How to purge your email list of inactive contacts
Keeping an active email customer base that actually read your emails on regular intervals can be a difficult task. For businesses who are successful, the rewards can be very good. The problem that many of our long-standing Constant Contact customers encounter is deadweight contacts―folks that are signed up for your emails but not reading them.
There could be a number of reasons for this:
- maybe they lost interest
- maybe they created a filter to move your email into a folder that no longer gets looked at
- or they simply stopped checking email on that account
Collectively, these unread emails collectively are costing you money every month. Removing the contacts that haven’t viewed your emails in the past several months could save you hundreds of dollars per year by moving your account into a lower pricing bracket.
There are two distinct parts involved to accomplish this task. First, create a list of contacts who are not opening your emails. Second, give these folks one last opportunity to stay on the list by sending them a confirmed opt-in email.
It’s important to note, If they do not respond to this opt in request, their email address will be purged forever. Follow directions carefully.
PART I: Create a list of contacts who have not been opening your emails.
Step 1: Make a copy of your list
The best way to accomplish this is to View Reports in the Email Marketing tab and select the number of sent emails in the sent column, on the resulting page choose save as list. Choose a name like “Unopened.”
Step 2: Export the contacts who have opened your emails
In the same View Reports section, you will download all of the open lists that are available. Constant Contact keeps them for 85 days. Simply select each list and at the bottom of the resulting page choose ‘Export’. The default format will be a csv file. You will need to save each open list as a separate csv file.
NOTE: If you have no opens available for download you are not sending emails frequently enough to perform this action. See: Tips for building a quality email list.
Step 3: Remove contacts who did open your email
Choose Contacts in the main menu and select Remove List in the Move Contacts to section and select your Unopened list checkbox. Upload the csv file of your opens by selecting Browse and Upload. Repeat as many times as needed or merge your csv open files in excel before uploading.
When the import process is complete, you will be left with a list of emails that have not viewed your campaigns for the period time you have opens for.
NOTE: If you want to keep opens for a longer period of time you will need to save opens from each email campaign for that period of time.
PART II: Prepare and send your confirmed opt-in mailing
Step 1: Enable your account for Confirmed Opt-in
Click on My Settings and make sure Confirmed Opt-in is set to ON. If it’s OFF, select OFF and follow the wizard to finalize this step by agreeing to terms and conditions.
Step 2: Create your email
Under Email Marketing, select Create, enter a name for the email called unopened and click next.
Step 3: Select the Confirmed Opt in Template
Below the template categories in the left column, click the “Create a confirmation email” link and go through the wizard as directed. Constant Contact recommends you do not modify the language provided for their opt-in email template. When you are finished, click save and next.
Step 4: Select appropriate list and send email
In this case, choose your Unopened list, click next and schedule your email.
Step 5: Disable Confirmed Opt In
I would disable this feature once the email is sent as it may inhibit folks from signing up in the first place. Click on My Settings and make sure Confirmed Opt-in is set to OFF. Select ON and follow the wizard to finalize.
If all goes well, removing your deadweight will move you down and payment schedule and save you a few bucks while you begin the process of you building your list back up with active contacts.