Received this question from Casey Truffo this morning:
We had our host tell us that too many aol people had called us spammers and I ended up having to move my email stuff (Autoresponse
Plus) to another server because my current host told me that I had to delete all my aol people. (I have a membership program so that didn’t seem like an option.)
I have also noticed that my open rates are much lower than they used to be so I think it may be time to clean the list. I have never cleaned it. My list is about 4800 and those have come over 5 years.
Do you have suggestions? How to do that? Have you guys done it?
Wondering what I’d use for a subject line to get them to opt-in again… I haven’t sent out any newsletters in about 6 weeks now – I was kind of scared to after that happened.
I am considering double-opt-in …right now I have single opt-in but I am not sure that would make a big difference to the people who (I imagine later) call me a spammer.
Anyone who has an ezine knows the challenges of getting blacklisted these days… my answer to Casey:
Who is your host? It seems odd that they would tell you to ‘get rid of aol or else’ sorta thing. Most hosting companies these days have someone who is pretty much working f/t to get themselves off any blacklists… ie: we are with Hostgator and whenever we get ‘blacklisted’ by an ISP we just tell them and they do their thing to get it fixed. This is so common these days, I don’t think there is any such thing as not getting blacklisted from time to time. Tis the reality of hosting…
As for cleaning your list, honestly I don’t think I would worry too much about it. If you ask people to re-opt into your list it is pretty much a guarantee that you will lose half your list if not more (much more in many cases). Regardless of a good subject line asking people to re-opt, those emails will go astray or people will miss them for whatever reason… I’ve seen it happen many times. There are people who may not read your emails everytime, but still want to be on your list… those are the ones who will miss the re-opt in request for sure.
Does your broadcast system have a way to track bounces at all? If yes, you could set it to track bounces (invalid email addresses, returned emails, etc) and get those off your list. We use ListMailPro for all our ezines which has that feature… you can say ‘if an address bounces x times remove it from the list’ and it does a clean up that way. So a cleanup would be based on actual undeliverables, and not requiring someone else to re-opt in to your list (take out the human element! hehe).