Mail List Cleansing Saves Money, Removes Idle Subscribers

April 18, 2016

We started building our email list in the 90s. Over the years it grew and grew and grew. But there were likely a large number of subscribers who had changed jobs, changing email addresses, changed interests and some who are no longer with us. So it was time for us to do a massive list cleansing.

Why do we want to delete large numbers of people from our mailing list? First, these are subscribers who aren’t reading or interacting with the email so there is no good reason to keep them on the list. Next, most mailing services have pricing tiers based on the number of subscribers and Feedblitz is no different. If we could remove the inactive subscribers, we could save money. Also the extra subscribers could make our mailings appear a little more spammy since they are going to inactive addresses.

It was a multi-step process to cleanse the list. I first did a query on Feedblitz to find addresses who had not read or clicked on an email in more than a year (their suggestion was 60-90 days and I took it to the extreme). Then I prepared a special mailing that only went to that subset of inactive addresses. There were a small number of subscribers who reacted to that special email and they were added back to the active list. The rest were deleted from the list. This cut our total number of subscribers in half and will save us nearly $800 over the next year.

For now, this cleansing only applied to subscribers to our weekly newsletter. We will likely do a similar cleanse to our daily subscribers in the near future. After a little more time passes, I’ll repeat the cleanse with inactive addresses in the last six months. There is no reason for us to send email to those who aren’t receiving it and it saves good money!

Do you have a mailing list that is in need of cleansing? Is there something else you need to cleanse that can save you money? Don’t put it off, get started on the cleanse now and let the savings begin!


Post Discussion


  1. Jan Hannagan

    Interesting article! I’m a retired teacher in Australia and used so many of your tips, tutorials and guidelines when teaching desktop publishing and web design in the past (probably from about 1999) and recommended Graphics Unleashed to many colleagues and students.

    While I no longer really need the newsletters (which are costing you money!), I have never unsubscribed for sentimental reasons as they were so much appreciated. Today I have forwarded this newsletter to my brother who has an antique business and is interested in website design.

    Thank you for all the help I received! I will understand if you need to delete my subscription.

    • Foster D. Coburn III

      Jan, we have no desire to remove anyone who is reading the newsletter even on an occasional basis. But there were a lot of bad email addresses on the list that had built up over time. Since those people basically didn’t even exist anymore (or at least their email didn’t), it made sense to remove them from the list.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like…

Keyboard Cleaning Gel

Use Cleaning Gel on Keyboards, Laptops and More

Keyboards can be pretty disgusting. Apart from looking bad and being covered with germs, some of that dirt can prevent them from working well. A few years ago I took a very drastic step to get a keyboard clean. If you don't remember it, check...

Read More

Blog Makeover

Blog Posts Receive Makeover

Since we migrated the Graphics Unleashed Blog to a dedicated site in 2015, the layout of the posts was mostly the same. We did make a few minor changes every now and then, but it didn't change the overall layout much. Now we've made a major...

Read More

You Shipped It Where? What Were You Thinking?

Loyal readers know that I recently moved. Part of that move was selling the home where I had resided the previous 22 years. While I've provided a new address to more than 100 places, I'm sure there are some I've missed. Today I have a story...

Read More

Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

Recent Posts

Pro WordPress Help

Divi WordPress Theme

Graphics Unleashed Donations

Personal Info

Donation Total: $5