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In the last few months I’ve totally changed my approach to email for my blog. I’ve switched from MadMimi to ConvertKit and really put an effort into serving my readers better via email. Along the way my list has grown smaller-I’ve lost about 4000 people off the list either through unsubscribing or me removing them myself. And you know what? I couldn’t be more happy about it.
You see, I used to think the size of my email list mattered. I looked proudly on the over 20,000 people on my subscription list. However, when I started digging I realized that while I had a decent size email list, they weren’t engaged with my content. The majority of them never even opened my emails. Why would someone subscribe to my emails and not open them?
I was boring.
For years I dutifully wrote a blog post, hit publish, then sent it out in an email. Oh sure, I tried to be conversational at times but really I was basically sending them an RSS feed. Boring.
So what did I change?
I Got to Know My Subscribers
First, I sent out an email to ALL of my subscribers asking to get to know them better. Using ConvertKit I asked them to click the links in the email that correlated to their interests. When they clicked the link it added a “Tag” to their email in ConvertKit that let me know their interests. This way I can only send them the emails they are interested in. So someone that likes recipes and doesn’t want to see the DIY won’t get emails they don’t want. This keeps them more likely to engage with the emails I do send them because they know it’s what they want to see.
This email now also goes out to all of my new subscribers so I can send them what they want from the get-go.
I Sent Less Emails
I also stopped sending an email for every blog post unless they specifically requested it by clicking the link I mentioned. I usually publish five times a week so this allows me to make sure I’m not overwhelming readers that don’t want to see every single new thing on the blog. It allows me to send more newsletter style emails as well.
I Culled My List
Finally, I went through my email list and deleted anyone that hadn’t opened my emails in the past 30 days. Not only doesn’t this help me not pay a higher price for people that don’t actually want to receive my emails, it helps me have a truer sense of my email conversion rates so I can see what is and isn’t working for my audience.
This process was easy to to do with ConvertKit‘s Cold Subscriber sorting feature-it shows you with one click everyone that has been on your list for at least 30 days but hasn’t opened an email in over 90 days.
Of course shrinking my email list is not what I want long term, but once I reduced my list by eliminating unengaged subscribers I was able to rapidly build it up again. I’ll share more about that process in an upcoming blog post.