Article: How and When to Clean Up Your Newsletter’s Subscriber List #motownwriters

by Nate Hoffelder |  posted in: Author Newsletters |  1

author newsletters

Welcome to the latest installment in my blog post series on newsletters. In previous blog posts we have discussed why you should have one, how to get started setting up a mailing list and newsletter, how to get people to sign up, how to get readers to unsubscribe, and what to put in your newsletter.

If you have been following along at home, you should now have a growing mailing list and should be sending out newsletters on a regular basis, and now is the times to raise the question of maintenance.

To put it another way, how and when should you delete email addresses from your mailing list?

This is a perennially hot topic in marketing circles, and there are as many different opinions as there are grains of sand on a beach. Some say you should run all the email addresses in your mailing list through a validation service, and remove any addresses that raise red flags. Other experts such as David Gaughran say you should cull any email addresses which don’t open your newsletters. And of course everyone agrees you should bring your mailing list in compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

I am of the opinion that you should clean up your mailing list as rarely as possible. In fact, the only time I would recommend removing email addresses en masse from your mailing list is to keep from getting charged more by your mailing list provider (for example, some will charge you more per month if you have more than 1,000; 5,000; or 10,000 subscribers).

The thing is, I prefer to avoid culling my mailing list because I know that any time you cull the list, you will remove active readers by mistake. I’ve actually had readers say this to me after they stopped getting my newsletters, and I have also been culled by mistake. (One well-respected “expert”  has cut me from his list twice even though I opened and read all of his newsletters.)

There are many different views on this topic, so I am going to use this post to give you both sides of each argument.

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