It’s been well over a month since I wrote the post about pruning my list to get rid of all the deadwood. By deadwood I’m referring to those subscribers who have never bothered, or hardly ever, to read my emails. Normally I’d just let them go to build up my list numbers except that I’m rewarding my list members by placing a link to their site from my List page and I figured it just wasn’t fair to reward them if they weren’t holding up their end.
That post included a youtube video showing my readers how MailChimps star system highlighted the quality of your subscribers. This post has a video which shows how to use that star system to separate the good subscribers from the bad ones.
Pruning Your List With MailChimp
I have to admit I was surprised how simple the procedure was and I am really glad that I did it. I have to admit there were a few bloggers who were regulars and I struggled with the decision as to whether or not I should delete them with the general culling and in the end I decided it was the only fair thing to do.
The Positives Of Pruning Your List
I know that there were a few comments in that first post where people thought I was crazy for pruning my list as they felt that the deadwood may actually come to life one day. Well, as far as I’m concerned deadwood is deadwood and you’re better off clearing them out of the way so you can concentrate on growing your live limbs.
There are also certain positives for pruning your list.
If you have a large list and are paying for the amount of emails you’re sending out pruning your list will reduce those costs.
Having a more dedicated list will also improve your open and click through rate which will give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling when you check your campaign reports
In my situation I know I am only rewarding those subscribers who are actually interested in what I have to say which is as it should be.
I’ve also made sure that any new subscribers know what to expect when subscribing to my list, that I only want dedicated members, ones who actually read my emails occasionally and that I will be pruning my list on a regular basis.
What’s that, how many did I cull in the pruning process? Reckon you’ll have to watch the video to see that.
I started my list in December 2010 and it took about 10 months to reach 50 subscribers. I wrote about that milestone in my post A New Milestone As My Mail List Hits 50 and that post tells of the new tactic I had started using to increase my list numbers. One that has been working so well that my numbers have since doubled.
You would think that would make me a pretty happy blogger round about now wouldn’t you? Well, I’m not and that is what this post is all about. I’m just not happy about having a list that is not performing to my expectations. Let’s face it, the whole idea of having a list is to get something from your subscribers. For most list owners it’s usually money related but all I want is that my subscribers actually open my emails to see what I’ve been up to. After all, that is why they joined isn’t it?
Having A Dedicated List Is Important
When people subscribe to a list it’s usually because the person building the list is offering a freebie or something at a discounted rate. In my situation it’s because they want their link to appear on my List Page, as that is the incentive that I am offering.
The thing with lists is they’re of little use if the subscribers are not opening your emails. Lists being what they are, a lot of subscribers do not give their prime email address when joining. Instead they will use an address that is rarely used except when they use it to subscribe to a list or something. These people have no intention of opening your mail and so are pretty useless as subscribers.
I expected to get my fair share of these subscribers but the time has come to sift through my subscribers removing all the dead wood. After all, why should they receive the same reward, a link back to their site, as all my dedicated subscribesr who actually open and read my emails?
This post will serve as a warning to all my subscribers that one month from today I will be deleting all inactive members. That is all those subscribers who for whatever reason have not been opening my emails. Unfortunately for them they won’t know what the hell is going on because they won’t be opening the email linking to this post. I will also be linking to this post from my list’s signup form so that all future subscribers know their link will be removed unless they are active members.
MailChimp’s Star System
I’ve created a YouTube video to show you how easy it will be to sift through my subscribers separating the good loyal ones from those who probably only joined so they could get a free link to their website.
I’m not all that big on doing milestones, although I have done one or two in the past, but I thought this particular one deserves a post. I started my list way back in December last year when I wrote a post called Why The List Hater Has His Very Own List. Since that time my list has grown to a whopping 50 members! Yeah, yeah, I know that is a piddling amount and you know I don’t really care because I know that at least my subscribers are a dedicated bunch who have joined because they are interested in what I have to say.
