How to Clean Up Your Email List to Increase Conversions

  • Everyone uses email marketing now. When you start seeing the benefits email marketing reaps for you, you just can't afford not using it.
  • If you want to know how to make the most out of your email marketing list and increase your open rates, you need to clean up your email list.
  • How to accomplish it? We'll take you on the journey step by step. So just keep on reading.​

Let’s face this: 49% of businesses use some form of email automation. This statistic shows, that email has become one of the most used digital marketing strategies for business owners.

Most businesses and individuals use automated emailing for promoting products and services to regular clients or prospective ones.

Marketing automation is an excellent tool if you want to increase your sales leads and develop your social media presence.

The software solutions ease the tasks of marketing department by effectively marketing the products or services via multiple online channels. But if you want to broaden your reach to improve the conversion rates, you need to do email marketing correctly.  

The core of email marketing is to funnel prospects by delivering targeted content that meets their interests.

But we all face a very common problem. People won’t be opening our emails if the subject lines aren’t clickable enough. As statistic shows, best results fluctuate from 19-22%.

And if you think that you have a target audience in your mail list and it’s not converting, think again.

Maybe you have some crappy subscribers there? Or you haven’t cleaned up your email list for a long time? Whatever it is, this article is right for you!

Today we’re going to dive into some tips, which will cover the main reasons why your Email list may be poorly converting. You don’t have to watch your email open rates drop continually. Keep on reading!

1. Your list of target audience doesn't consist of the right people

Who are you sending your emails to? You’ll think now, ''Come on man, I know who my target audience is." 

But what if you’re wrong? What if your open rate is decreasing because you’re lazy and you just open the automated service and send the same email with the same subject to the massive list with several clicks. Does it make sense now?

So, that’s the one thing that most marketers do today. They are lazy.

Segmentation is huge. You wonder why? Let’s discuss.

It’s not a good experience to send an email to a subscriber when he/she is sleeping. Timing is huge. So dividing your email list into several parts based on your subscriber’s location will surely increase the number of opened emails.

It’s not a good experience to send your product updates to the subscribers who are subscribed only to your blog updates. That will decrease your click rate percentage and will cause people to unsubscribe from your emails. Send only valuable content to your subscribers.Otherwise, you’ll lose them for sure.

We all receive dozens of emails daily, and the ones that are not related to us will be deleted or marked as spam.

The average number of legitimate business emails received each day has remained static since 2015, but the number of spam emails that bypass security filters (spam that actually hits your inbox) has risen from 12 emails per day in 2015 to 16 emails per day in 2017.

You can also segment free users/paid users. That means, for example, if you have 2 plans for using your product - free and subscription based, don’t send the same email to those 2 groups.

You can remind your free users about the ending of their trial period or describe what your product is all about and why it’s different. This will not only get your users comfortable with your product, but will also make them want more after considering all the benefits they can get after taking the risk to pay.

To the users that already pay for your product you can first of all send a thank you email.

Use more personalised approach to make them loyal consumers. You can collect some information about them and send warm congratulation emails on their birthdays. Also, all the emails that are aimed to improve user experience are welcomed here.

Segmentation is also a good idea when collecting email addresses from your website visitors.

Don’t use the same “Email Collecting” technique for your whole website, segregation of email collecting sources is a better idea:

  • Collect emails from the blog,
  • Collect emails from the homepage subscription widget,
  • Use specified pop-ups for different pages.

This will help you understand whom and what kind of emails to send.

So, summing up this section, we can say that the main concept of segmentation is getting more precise options for your further email marketing campaigns.

Segmentation is huge and if you do it right, you’ll make the best out of getting the target audience.

Imagine how much your open rates will grow when your emails are sent to the right people.

2. Clean up and remove bounced, blocked or unsubscribed emails after each campaign

I don’t know how many of you are doing this, but it’s actually a good idea if you don’t want to send emails again and again to the subscribers who didn’t even open the previous ones.

