042- Time For A Clear Out

I’ve a small email list and open rates have not been what I’d like, so it’s time for a clear out.

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I’ve a small email list and open rates have not been what I’d like, so it’s time for re-engagement and a clear out.

Welcome to the Editor’s Journal; A daily thought on writing, the creative process, art, work, the world and how it all goes together. Every morning I rise early, I sit here in the quiet of my kitchen and I write whatever’s prominent. I have a bunch of article ideas saved, so I’ll either pull from them or write something new. I also write at larrygmaguire.com. I hope you enjoy the read.

Whether you sell to your email list or you don’t, getting good open rates is important.

Most email marketing software worth its salt will give you open rates for your list and I believe it’s important to do the work required to keep that rate as high as possible.

Even if it means doing a clear out once in a while.

My open rates for campaigns haven’t been great. They’ve ranged between 16% and 23% but I’d like 30% - that’s where I should be.

I left my subscribers with no regular content for quite a while and that’s perhaps the greatest reason why open rates go down. I should have known better really.

Anyway, my intention now is to build my list to 10,000 and increase my open rate to 30% by Christmas.

Yes, it’s a tall order but it’s possible nonetheless.

I publish Sunday Letters every Sunday. It’s full of good stuff about creativity, art, work and business and how it all goes together.

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Hi I'm Larry, writer and artist. I write and publish a new article every day about creativity, art, work and how it all…larrygmaguire.com

Time For A Clear Out.

Part of the process is to say goodbye to subscribers who don’t open my emails and I commenced a strategy yesterday to do that.

Yes I’ll lose numbers (I’m battling with my ego on that one) but my opens will increase and engagement will increase.

A big list of people who don’t open your emails is the same as not having a list at all. Besides, it’s pointless paying for members who don’t engage with me.

The Email Automation Sequence

The first thing I did was identify the list members who had not opened my Sunday Letters in the last 5 weeks.

I created a segment with the relevant criteria and over 1000 names showed up.

I had to pick my jaw off the floor.

Although I knew that my rates were low, when I actually saw it in black and white numbers it was hard to take.

Anyway, on with the process.

Once I knew the numbers it was clear how many people would get my responder sequence. Time to set that up.

Mailchimp Autoresponder Sequence

This bit can be a bit tricky, especially deciding what automation to choose. By and large though I think they are all very similar. I chose the custom automation.

With this automation, the second email sends only if the recipient doesn’t open the first. The third if the recipient doesn’t open the second, and the fourth and final email only sends if the recipient doesn’t open the third.

This way the list of recipients gets smaller as the automation sequence operates. The object being to re engage my subscribers and avoid having them removed from my list.

The Emails

I decided to send 4 emails in total, the first to go out in line with the segment condition I set up earlier, then each of the other 3 to go out one day later and a day apart.

The subject lines are important. After all, you want the list members who have not been opening your stuff, to actually open this one.

Here’s the email automation I set up in Mailchimp, the headlines I chose and the content;

Email #1

Re-engagement email #1

(Disclosure: I stole this headline & content idea from Jeff Goins)

Headline: Everything OK?

Body:

Hi [First Name],

I was looking through my subscribers and noticed you hadn’t opened any of my recent Sunday Letters issues.

Are you still alive?

I just wanted to make sure you’re still on board as I’m working on some significant stuff coming out soon and want to make sure you get it.

If you’d like to stay — Update your preferences here real quick.

If you’d like to quit — unsubscribe here

No sweat if you decide to quit. Thank you for being a reader thus far and I wish you all the best.

If you stick around I’ll see you on Sunday!

Regards for now, Larry

Email #2

Re-engagement email #2

Headline: Your last chance!

Body:

Hi [First Name],

I know you may have been busy and didn’t get my last mail, so I wanted to offer you one last chance before you leave.

I was looking through my subscribers and noticed you hadn’t opened any of my recent Sunday Letters issues.

I want you to stick around because I’m working on some significant stuff coming out soon and want to make sure you get it.

If you’d like to stay — Update your preferences here real quick.

If you’d like to quit — unsubscribe here

No hard feelings if you decide to quit. Thank you for being a reader thus far and I wish you the best.

Regards, Larry

P.S.

REMEMBER! Update your preferences to stay on board.

Email #3

Re-engagement email #3

Headline: You’re outta here!

Body:

Hi [First Name], absolute final chance to stick with me. If you don’t update your preferences after this you’re outta here!

If you’d like to stay — Update your preferences here real quick.

If you’d like to quit — unsubscribe here

Thanks for being a reader, I wish you all the best.

Regards, Larry

I have set up one more email to go out after this, after that, subscribers who haven’t opened that final email are unsubscribed automatically.

Email #4

Re-engagement email #4

Headline: It’s farewell

Body:

[First Name] I get it, no hard feelings.

You are now unsubscribed.

I’d like to wish you all the best and thanks for being a reader.

Regards, Larry

P.S.

If for some reason you totally missed my last 3 emails you can Re-subscribe Here

Some Responses From Subscribers

The intention here is to get the conversation started again. My lapse in communication in the last 12 months or so led to people moving on, switching their attention from my stuff to other stuff.

The world is a busy place, full of things vying for our attention so when we have a subscriber list of people who willingly choose to join our lists then we’ve got to be consistent or we lose them.

I lost my list to a large extent and now I have a difficult job the get back in their inboxes.

And it seems to be working. Here’s some responses;

Wow, nice approach, dunno if it’s automated, but that “all good” email reminder is good, it’s nice that that gets noticed. — Ray

Love the reengagement email Larry. Yes, I’m alive. Keep it coming. — Tyler

Hoping to spend a day soon catching up on your articles as I do find them inspiring. I imagine your contact list is unimaginably large. Thank you sir, feels pretty good getting a personalized note from you — Michael

Just been in Sensory Overload and wanted to give your mailings the time they deserve….So thanks for the reminder. — John

This automation sequence will continue to run for the foreseeable future, activating when my subscribers don’t open 5 Sunday Letters in a row.

So my attention now moves to perfecting strategies that help me build my list.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Hi I'm Larry, writer and artist. I write and publish a new article every day about creativity, art, work and how it all…larrygmaguire.com

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