The average lifespan for any email address is approximately six months. Removing inactive subscribers is a great way to keep your list clean. If you keep an eye on the overall activity of your subscribers and regularly remove those who are no longer engaged with your content, you'll have a more accurate view of how well your list is performing.
Regular list maintenance will also decrease your overall chance for spam complaints. When you remove those subscribers who are no longer engaged with your content, they will be less likely to mark your messages as spam in the future. A cleaner list also means that you can provide more targeted attention to the people who really want to hear from you.
What Subscribers On My List Are Inactive?
Six months may not seem like a long time, but if you think about it in terms of who is opening your messages, it is a good place to start. A subscriber on your list who has not opened a single message in the past six months is not likely to start again in the future. That time period is not a hard-and-fast rule; each list is different and should be reviewed on an individual basis. That being said, we do suggest you seriously consider removing those people who have not opened any messages in one year.
If you want to try and re-engage those people who have not been opening your messages, you can try a re-engagement Campaign. You may be able to bring some inactive subscribers back on board. This is also a great way to provide more targeted outreach to your inactive subscribers.
As new subscribers will be joining your list on a consistent basis, you want to exclude them from your search as well. In AWeber, we suggest you search for "No Opens" and include a search for "Date Added" to exclude recently added subscribers. Depending on how often you are sending messages, this could be subscribers from the past thirty, sixty, or ninety days. For a quick tutorial on this search process, please take a look.
What Should I Do With My Inactive Subscribers?
Once you have run your re-engagement campaign, or found those inactive subscribers in your account, there are a few options for how to proceed. If you would like to remove them from your list, they can simply be deleted from the Manage Subscribers page. If you have more than a handful of these subscribers, you can always contact AWeber's Customer Support directly, and we can remove them in bulk on our end. Please just save that search as a segment in your list, so we know where to look.
If you would like to keep this subscriber information for tracking purposes, you can export a CSV file from your list at any time. This file can then be saved on your computer for future reference.
Now that you have removed the inactive subscribers from your list, you should see a change in the open rate and engagement statistics. You will be able to see a more accurate picture of those subscribers on your list who are actively engaged with your content.