscribers but will never receive any email from you. To keep your list clean and your billings low, you should remove subscribers who are not confirmed. Here’s how to do that.
Choose “Search” from the “Subscribers” tab in your Aweber control panel. This will bring up the segment search box. The field you’re looking for is “Confirmed?”
This will produce a segmented list of all subscribers who have not confirmed their email. You should combine this search with a search by “Date Added” to segment out the people who have recently subscribed but may not have time to confirmed yet. Generally, if someone hasn’t confirmed within a week, he’s not going to.
When aweber produces the list, click the erase box and delete the names. If there are too many names, then click the live chat button and have the Aweber tech do it for you.
Segment Subscribers Who Don’t Open Your Emails
This little trick is great for removing people who use throw away email addresses. Many people use a secondary email address for Internet offers. They sign up and confirm with that second email in order to get the free incentive but then never open any other broadcasts.
*Please note: This only works if you’ve been sending your broadcasts with stats enabled.
Do a search of your subscribers using the “No Opens” option. This will produce a segmented list of subscribers who have not opened any email since the date you specified. Like the not confirmed, you should combine this search with a search by “Date Added” to make sure you’re only looking through people who have been on your list for a while. You wouldn’t want to group a new subscriber, who just got your first email but hasn’t had time to open it, in with someone who signed up to your list a year ago and hasn’t opened any emails in 6 months.
Instead of erasing the No Opens like you did with the Not Confirmed, you should give them one last chance (or maybe a few chances) to respond. While most no opens are secondary emails that are never checked, there will be some subscribers who just stop opening your emails for one reason or another. This is your chance to “reactive” them.
The Reactivation Campaign
Create a broadcast (or a series of broadcasts) to try to get non-engaged subscribers to start responding again. Many retailers use coupons or discounts to try to re-engage email subscribers. You could do this, or offer a free report or some other compelling incentive to get them clicking again.
At the conclusion of your reactivation campaign, delete all subscribers who didn’t respond. No sense in having someone on your list who doesn’t want to be there.
By performing weekly (or daily) deletion of the unsub, undeliverable, unconfirmed and no opens, you keep your list super clean and responsive. You won’t be able to brag about your list being bigger than the guy next door but you’ll have a far more responsive list and you’ll be saving money as well. I’ll take that over bragging rights any day!
Test Drive Aweber for Only $1.00
Aweber offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. It’s a great way to test drive Aweber to see what it can do for your blog. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you find that having an email list is not for you, contact Aweber within 30 days and they’ll give you the $1 back.