The bad news first. Today, Saturday, we’re deleting 3,252 people off our email list.
From a vanity perspective this hurts! We’ll be at 14,207 subscribers.
The good news. With 17,459 subscribers we have been averaging a 40% open rate.
For reference, the average email open rate across all industries is approximately 21.33%*.
Last email we sent had a 42.3% open rate. Screen shot below from our ConvertKit account.
If we take the 40% average open rate, which amounts to approximately 6,954 and divide that by our new total subscribers our open rate jumps nine points to a 49% open rate. That’s out of sight!
That will have all sorts of positive effects:
It will signal to the email providers, think Gmail, Microsoft 365 and Yahoo Mail, that we’re delivering quality content that people want.
That will in turn result in the algorithms ranking our domain name we send from, @brandoncwhite.com, high on a trustworthiness.
That will result in less spam placement, likely even less “Promotions” or “Updates” placements in Gmail which will in turn mean more opens across the board.
Internet service providers (ISP) will also place more trust on the domain, further helping our deliverability.
It also means that when someone signs up for our email list from one of multiple ways, or buys something from us, the follow up email shows up in their Primary box, meaning they don’t miss it.
Again, more open rates, better customer experience, higher Net Promoter Score.
How we got to the #
In ConvertKit, and most all email hosting providers, you can segment your list by “engagement”.
In this case we took all the people that have not engaged in the last nine months and sent them an email sequence asking them if they wanted to stay on the list. With the programming Gia did if they click the link they can stay on the list. If they don’t they are gone by the end of today.
The sequence we send spans a specific amount of days and has specific copy. Of course we want people to stay.
But, we only want them to stay if they find what we write valuable. If they don’t we’d rather not clog their inbox nor have them not take up space on our email list which costs us more money. And as I’ve outlined above, erode our domain credibility if they don’t open and engage with the email often.
Why Send the sequence if you know they have not engaged
The iOS update for Apple Mail that was done last year prevents any pixel to send a message back to the email sender to indicate that the email was opened.
That means for anyone using Apple Mail we can’t tell if they open one of our emails. This could and does result in some bad data for us. Someone could be opening the emails and in our stats they look like they aren’t engaging.
We don’t want to delete people who may actually want to stay on the list. So, we send the sequence.
I’ve been skeptical how much the iOS update really has effected email tracking because most people use Gmail and Yahoo emails. And most of them, from my non-scientific polling, use the Google or Yahoo app if they are on an iPhone or any phone for that matter.
The data says I’m completely wrong about my observation. Recent reports suggest Apple Mail whips everyone’s butt.
An Email Client report from February 2022* on market share:
- Apple: 59.8%
- Gmail: 27.4%
- Outlook: 4.3%
- Yahoo Mail: 3.4%
- Google Android: 1.7%
- Outlook.com: 0.9%
- Samsung Mail: 0.3%
- Windows Live Mail: 0.1%
- Web.de: 0.04%
- GMX: 0.04%
What can you do to track your email engagement?
There are a few ways to track who engages with your emails. The best way is to track clicks. This means providing content to your readers that makes them want to click at least one link in your email.
Then, you can create a rule to flag all people that ever click a link. I’d suggest tracking every single link because you then can segment your list by interests. This will greatly help you provide relevant information to people who are interested in it.
As we say goodby to a few thousand subscribers today, we celebrate an open rate that will be off the charts. And we’ll be more motivated then ever to grow the EDGE list.
Use this strategy to increase your domain trust and open rates.
If you don’t manage your email list yourself, ask your email manager to clean the list. Make sure they don’t delete people immediately, but send a sequence to give people a chance to stay. Make the message personal. And I’d suggest doing this at least twice a year at a minimum. Ideally, do it quarterly.
Note: we use ConvertKit and recommend it because of their high deliverability rates and customer service.
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SOURCES: 2022 Email Marketing Statistics and Benchmarks by Industry from Mail Chimp, Litmus Feb 2022 Email Client Report
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