February 14, 2017
Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? You’d think that as the owner of a small business I’d want as many e-newsletter subscribers as possible. Those folks are typically considered your most loyal and ardent, so why did I spent one snowy Monday deleting people from my e-newsletter list?
The answer is that I’d happened to noticed a drop in the open rates of the past few e-newsletters I’d sent out and I wondered what was happening. Sure, people get busy – especially around the holidays – but the drop was too big that being busy alone didn’t explain it. So then I started to pay attention to the sign-ups that were coming in and what I realized is that for every one ‘real’ email address, I was getting at least one fake email address as well. I’m talking about obviously fake like firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, with a deep sigh (and a lot of coffee), I pulled my sign-up records for the last few years and looked for where that shift from ‘mostly real’ to ‘half real/half fake’ happened and, after I found that date, I went through line by line and deleted any accounts that fell into the obviously fake category.
With each click of the delete button, I felt a little better. Sure, my e-newsletter numbers were dropping but what I was getting back to was a core group of readers who are interested in the information in the e-newsletter. Their interest, or disinterest, in articles, insights, and ideas posed in the e-newsletter tells me a lot about the interests and questions that food entrepreneurs have and helps me craft content that I feel (and hope) will appeal to all of you. By getting rid of the fake accounts, I’m able to really drill down and better serve you.
It’s also worth mentioning that getting rid of those accounts also saves me a little bit of money. Because I pay a little bit for each email address I send to, there is no point at all throwing money away on spammers who have no interest at all in the food industry.
If you have an e-newsletter that you send out to folks from time to time, it’s worthwhile to take a look at your subscribers to determine a) do their email addresses ring true and b) get rid of any subscribers who haven’t opened an email from you in X amount of time (depends on how often you send out newsletters/promotions/emails). Better to have a small dedicated group that you reach out to than a large unresponsive collection of spammers!