So, we recently dumped 30,000 contacts from our database.

Yikes.

I just got used to having an email list, and now I’m supposed to dump half of them????

It was a hard decision because none of them complained, or marked as spam, or opted out—they would have already been removed for any of those things. Yet, these folks never opened our emails and hadn’t engaged with us in a long time.

Now, you won’t find this definition in the dictionary yet, but if you want to be in the know: engagement is the terminology used by email marketing gurus to indicate whether or not someone interacts with the emails you send out. So, whenever someone opens or clicks or replies to your email, or buys something from you through an email marketing campaign, they have engaged.

There is a certain amount of pride in being able to say we have 60,000 contacts in our email database. The problem is, having someone’s email address doesn’t mean we have a relationship with them.

So, after years of collecting emails from educators and practitioners and anyone else who signed up for one of our newsletters, and also absorbing two companies in the last 5 years with their own customer lists, we decided to cull the entire database.

What’s my point?

You probably have a list too. And, like us, you may have been building this list for a long time. Your list should definitely include all active clients (folks that are currently rebooking with you) and anyone else who continues to engage with your marketing (primarily opens and clicks), even if they are not currently booking with you. So, clients and potential clients—that’s it.

It may be difficult for you to even consider culling your list, but here are a few good reasons to do it:

  1. Remember the 80/20 Rule: You want to engage with people that really want to hear from you. You know who they are, they are the ones who want to see what your latest promotion is for your office, or they want to find out what CE classes you have taken recently. When you send out a message that you have a last-minute opening for this afternoon, you want to know that you will receive a response.
  2. You are much more likely to get bookings or sell products to those folks who interact with your newsletters and email messages by opening and clicking on them. Any good email-marketing platform that you use will track these things for you. This is essential data for any small business, in order to find out what marketing is working and what is not working.
  3. Most importantly, the longer you keep any unengaged contact on your list, the more likely they will eventually mark you as spam. And if you receive too many spam complaints, your email server can tag you as a spammer and could even shut you down. You definitely don’t want that to happen.

[Side note: If you do not have an email list, I will be coaching you on this in another blog article very soon. Let’s start with: Why are you not collecting emails from clients and potential clients? Is your practice already as successful as you want it to be?]

But wait, before you delete anyone!

Before purging your list, I recommend you send one more message to the folks you are considering deleting. Here’s an example:

Hi Friend,

I haven’t heard from you in awhile. I respect you and your time, and I don’t want to continue sending you email messages if you are not interested anymore. So, this will be the last email you receive from me, unless you click here to let me know that you want to stay on my list.

I hope you are well, and please know you can change your mind any time. Here’s my number (xxx-xxx-xxxx), should you want to book an appointment in the future.

All my best,

Deanna

If you don’t have an automated email platform, the “click here” option may not work for you. So, maybe just ask them to reply to this email to let you know that they still want to be on your list.

Wait a week. Then delete anyone who did not click or reply to your message.

Most importantly….

Keep building your list! Have an opt-in on your website or your social media platforms, so folks can choose to connect with you. Get permission from all new clients to add them to your list. Remind everyone that you have helpful information to share and that your services provide important benefits toward their wellness.