How and Why You Should Clean Your Campaign’s Email List

Eric Wilson, writing at Best Practice Digital:

Has it been a while since you’ve sent an email to your campaign’s email list? Do you have an email list from a past campaign you want to reactivate? Maybe you’re spending lots of money to store inactive emails on your email marketing software. Or your deliverability might be suffering because you’re sending emails to subscribers that never open.

These are some of the reasons you need to practice good email list hygiene.

A dirty or stale email list is the single most likely reason that your campaign or cause is struggling to raise money online. 

Email is not like direct mail: sending messages to people who don’t want them (or people who don’t exist) will dramatically affect your ability to reach the people who do want to receive your messages — for the worse. 

Unfortunately, convincing a candidate, campaign manager, or executive director that shrinking their list will result in more fundraising is almost always a tough sell. It doesn’t matter that it’s the truth, and it doesn’t matter if the data and common sense support it. Every time I’ve had that conversation with someone in leadership it’s always been a hard one.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to convince your boss to let you clean your list, you’d do well to start by following Eric’s advice. And remember: list cleaning isn’t a one-time deal! Once you’ve cleaned it, you have to keep it clean by regularly removing unengaged subscribers.