Volta Strategies

Why I Just Deleted 2,555 Subscribers

One of my clients had a serious deliverability problem.

The open rates for their email newsletter had fallen below an average of 20%, and lots of subscribers reported that their emails went straight to spam.

We tested different topics and subject lines, but nothing seemed to correct course in a big way.

That’s when I tried something I had been putting off for months: List hygiene. The idea is to delete “cold subscribers” or people that haven’t opened any of our newsletters in the last three months.

For my client, I sent a three email sequence to their cold subscribers:

  • Is this goodbye?
  • Saying goodbye is never easy…
  • Last call!

Anyone who didn’t click a link to keep getting emails got zapped. For this client, that meant deleting 2,555 subscribers.

Was it scary? Definitely. Did it work? DEFINITELY.

The last two emails we sent earned open rates of about 39% and 49% with click through rates of 8.6% and 8.2% respectively. Killer engagement.

Email One:

Email Two:

Sending emails to cold subscribers hurts your deliverability, making it more likely that your emails will get flagged as spam.

But move with caution. You don’t want to get too aggressive and delete subscribers who still want to stay connected. That’s why you should always give them one last chance to stay on your list.

What’s average engagement for residential solar and energy efficiency contractors? Mailchimp offers a breakdown of industry averages. If your average open rate falls below 20% or your open rate slips below 3%, get serious about list hygiene.

All the best,


Bill Hoelzer

Principal, Volta Strategies

Let’s talk: Book a call with me to talk about your marketing strategy. I’m an idea machine and always up for a good chat.

Volta Strategies is a marketing partner for solar and energy efficiency contractors. We’re best known for helping our clients grow profitably by doing more business through word-of-mouth rather than buying leads. Every client gets a money back guarantee.

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