July 17, 2023

Why you should add list cleaning to your email marketing strategy

The benefits of email cleaning and how to go about it.

Email cleaning is the practice of removing unengaged subscribers from your marketing database. The removal exercise is often regarded as counter intuitive - or even destructive - to email marketing strategies, but more often than not, ecommerce store owners that champion this opinion are focusing on the quantity of their email list, rather than the quality. As email marketing specialists, we’d bet this doesn’t reflect well in their results! 

Superco, the email marketing specialists

So, who are we and why should you listen? Superco is an award-winning Shopify plus agency specialising in driving rapid growth, building loyal communities and helping online businesses reach their full potential. We are trusted partners of Klaviyo, with a team of CRM experts well-versed in email marketing best practice.  

If you’re a Shopify brand wondering how to improve your email metrics or how to get the most out of email marketing, read on for a breakdown of why you should add list cleaning to your email marketing strategy. We’ve even included expert advice on how to structure a re-engagement flow before you go ahead and hit delete. 

The four benefits of email cleaning 

Save your cash

Like any favoured email marketing strategy, list cleaning saves you money as email service providers (ESPs) like Klaviyo charge you for every single subscriber — engaged or not. This means the bigger your database, the bigger the cost. Not an issue if every subscriber is a loyal customer (the dream!), but when it comes to cold leads, these could be precious pennies saved. 

Improve your metrics 

Engaged subscribers are way more likely to open, click, and interact with your emails. Cleaning your list removes inactive subscribers that for whatever reason have stopped interacting with your content. By focusing on a refined, engaged audience, your open rates, click-through rates and conversions are likely to leap up, demonstrating the huge success of your email marketing campaigns. 

Enhance your sender reputation 

ESPs like Klaviyo closely monitor the sender reputation of their users. A clean email list helps maintain a good rep, which is vital for ensuring your emails actually land in the recipients inbox — rather than getting stuck in a never-checked spam folder. 

High deliverability rates are essential for successful email marketing strategies and bad sender reputation can even result in the suspension of your account. Emails that often result in hard bounces (delivery failures due to invalid addresses), or that are marked by recipients as spam are taken seriously by ESPs, so it’s best to rid your database of any potential culprits. 

Nurture a happy community 

Do you really want to be bothering people that aren’t interested? When you’re so invested in a brand, it’s hard to see why others wouldn’t be, but sometimes it’s better to just accept that you can’t win them all. Think about how many emails hit your inbox a day, and now consider the percentage of those that you really care about. Not that many, right?

The best thing about a clean email list is that you’re encouraging community and often rewarding loyal brand advocates. It’s damaging to have uninterested consumers in your database as they may grow tired of your communications and taint your hard-earned reputation. 

How to execute list cleaning in your email marketing strategy 

Now you’re convinced, where to start? We’d be questionable email marketing specialists if we didn’t advise that you first try and re-engage a few subscribers, after all, at some stage they showed real interest. Here is a simple process to follow:

Identify possible cold subscribers

Set up an automated flow to these subscribers

Follow our copy guide below

Create a second automation that saves the subscribers that specify they’re still interested

Many ecommerce brands fall into the trap of assuming that you might just reel a subscriber back in by threatening to take them off the list. In reality, that strategy sets you up for failure. Simply sending one email after the other counting down ‘x days until you’re unsubscribed’, does very little to tempt cold consumers back. 

In this case, email marketing best practice suggests showcasing as much value as possible, with the aim of giving your disengaged subscribers a serious case of fomo. Our win-back flow looks a bit like this…

Email 1) We miss you/since you’ve been gone

We recommend that the first email in your flow be personalised (address your subscriber by name), and a little flattery can often work too — always be careful not to sound insincere. 

The goal of this communication is to remind your subscriber why they signed up in the first place. That might look like a product showcase, a blog packed full of useful information, a range of reviews that highlight the benefits of your bestsellers, or any recent and exciting updates for the business such as B Corp status or a new product launch. 

As with all email campaigns, don’t forget a relevant CTA, and as this is the start of the email cleaning process, we also recommend you offer them the chance to update their marketing preferences. 

Email 2) Answer a few questions for x% off

Next in our flow we like to invite these subscribers to take a short survey, in return they are offered a discount to reignite their love for your brand.

This survey is a great chance for you to conduct some research as to why some subscribers are losing interest. It’s important to collect the results, keep an open mind and take action on anything that could lead to improvements for your business. 

Email 3) Please update your preferences or you’ll be automatically unsubscribed

If you’ve so far been unsuccessful in re-engaging your subscriber, it’s likely they aren’t worth keeping. Give them a final chance to stay connected to your community by using any of the value signals suggested in email one. 

Email 4) You’re unsubscribed, but feel free to come back for…

Once removed, let the ex-subscriber know they are always welcome back, leaving a charming experience of your brand in their memory. 

Need more email marketing strategy advice?

Whether you need help actioning a list clean, or more tips and tricks to improve your key metrics, our email marketing specialists are always on top of the latest ecommerce trends — get in touch today. 

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