“Listen. Understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with. It doesn't feel pity of remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.”
- Kyle Reese, The Terminator
Seems I'm earning a bit of a cold-blooded reputation.
Subscriber Dave writes:
I heard you drop readers who don’t open.
Don’t drop me! I have images turned off on my email client to prevent pixel tracking. (You might want to reconsider your decision, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.)
Several times over the past 18 months, I've gone into my email software…
Dragged out the subscribers who hadn't open or clicked any emails in a while…
Terminated them without remorse.
I don't have the exact numbers, but I've easily deleted more than 100,000 email subscribers this way.
Every time I talk about this, people go into hysterics.
“But some of those people might have bought!” they wail.
Well, maybe a few.
I've definitely tried a few things to “wake the dead” and get those unresponsive subscribers to start paying attention.
And yep, if you send enough emails, a tiny percentage will eventually open ONE of them. And yes, I'm sure an even tinier percentage might eventually buy something.
But there's a cost to sending all those unwanted emails.
For one thing, there's the raw cost of my email software. Deleting the “dead wood” on my lists is easily saving me $6,000 a year. I'd have to make a LOT of extra sales just to break even.
And then there's your reputation as an email sender to consider. The big email providers like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft know how many of your emails are getting opened. They don't like it when a huge percentage of your emails don't get opened.
These “big dog” email providers also get notified every time someone on your list clicks the SPAM button. And who's more likely to do that… An engaged subscriber or someone who can't understand why you won't stop sending them all these emails?
Top email marketers—guys like Perry Marshall and Ryan Deiss—report that blasting out emails to these subscribers means more of your future messages get automatically flagged as spam.
Now it's true that open rate reporting isn't 100% accurate. Plus there are people like Dave who take steps to prevent tracking.
I'm not too worried about that, though. Since Dave raised his hand as someone who is trying to prevent tracking, I decided to peek at the history on his account. Turns out there's plenty of activity that will keep him safe next time the Terminator's motorcycle rolls into town.
If you're considering cleaning house like this, just make sure your email provider considers both opens and clicks. And go back far enough so the subscribers have had plenty of chances to show signs of life.
For this list, I might delete anyone who hasn't opened or clicked in the past 30 emails.
If you're reading this, you're safe. For now…
P.S. If you're worried about writing emails that send your readers scurrying for the SPAM button, then I'd just say…
“Come with me if you want to live.”
Contact me here and I'll notify you when my new coaching program is online.