Looking After Your List
If you don't look after your list of subscribers, your business will suffer and go into a slow and steady decline. Obviously, the best way to keep your subscribers happy is to deliver quality in the form of an unbeatable service, great products and services, and informative newsletters -- but how are you analyzing your data as far as your e-mail marketing success goes? Here, we take a closer look at the way you should measure the size and quality of your e-mail list in order to keep it healthy and growing.
List hurdle rate
This is the rate at which you lose and gain subscribers. It measures the number of new subscribers you need to attract in order to replace the old ones that have unsubscribed.
List churn is the percentage of subscribers who leave your list during any particular time period, and can be calculated monthly or annually. It includes both people who have unsubscribed from your list as well at those e-mail addresses that have bounced or been lost because of inaccuracies when signing up or invalid e-mail addresses. Sometimes losses from the list are due to people reporting your e-mail as spam, and even the best permission-based marketers get spam complaints -- sometimes because of too frequent e-mails that irritate people.
List fatigue refers to the subscribers on your list which have become inactive or are hibernating and while they haven't actually unsubscribed, they have stopped reading your e-mails. This could be because your offers are irrelevant, your newsletter contents are not interesting or relevant enough or because you are mailing too frequently.
Because of list fatigue, it is difficult to tell how your subscribers feel about your e-mail and your unsubscribe rate will not be accurate. In reality, the percentage of inactive subscribers on your list should be included in your unsubscribes for the purposes of analyzing your data.
Getting an accurate figure
In order to get a true picture of how your list is doing, you should account for list churn and list fatigue. Take out your inactive subscribers -- those people who haven't opened a single e-mail in a while. Most lists will include up to 50 percent of subscribers in this category, so it is nothing to worry about. However, it is worth knowing how these percentages apply to your own list, if only for planning purposes.
Try something different
Before you give up on your inactive subscribers, try to motivate them to open your e-mails by tying something a bit different, or offering something spectacular. Try to re-engage these people if you can because it is easier than trying to get new opt in subscribers. Your list forms the basis of your business, so it is important that you analyze the results of your marketing campaign so that you can try to keep your list motivated to open your e-mails and prevent too many unsubscribes.