It’s true that your subscriber list has to do with your email marketing. However, as you hopefully already know, email marketing is a way to not only help you improve conversions, but improve your SEO. The more you can get your company name out there in front of a relevant audience, the better chance you have of earning natural links and shares, which will help you grow your reach. Unfortunately, getting your subscribers to actually open and engage with your email campaign can be tough. So how can you make it happen?

While there are a lot of different ways to improve an email campaign and open rate, one of the best ways to improve this number is actually to get rid of some of your subscribers. It sounds crazy to get rid of people who signed up to learn more about your company, but hear us out. Consider some of the reasons why this is such a successful tactic below.

But First: The 3 Main Reasons Cleaning Up Your Subscriber List is So Important

  • You’ll see a higher CTR. Naturally, if you get rid of the people who are not opening or engaging with your emails you will see a higher CTR and of course a lower unsubscribe rate. This may not be overly important to your bottom line on the surface, but this actually makes your business look better to investors and advertisers, so it’s incredibly important overall.
  • You can get more targeted. Even if you have a smaller number after you’re finished, this means you have more time and opportunity to really get personalized with your emails and connect with those who are loyal and active with your company. Hopefully this extra personalization and care can help your conversion rates increase (which is likely the goal of your email marketing campaign in the first place). After all, it’s better to have a little bit of traffic that converts than a lot of traffic that does nothing.
  • You’ll save money. Some email marketing software or companies will charge more based on your number of subscribers. This isn’t always the case, but it’s very common you see this with many current methods, so if you’re looking to make any sort of budget cuts this is a good place to start.

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Subscriber List

So once you know why it’s important it’s time to actually make it happen. I recommend using two or three of the tactics listed below, and try to clean up your list once every year.

  • Manually remove generic or spammy looking addresses.

This is the easiest starting point. Simply give your subscriber list a quick look and eliminate anything that looks spammy (random letters and characters are usually a telltale sign). Emails that say “info” or “support” are also usually general emails that likely are not active, but you should check your statistics first just to make sure, which brings us to our next point.

  • Check your statistics.

Whatever email marketing software you’re using likely has metrics you can track. Take a look at the last time some of those questionable emails engaged with your brand as a way to quickly weed out a few “types” of addresses if you will. You can then take a look and see if you can pick out any others not engaging. Below shows a screenshot from Campaign Monitor that shows how you can use Google Analytics for email marketing campaign statistics:


  • Ask your subscriber list who is listening.

Every 6 months or so, send out an email that asks if people are still interested in receiving your messages. It may seem extreme at first, but just because someone doesn’t answer “yes” doesn’t mean you have to delete them. Keep trying every 6 months or so and then delete them after a long while. For those who do respond, it’s important to take seriously and consider sending a personalized email. That’s as targeted as it gets.

  • Give subscribers advanced filter options.

Oftentimes subscribers won’t engage with your emails because they’re not seeing what they want to see. This could be anything from topic choices to the number of posts they see per month. Below is an example of some filter options that Choice Hotels International uses:


  • Don’t hide your unsubscribe button.

Last but not least, make your unsubscribe button easy to find. If people don’t want to hear from you then they should not have to get frustrated looking for a way out. You should still do what you can to keep them engaged and hopefully change their minds, which you can learn more about here, but hiding your button isn’t the answer.

Do you have any personal experiences with cleaning up a subscriber list? Did you see any improvements in your SEO? Was there anything that didn’t work for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.