The other day I read that when you don’t get invited to someone’s wedding that’s how you know your friendship is over. But I call BS on that, and I actually have my own meter for friendship status.
Notice the lack of other conversation happening (including a happy birthday on my own big day, which I may be a bit salty about😆).
It’s hard to let people go. As much as I aspire to be a Marie Kondo sort of gal when it comes to my physical things, I find it really tough to delete contacts and let old friendships die – even when it’s clear the conversation has died!
Logically, I know it’s just the cycle of life and not every character can make it through the entire book. Some characters are only ever meant to have epic chapters with you.
Emotionally, however, it just kinda sucks, ya know? 😔
The same is true for your audience. Not everyone is meant to be your BFF4L. And that’s okay.
Retailers know this, and it’s much less personal for them. In fact, when I used to work on the Justice brand (little girls’ clothing store for those of you who have ever seen a Llama corn 🦙🦄 backpack and wondered who the heck designed that glittery masterpiece) they knew they had only 5-6 years to dress their customer before they outgrew the brand. No hard feelings.
New customers were always entering and leaving the brand.
But it’s harder with service-based businesses. We’re not just selling clothes. We’re selling meaningful experiences where we get to work directly with real life, beautiful humans.
When it’s time for our goodbye, it can feel tough. We hold on for too long, and it ends up being awkward for both parties.
TL;DR – it’s time to clean up your email list.
But I’ve worked so hard to get these subscribers! Why would I just remove them?
- People’s lives change, and sometimes others don’t have space or energy to receive what you’re sharing. It probably has nothing to do with you. Plus, they can always resubscribe!
- Your open and engagement rates will grow (keeping you out of spam, lowering your unsubscribe rate, improving your deliverability rate, and decreasing spam complaints).
- As your brand evolves, your audience can evolve with you. You can speak directly to your ideal client without worrying about the 5 different types of avatars on your list who may open.
What matters isn’t having the most people on your list. What matters is having the right people on your list😎. Your brand evangelists who can’t wait to read what you wrote, who recommend you to their friends, and who reply to let you know that you shared *exactly* what they needed to hear.
The easiest (and least emotional) way to do this is to use my favorite method – automation! Once someone is inactive in my audience after 60 days, they get tagged as an inactive subscriber.
I don’t just throw them off the boat, though. They get put through an email sequence where they have the opportunity to say “hey no wait!! I want to stay🙋♀️, I’m just bad at checking emails” OR if they don’t open or click then they’re removed from the newsletter list.
Doing this for your social takes a bit more manual labor. However, having real followers who engage with your content will give you better favor with the algorithm than having bots 🤖 who don’t interact.
Doing this cleanup ensure I only have people on my list and in my audience who love hearing from me and are excited about opening my emails and seeing my content!
PRO TIP: Many email softwares have a ‘manage subscriptions’ option that lets your audience decide what they get from you. This is especially helpful if you do campaigns/launches or frequent sales emails. Your audience can decide to stay on your list but pick the things they’re most interested in hearing about.
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