I have recently changed the service which I use to send my email newsletter every couple of weeks. This has resulted in all of my subscribers having to re-confirm that they would like to continue receiving the newsletter.
Of course when dealing with moving such a large number of people to a new service (over 40,000 subscribers!), it is inevitable that I would lose some along the way. I am still in the process of moving the list but I anticipated from the start that I would lose as many as 80% of my subscribers BUT, (and this is the thing you might think is weird!), I am totally happy with that.
Let me explain…..
Well there are several reasons:
1. I started building this newsletter list in 2001 so many of the emails held on the list are several years old. I am sure that several thousand addresses are ‘old’ and no longer checked by the original user. How many of you have the same email address that you had 5 years ago? I can only estimate how many such addresses I have in my list but for the sake of putting a figure on it, let’s say 15% of addresses are out of date.
2. As I have already stated above, I know that thousands of people were not receiving the newsletter because of the filtering policies of their ISP. I know this because I have had emails on a regular basis from people that have subscribed but never actually got the newsletters. I know I had sent them, they just weren’t getting through. Also, since asking everyone to re-confirm their subscription, several people have emailed to say that they have received the new ‘confirmation’ email despite not having had a newsletter for months. Again, I can only really estimate this figure but based on the information I have, I reckon that as many as 60% of the emails sent could fall into this category.
3. For a variety of other reasons, I know that a large percentage of newsletters sent are never read. For some time now I have been publishing the newsletter as a web page so I know exactly how many emails I have sent out and how many people have gone on to read the newsletter. Let’s say that 10% of emails sent don’t get read for ‘other reasons’.
Based on the figures above, 85% of previous newsletters were either not getting to the intended recipient or were not being read when they did get there. This estimate is supported by the number of web page views each newsletter was getting.
So you can begin to see why I was pretty relaxed about reducing my subscriber list by so many names – there is really no point in sending emails to so many people if such a high percentage are not even receiving/reading them.
Basically I have ‘trimmed the fat’ from my list and now have a smaller (though there are still several thousand of you!) but far more up to date group of subscribers that I know are interested in what I write about and that can actually receive the newsletters when I send them 🙂
Copyright 2006 Richard Grady