Why It’s Time to Clean Your Email List

Why It’s Time to Clean Your Email List

Unengaged subscribers can drag down your analytics

Why it’s time to say goodbye to some of your email subscribers.

Email is still one of the best ways to convert a prospect into a customer, but it’s getting more challenging every year. There are so many companies fighting for inbox real estate, you need to be on top of your game to win at email marketing.

Investing in optimizing your email efforts can pay off. According to Snov Labs, “72% of customers prefer email as their main channel for business communication.” According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2020 B2C report, “content marketers rate email newsletters as their highest performing content type for securing and nurturing leads.”

Many email marketers spend years building their list size, so why would you willingly cut subscribers? Unfortunately, unengaged subscribers can drag down your performance metrics and impact your delivery rates. Here are four reasons why it’s time to clean your email list.

  1. You are paying per subscriber.

Most CRMs (customer relationship management tools) charge per contact. Pricing tiers are often based on number of contacts, so your inactive members may be pushing you into a more expensive tier. You can save money by reducing your list size to those who are actually engaging with your emails.

  1. Inactive list members can bring down open rates.

It’s hard to tell when you have a winning email or campaign when inactive list members are dragging down your open rates. A good email open rate should be between 17 and 28% depending on the industry. If your open rate falls below that, it might be time to cut some inactive list members.

  1. They’re impacting your sender reputation.

Cold subscribers who aren’t reading your emails are hurting your sender reputation. Google and other email clients use sender reputation to judge email senders. They use that score to determine if your email is one that the receiver will want to read or something they flag as spam. The more emails you send to cold subscribers, the more likely they are to shuffle you out of the inbox or mark you as spam. This can hurt your sender score over time. The better your sender score the more your emails will make it into the inbox.

  1. Why bother people?

If a person isn’t interested in your emails, why would you want to keep sending to them? You don’t need to remove subscribers from your list every time they don’t engage with an email, but it’s good to do periodic cleaning. If someone hasn’t engaged with you in a year, it’s probably time to cut the cord.


Email marketing is still an effective affiliate marketing channel. Your sender reputation is key to getting into the inbox. If you keep sending to inactive, unengaged subscribers, your sender score is likely to take a hit. Inactive subscribers are costing you money, keeping your performance metrics down, and hurting your ability to reach your active subscribers. Review your email list once a year and protect your affiliate earnings.

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