I’ve done a few posts about my list since then including Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber which is really a review about MailChimp, one that has brought quite a bit of traffic to this blog. I can safely say that to date I am more than satisfied with their services and I have no intention to change.
Why I Am Happy With List Numbers
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I’ve never really supported having a list, the reasons being that most people abuse their list by continually trying to sell them something. I vowed when starting my list to never do that to my subscribers. I think when looking at my low list numbers you really need to compare the way I promote my list to the way others do it.
List Building Techniques
The use of annoying popups!
Give away freebies to get them to join. A lot of the time they turn out to be less than useless
I don’t use these on any of my blogs
Nope, don’t do that either although I do reward those you do by giving them some linkluv.
Those are the two main ways that others get people to subscribe to their list and apparently they work quite well but I personally dislike them and so I will not be using them on my readers.
Until recently my numbers were even lower and in fact I was even getting one or two who were unsubscribing which resulted in the post Why People Unsubscribe From Your List! Since them my numbers have been increasing slightly faster but it wasn’t because of that post.
As I was doing my normal daily blog hopping I happen to notice that there seemed to be a lot of people promoting Aweber as the best auto-responder on the market. Apart from expounding all its good points they will generally tell you, somewhere in the post, that it must be good because all the big boys use it. This may be true but I’m sure that one of the reasons that a lot of people use it and for promoting the crap out of it is because they’re also an affiliate.
Which is fine as I understand how one tends to get emotional about promoting something that they love to use, heck I do the same when telling people about the FlexSqueeze theme. I do take exception though when while promoting it they have a go at MailChimp. Yeah, I know I did the same thing when I compared FlexSqueeze to Thesis but I never said Thesis was bad in that post, just that it wasn’t as good!
To be quite honest not all the posts actually said MailChimp was bad but some of the comments did allude to that and the biggest contention was the fact that the guys at MailChimp do not like the way some people run their affiliate marketing. It’s true though, if you’re looking for a list to push your affiliate products down people’s throats then MailChimp is not for you because you try it with them and they will kick you out. And so they should too because that type of marketing hurts their name reputation, something that’s very important to them.
Image via CrunchBase
That doesn’t mean that you can’t promote affiliates, just that your campaigns should not focus just around affiliate marketing. Honestly if I joined a list and all I got was campaigns promoting different ways of making money, growing my business or other affiliates then I can assure you I will drop that list like a hot potato.
I swore long ago that I would never have a list but that was only because I thought the only reason for having one was to use it against my subscribers by pushing crap down their throats. It was only after a lot of thought and soul searching that I found a way in which I could use a list without going against my principals which was when I wrote my post Why The List Hater Has His Very Own List! That then led to my post Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber where I talked about why I liked MailChimp so much. In that particular post I described how you could be a MailChimp member and promote affiliates.
I know it seems like I’m rehashing old topics but its necessary because people need to know, especially when you’re just starting up your list and you can’t afford the expense of paying for one such as Aweber. That plus I would love to build a new breed of affiliate marketers, one that cares about their subscribers and would never use them just for the sake of peddling their wares.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of the products you get in your inbox from those affiliate marketers never make it to their blog? Now, why is that unless they’re not all that comfortable about actually posting about it, like one I received in my inbox today from a reputable marketer that seemed to be nothing less than a pyramid scheme. So its good enough for their list but not good enough for their blog?
That’s where we can be different as we would only promote affiliates that we absolutely believe in and because we believe in them we’re quite happy to post about them on our blogs. That is what makes MailChimp the perfect auto-responder for us because if you use it, as I do, to tell your subscribers when you’ve written a new post you will be driving traffic to that post, and if that post is an affiliate product you love you will be killing two birds with one post.
So basically all I’m saying is don’t write MailChimp off just because you’ve read somewhere that it doesn’t accept affiliate marketers because the truth is they don’t accept the wrong type of internet marketers, and that’s not us is it?
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