Saying Goodbye: Why I Delete People From Our Email List

by Don Smith

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Every few months, I delete a huge chunk of our email subscribers. I don't import lists; these are all people who asked to be on our newsletters at some point.

So why would I say, “Sorry, I'm not going to send you monthly book recommendations, motivational articles, and news about our community anymore?”

I've Stopped Chasing People

I've learned long ago to stop chasing people.

The way I see it, if people aren't interacting, there's no point in wasting resources by continuing to send them emails. It's also not helpful for email deliverability when people get your emails and don't open them; that tells the mail servers that you're a spammer.

The email software I use to send out our newsletters, Mailchimp, makes it easy for people to unsubscribe. It also gives me the tools I need to “fire” people from my audience. I don't want to flood people with emails they don't want.

90% of my audience interacts with my emails. The others will get deleted.

I Unsubscribe People Who Don't Engage

Every so often, I run a report to show who has engaged with my emails recently. Those who haven't replied or otherwise engaged with the emails for a long time get deleted from the list.

My email list after a pruning cycle – that's better.

Moral of the Story?

It is not worth chasing people who aren't interested in what you have to say or don't click with you; there are plenty who will. That's why I eventually stop sending stuff to people who never look at it; I'd rather reserve my energy and our community resources for those of you who are avid fans.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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