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FutureNow Post
Friday, Jan. 5, 2007 at 6:02 am

Delete Your E-Mail List

By Bryan Eisenberg
January 5th, 2007

Do you have a successful e-mail list?

How do you determine its success:? Total subscribers? Number of weekly sign-ups? High open rate? Click-throughs? Comments generated?

All those numbers are important, but often the real value of a good list is the participation it stimulates between the subscriber and your business.

Too many businesses shell out too many dollars and resources to up their number of subscribers or to improve the demographic quality of their e-mail lists, while too few consider the quality of subscriber participation.

Don’t confuse participation with interactive technology. I’m not talking about keeping customers entertained with bells and whistles. Worthwhile interaction truly engages your audience.

So when we decided we wanted to improve participation quality with our company newsletter subscribers, we pulled up our list — and hit “delete.”

We wiped out a list of over 40,000 addresses, built organically and through co-registration. A list we’ve been mailing to since 2000. Before you conclude my book tour drove me mad (and it may as well have), read on.

At the end of the day, we don’t care much about the number of subscribers we have, we care about reader engagement — the quality of the relationship readers have with us. We don’t expect subscribers to read every issue, but if they haven’t read our newsletter once in three months, we assume they’re not interested, or don’t have the time to invest. Making any other assumption risks the quality of our subscriber interaction. The last thing we want is for the newsletter to degrade into a perception of opt-in spam.

Continue reading my column on ClickZ…

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Comments (7)

  1. I am one of those people that were automatically unsubscribed. You may wonder why? I’ve found myself migrating from e-mail newsletters to RSS feeds whenever possible. Do I bother to unsubscribe from newsletters after I’ve migrated? Far from always. There, some soft stuff to add to the data.

  2. Lars,

    That is a large portion of our subscribers. This allowed us to not interrupt your inbox any more and you still enjoy the content through the feeds.

    Bryan

  3. It’s useful info.

  4. Thanks for good article.

  5. Good service have thought up! I congratulate on its opening! It I will use, thanks. I hope you and awake to please us with the new projects ;)

  6. useful information, i on the other i really don’t subscribe to any newsletter unless it is relevant for my day to day work task.

  7. I have also had a hard time keeping the newsletter subscriptions to a minimum. A few years back my in box was always overflowing with newsletters. There was just no way, I would ever be able to get all the news, I thought relevant, without spending hours sorting mails every week. So the RSS-feeds really helped me as well.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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