Effective e-mail marketing: how many active subscribers do you have?

"Hi Josien, I gained over 400k email addresses last year, can you tell me how to make money with it?" A question I received a few days ago. My answer? "When we delete half of them, probably yes." 

You may think it's a weird answer, money is in the list right? Well yes, but not in an inactive list. Especially when it's older than a few months. 

It's not hard to collect many e-mail addresses, there are a lot of good plugins/apps to motivate people to leave their e-mail address on your webpage. Think of OptinMonster, Bloom and Layered Popups. Check out the website of blogger and online marketer Neil Patel (or don't). You will be overwhelmed by all the pop-ups. Does it work? Yes, but visitors experience it as highly annoying. Also, Google gives penalties for websites with way too many annoying pop-ups. I also doubt if such a pop-up supplies in high quality e-mail addresses. But that depends on your business and goal for gaining the e-mail address. 


Email Markerting

Quality vs Quantity

If you could choose between 100k e-mail addresses or a list of 50k e-mail addresses. What would you choose? The first one right? 

But what if I tell you that the Open Rate (OR, the percentage of people that truly OPEN your e-mail) of that first list has an average of 25% and the second of 60%?

These numbers make the second list way more interesting! You will reach 60% of those 50k e-mail addresses: 30k. When we do the same simple calculation for the first list: 25k openers. 

Email Marketing

Now to bore you down with even more important numbers: with Mailchimp you pay 500 dollars a month to reach out to your 100k subscribers. That's 6.000 dollars a year. If you only send your e-mails to the active subscribers, the 25k, it will only cost you 150 dollar a month / 1.800 dollar a year. In this situation you will spend 4.200 dollar a year for an inactive list! Crazy! 

Despite of the above, I would advice you to dig even deeper. What is your goal with the list? Do you need more turnover from your webshop? Want more quotations? Do you need more brand awareness? 

When you keep an eye on transactions and/or goals in your Google Analytics account, you will see if your e-mail marketing is gaining some money. A small list with quality e-mail addresses will probably get you more turnover and is far more interesting than a bulk list of inactive e-mail addresses. 

From my own experience I know that e-mail marketing can deliver tons of dollars. You're building your own database with people who are truly interested in you/your brand/your product. That's highly valuable. You can reach out to your potential clients whenever you want to and 100% guaranteed that they will see/hear you. That doesn't count for Facebook or Instagram (check out my Instagram Guide here). 

This doesn't mean you need to move your entire marketing budget to e-mail marketing of course.

All you need to do is remove all inactive subscribers, for example the people who didn't open your last ten e-mails. Your e-mail probably ended up in their spam, they don't use that e-mail address anymore or they simply aren't interested anymore. 

Delete these inactive subscribers and keep your OR high. With this you don't pay too much to Email Services like Mailchimp or Mailerlite