Who needs bounced, blocked or unsubscribed users in their marketing campaign for the next time? Any of you? I don’t think so.

So, why can’t we just send emails to the ones who have opened our previous emails. Actually this strategy increases the open rates by 19%.

I use Mailjet, a very user friendly platform for managing email marketing campaigns and customising contact lists.

So, let’s say you are sending newsletter emails at the end of every month to the users who are subscribed to the newsletter for a month. You will also need another list of users who are subscribed for more than a month to make optimisations in your “worth sending” contact list. So you’ll have two lists:

  1. Last month subscribers,
  2. All the subscribers before the last month.

As you don’t know how subscribers from the first list will act, you can’t remove any email from that list. So, everything you are going to do relates to the second list.

First we have to exclude all the bounced, unsubscribed and spammed marked emails to our campaign “exclusion list.” With Mailjet, I go to the the reports section of my campaign.

email marketing list

Then I start to export Bounced, Spammed, Unsubscribed and Blocked emails to the “exclusion list.

email list

In this way I’m getting rid of the unnecessary contacts and they will never cause my open rates to go down again.

Once we’re done with this step, we have to export all the opened contacts to the new list.

email marketing contacts

Tadaaam! We have our optimised contact list with all the “likely to open” contacts.

The last step is to add our new subscribers from the last month to our optimised contact list. For that I’m going to my Contact lists section, selecting the list to which I want to add new contacts, and clicking “Add new, update existing contacts" option.

cleaning up email marketing list

We’re done.

Now you have a “cleaned up from unnecessary contacts” list of your new subscribers and the old ones that are already converting.   

*You can use any other email marketing automation platform that provides this kind of statistics.

So, let’s sum up with the idea that cleaning up your email list is important.

You save your time and money by excluding unnecessary subscribers. Don’t be afraid of shortening your lists, remember it’s quality that matters.

At least you can be sure to send your emails to people who care.

3. Analyse the results properly. Do A/B testing after cleaning up your list

A/B testing in email marketing is one of the must-do tasks.

If you follow the above mentioned advice, there is a great possibility, that your open rate percentage will increase. But you can always make your results even better.

Here are some things you should consider to test after doing the above mentioned changes:

  • Headlines,
  • Open rate percentage/Click percentage,
  • Personalised subjects including the name of the subscriber,
  • Gifs/Videos and other visual elements in your emails and more.

More testing ideas will come to your mind when implementing them, and all depends on what kind of emails you are sending and who is your target audience.

Learn to love your statistics. Each section in your statistics is important.

For Email Marketing it’s important to analyse all kind of statistic information including date and the exact time the emails were opened, headlines which worked best for specific campaign and more.

They will affect your email marketing campaign results and you’ll do even better next time.

As a conclusion for this article, I have 3 main concepts to concentrate on:

  1. Be sure your email list contains the right audience.
  2. Always clean up your email list from unnecessary contacts.
  3. Segmentation is huge, do it!

Test everything, headlines of email, subjects, visuals, timing! Everything that you are able to test.

What are you waiting for ?

Google "email marketing" and you will find lots of disadvantages, but you can’t ignore the fact that when done correctly email marketing is what will really contribute to your business growth.

So put your nose down in Email Marketing and get damn good at it.


Roman Daneghyan

Chief Marketing Officer at Renderforest

CMO at Renderforest, which is an online video production platform for creating any kind of videos. Founder of I Love Programming Facebook page for programmers, which was founded at Januaray, 2013. Specialist in SEO, SMM, Link Building. Favorite quote is by Gary Vaynerchuk: “I Love the People and the Hustle”.


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Lupe Chan

Lupe Chan ,

I really happy to read about some new method of business and a successful entrepreneurship who are always looking such type of instruction. I'm here to read about and all about custom term paper and the benefit of self-employment that you've shared here. Thank you!

Roman Daneghyan

Roman Daneghyan , Chief Marketing Officer at Renderforest

Thanks a lot Lupe. I'm happy that you like it :)