How To Clean Your Email List

By Posted on 2 min read 839 views

Last week I wrote about why it’s so important to clean you mailing lists. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, then you can do that here.

So today I’m going to let you know how you can go about cleaning your list.

Cleaning your email list makes sure that only the people who want to get your email are receiving them.

Of course, anybody can unsubscribe at any time. But a lot of people won’t bother, instead they’ll simply delete your emails without even looking at them as they come in. Or, even worse, simply mark it as spam so it goes into your junk folder.

However, while cleaning your list is important, you need to make sure that you only remove people who haven’t been interacting with you.

There are a lot of different approaches to doing this, but here is how I do it…

You want to make sure that you keep everyone on your mailing list who has:


  1. Submitted a web form in the last 120 days
  2. Has opened an email in the last 120 days
  3. Has clicked a link in the last 120 days
  4. Has bought a product in the last 90 days
  5. Has an active recurring subscription


It depends on your mailing list provider as to how you go about doing this. I use InfusionSoft and so do this using tags.

I do a search for contacts which meet each of these criteria and tag them. Then I search for every contact that doesn’t have any of these five tags and apply an Inactive Contact tag to them.

Anybody with an Inactive Contact tag are then removed from my emails.

If you use a service like GetResponse or Aweber then you probably have separate lists of people. You will need to repeat this process separately for each list and then either move the inactive contacts to another list or delete them.

Don’t forget that you pay for contacts whether they’re inactive or active which may influence your decision as to whether you want to keep them on your list.

I repeat this process once every month to make sure that my list stays as clean as possible.
With email hosts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo now scoring email senders based on open rates and interaction, if you want to maximise the amount of eyeballs on your email it’s important to make sure that you do this regularly.

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