Email list hygiene.

It sounds kinda … dirty.

But it’s absolutely critical for businesses of all sizes.

If you’re keeping inactive subscribers (people who haven’t opened your emails in at least 90 days) on your email list, you’re literally paying the price.

  1. If you’re using a mailing list service that charges according to the number of subscribers you have, you might be wasting money on a higher tier.
  2. A higher number of inactive subscribers corresponds to higher likelihood that your emails will be reported as spam — which could blacklist you from inboxes entirely, making your email marketing a total waste of your budget.

Even if those two scenarios don’t happen to you, you’re still wasting resources sending emails to people who aren’t opening them. For whatever reason that may be.

Having inactive subscribers on your email list is nothing to be ashamed of. People change over time. When they signed up for your list, they may have genuinely been interested in what you were offering — but something changed in their life, and now they aren’t interested anymore.

Still, deleting inactive subscribers is painful. I have yet to meet an online business owner who thought differently.

So when I sent out my re-engagement campaign to the inactive subscriber segment of the Horizon Peak email list two weeks ago, it felt like beginning to peel off a band-aid …

… and when I deleted the subscribers who didn’t respond to the re-engagement campaign, it was like I ripped off that band-aid entirely.

I deleted HALF my subscribers.

HALF of my hard-earned email subscribers … gone.


But after the initial shock, I did feel better. I knew that the people left on the list really want to be there. They want to hear from me. They value what I offer.

And I’m reaping the benefits with a much improved open rate and click rate.

If email is part of your marketing strategy, or it’s part of the services you offer your clients, you might enjoy this in-depth post from Email Monks. I was proud to contribute a little tidbit to it — but there are 23 much bigger names on the list than my own (Ann Handley! Ry Schwartz! Danny Iny!).

Happy emailing!


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