You built up your list of subscribers. Now it is time to remove a bunch of them.
Cleaning your email list could improve 3 key metrics: deliverability, open rates & click rates. The better these metrics, the more successful your email marketing plan will be.
That is because of a smaller list of engaged subscribers — people who actively read & interact with your content & brand — are more valuable than a larger list of subscribers who never open your contents.
Lists with numerous inactive email addresses typically have higher rates of bounces, spam complaints &unsubscribes than ones that do not.
Plus, when you continue to send emails to people who don’t open them, internet service providers — like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo — penalize you. Do this often enough, and your emails might end up in their spam folders, which decreases deliverability to people who actually need to read your content.
So how often should you clean your email list? It will vary from list to list, but a good rule of thumb is every 6 months — and definitely not longer than a year.

But wait! Before you delete, do this one. . .

Try a re-engagement plan to win back inactive subscribers before you clean your email list. It is a lot less work to reach out to a current subscriber than it is to add a new one. 14% of subscribers who receive win-back emails open them, according to a survey conducted by ReturnPath, an email deliverability company. That number jumps up to 45% for subsequent messages.

(Check out examples of successful re-engagement campaigns here.)

The good news: AWeber just launched an Open Automations tool. You could tag subscribers who do not open your messages, and then automatically trigger a re-engagement plan.

Get a full rundown on how to use the Open Automations in this video from AWeber’s Product Marketing Manager, Tom Tate

How to clean your email list

If your inactive subscribers still are not biting after a re-engagement campaign, it is time to say goodbye. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to delete inactive subscribers for all AWeber customers.

(Not an AWeberuser yet? Create your FREE account today!)

1. Hover over the Subscribers tab & click Manage Subscribers.

2. Click the Select Field drop-down menu.
3. Click No Opens from the choose field options.
4. Now, click the blank field to the right of No Opens & choose the date you’d like to search by.

This will let you find all your subscribers who have not opened a message since that date. For example, if you want to see who hasn’t opened your message in the last 30 days, select a date 30 days ago.
Be sure to include another search term by clicking the + button. Select Date Added, and
date is before. After that, pick the same date. This will ensure that newer subscribers who may not have gotten to your messages yet will not be lumped together with the rest of the long-time inactive.

5. Click the Search button.

Then scroll down to see the list of subscribers who have not opened the date you chose.
6. Delete subscribers.

Check the Erase box in the upper left of the list of subscribers to mark them all to be deleted, click Delete to remove them from the list permanently.
7. If you have multiple pages of subscribers, you could repeat this process to remove them all.

Make a mistake? Do not worry: AWeber’s award-winning customer service team could restore deleted addresses within 30 days. But you have to always download your original list into a CSV ahead of time just to keep the record.

Start cleaning out the email list today. Log into your AWeber account now.