Marketing and Sales

How to Improve Your Mailing List

5 min read

How to Improve Your Mailing List

The more active the subscribers based in your mailing list, the more responses in the form of high indexes of metrics you get. The secret is in the user’s involvement. Your recipients should be interested in getting information from you and find something of value in it for themselves. Such subscribers look forward to your emails; they enjoy reading them, listening to the recommendations, and following links. However, mailing lists are not only composed of ideal subscribers; there is often a group of “inactive” subscribers in each list. We will explain how to avoid inactive subscribers in this article.

Why does the subscription form affect the quality of the email database?

To understand this, it is necessary to find out what the subscription form is.

Single Opt In (SOI) is a register which does not include the email address confirmation process. The user simply fills in the registration form on the website and the email automatically appears in their mailing list. This form is faster and more convenient for the user, but it can create a poor reputation for the sender. The likelihood that your base will receive wrong and invalid addresses is very high.

Double Opt In (DOI) uses the email address confirmation process. The user enters their email address in the subscription form and then confirms it by following the link in the confirmation email. Yes, this subscription is longer, but it will prevent your email list from containing non-existent addresses.


Define when you need to “sound the alarm”

Before you begin the process of updating the mailing list, you need to define the active and inactive subscribers. You decide when to consider a subscriber inactive—it all depends on the type of company and customer lifecycle. The average idle period is 3-6 months, after which you can safely send:

Re-Registration Email

After 6 months, you can request to confirm the subscribers’ interests for your newsletter. This way you can define inactive and uninterested subscribers. Don’t be afraid to lose them. Why should you send emails to those who are not interested in the content?

In addition, you can:

  • Minimize the number of email newsletters getting into spam;
  • Refresh your mailing database; and
  • Save on the tariff plan, as it’s not profitable to pay for passive subscribers.

Below, there is an example of a re-registration email from Tumblr. In the email it is written: «It’s been a while since you’ve been on Tumblr, and we wanted to make sure that you are still interested in using the username someone. If so, just hit the button. The button has a name «I’m still someone», so when opening the email, the subscriber will let you know that he is still following the mailing but will not go to the site and make a purchase due to a reasons you should try to figure out.


The entertainment online magazine BuzzFeed went the other way. They sent a great email with a request for the user to confirm whether or not to receive the email. What’s great about this is the main character: a kitten that is upset because of the user is ignoring the email newsletter. Below this are two links through which the subscriber can unsubscribe from this mailing list if they are not interested and a link where the user can confirm that they want to receive emails again. Anyway, both links are intended to serve one purpose: to identify active subscribers and weed out inactive subscribers.


Reactivation Email

After re-registration you can start a reactivation email campaign. If the subscriber hasn’t opened your emails for a long time, but didn’t unsubscribe, there must be a reason for his or her actions. The purpose of a reactivation email campaign is to make a significant effect on the user, to attract their attention, to capture curiosity and to not let them go. The reactivation email is your chance to turn inactive subscribers back into active ones. We have a few tips of how to do this.

Subject Line

From the moment your email appears in the subscribers’ mailbox, it should attract the attention of the subscribers. The subject line must be unique and attract attention. From the beginning, it must be associated with an action: “stay,” “come back,” “do not leave.”



  • Offer a bonus as a discount and send it to inactive subscribers. Perhaps the bonus could be in the form of discounts or a gift that will be the stimulus for getting subscribers out of “sleep mode.”
  • Include an interview or questionnaire
    In an interview email, you could ask the subscribers their opinion on what types of emails they would prefer to receive. The responses will help you figure out how to change the vector of the mailing. Also, it is a sure way to segment your audience by interest to send them the relevant newsletters. Some users prefer to receive emails with images and videos, while others prefer only text emails. Learning the preferences of your subscribers will allow you to increase their involvement.


  • Use a list of utilities
    When persuading subscribers to come back, use a list of useful information in your emails. Tell them why your newsletter is valuable to them. For example: 1. There is a sale on Mondays. 2. There are educational webinars every Tuesday. 3. A video review of new products is available every first Wednesday of the month. 4. There are contests on Thursdays. 5. There are special offers for subscribers only on Fridays.

What else should you pay attention to in order to make the recipients active?

Sett the desired frequency of the emails. Allow the user to adjust the frequency of the emails and never break it. This will help to achieve a high Open Rate.

how often

Make your unsubscribe button stand out. The ability to unsubscribe must be contained in each email. If the user wants to leave, give them the opportunity to do so and fulfil their wish. It’s better to find replacements to inactive subscribers than keeping ones who aren’t interested.

Refill your subscriber base using offline methods. The mailing list should be constantly updated with new, active subscribers. For example, get your store consultants to ask customers if they are interested in receiving news, offers, and announcements of your events and sign them up after completing a mini questionnaire. In exchange for their contact information, you can offer them a discount card or a one-time discount.


We hope that the above methods on how to update your subscriber base will help you to increase the email effectiveness indicators, help you save on your tariff plan, and filter out inactive users. To get the best results, do not forget to keep improving your email newsletter constantly.

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