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Newsletter subscribers

How often do you look at or work on your newsletter subscriber list?

How often do you think people should review such lists?

The frequency of sending emails obviously affects those answers, as does how you send emails out (some email software/services will do some of the checking for you).

When reviewing subscriber lists, here are some things to look for:

  • if you get any requests to be unsubscribed, do so immediately – certainly before sending the next email. Having this step automated is great for you and subscribers
  • any emails that repeatedly bounce (i.e. keep being sent back to you because they can’t be delivered) need to be removed form your list. Yes, you could keep them on the list so it appears bigger, but there are some good reasons to delete them
    • you will probably get bounce emails every time you send an email – why cause more email clutter for yourself?
    • ISPs actually track the proportion of bounced emails you send out – if you keep sending a lot of bouncing emails, they will block your newsletters
  • monitor the turnover of your list, not just the size. For example, if you have 100 subscribers in January and February it looks great but if 50 subscribed in February it means that half your January subscribers unsubscribed which is not so great
  • if you have stats available, monitor how many are being read, forwarded and so on
  • look at how your list is broken down by whatever information you have available – male vs female, states or countries, html vs plain text, etc

And remember to never subscribe anyone without their permission – it is just bad manners as well as risking your reputation.

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