How I Cleaned Up, Split Up And Became More Useful

How-I-Cleaned-Up

Subscribers. They are the life blood of any blog. More than casual visitors and loyal readers of a blog, subscribers play a crucial role in getting your blog to roll. And, according to the famous saying, email subscribers are the sources of income for many bloggers.

Email marketing is not dead. Not even close. It is a booming strategy for blog marketing, in particular.

Email marketing helps you to sound personal, provide value and connect with your readers even outside of your blog. Yes, you can talk to people even when they are not at your blog, reading your posts or comments. And you can talk to your list about anything even outside your focus.

Do you realize how privileged it is to have permit to land your word on other’s inbox? You don’t always get that option easily. It is hard earned.

But it is sad that a large portion of online entrepreneurs use this method of marketing to its worst. They just punch their subscribers’ face with sales pitched emails and just guide this awesome marketing strategy to a death pit.

Fine – let’s not talk about those who ruin the system. Let me talk about how to make email marketing more effective.

I must insist that when I say “effective” I don’t mean how can I make my list to buy my recommendations through one email. I mean “how can I be more useful to my list with less confusion and chaos (on my side)”.

Ya, so since I talk a lot about productivity and time management, I cannot have a cluttered workspace or anything. Not a cluttered email list too!

OK it is not actually cluttered. But it is not suitable for optimal usage.

Update: Please note that this post was written when this blog was a multi-niche blog (Find All Answers). So some of the points discussed here may not apply to the current standing of this blog. But regardless of that fact, the tips and strategies could still be useful to you.

What were the issues?

  • 1. Idle people on my list who did nothing but subscribed to my blog to download the free ebooks I am offering. They never open any email after that first email.
  • 2. I am was running a multi-niche blog. Well that is not actually an issue, but it is. Let me explain. When someone reads a killer “Relationship” post from my blog and wants to know more about relationship stuff and subscribes to my blog, it will be weird to send him/her tips on blogging.

Since I have a mix of audience from varied niches, I really can’t make every email to be useful to all. As a consequence I cannot improve my open rates.

People will simply decide whether they could find my email useful or not by looking at the subject line. So every email I send, only reaches a very less percent of people’s mind (even though it reaches their inbox).

I knew that it is never going to be useful for myself and my subscribers this way. So here is what I did:

I decided to split:

Not my relationship with my subscribers – Since mine is a multi-niche blog, I decided to split the subscriber list into three groups. But I cannot do this by myself because I don’t know who wants what. So I sent the following email to my list:

Hi,

Yup you heared me right. I am going to do some cleaning up and organizing…. not with my house, but with my mailing list. It’s currently a bit of clutter, even though not as much as you would notice, but it certainly bothers me. Here are the issues I have:

  1. Idle people occupying my list – I don’t want them; that place can be better used by someone who really wants me and my stuff.
  2. I run a multi-niche blog, as you would know by now – Blogging Tips, Relationships and Self Improvement. I know how it feels when you signed up falling in love with an article on relationship and you get my newsletter email about blogging.

So I really want to make you and myself happy and I want my emails to be more useful to you. However, I cannot do this by myself, coz I don’t know what you really want!

Could you please do me a favor and hit the reply button to tell me your interest? What kind of emails you would like? Blogging Tips, Relationships or Self Improvement (or) ALL OF THEM?

I will split my list up according to the replies I get and try to get things more organized. I say it again, I need your help with this.

Please go ahead and talk to me. I’m listening.

BTW, thanks to all your wonderful replies stating your wish on my ebook. I am working on it :)

To your personal and business success,

Jane.

I must say that my list is just awesome. Within minutes of sending the campaign I started receiving emails from my subscribers telling me what they wanted. And many were so happy that I asked them.

Now I have split my list into 3 groups; the groups are named Blogging Tips, Relationships, Self Improvement.

I have put those people who replied into appropriate groups as they asked for; those who didn’t reply are included in all the three groups. I will send targeted emails to my list – How sweet!

I have also cleaned up my list based on the history of my subscribers. I can see the date when a particular subscriber has opened an email from me. And if it is sometimes earlier than 4 months I have deleted them from my list.

I have kept 4 months as a threshold which I think is pretty much loose. Since I was all busy with this process, my subscribers will miss this week’s newsletter.

What is the use?

1. No more irrelevant emails to my subscribers.

2. Really targeted emails.

3. Increased open rates on every campaign.

4. Overall enhanced experience for both me and my subscribers.

How good is your email marketing strategy? What are you doing to improve it?

WPsubscribers plugin - Viral list building made extremely easy

Name: Email: 0 subscribers We respect your privacy Email Marketingby GetResponse Jane Sheeba has an excellent understanding of blogging ~ Annabel Candy
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  • http://www.Mazzastick.com Justin@Mazzastick

    Hi Jane,
    I am using MailChimp as well. Thanks for advising about splitting subscribers into groups. I am not an expert using MailChimp yet and I certainly need to spend more time on using it effectively.

    I need a good, solid day of just playing around with it to become better at using and utilizing it.

    • Jane Sheeba

      Mailchimp has some really cool competent features similar to that of Aweber, and free of cost until you really pick some momentum and have a long list. Hope you will soon set yourself some day to try the features :)

  • Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing

    An excellent strategy indeed Jane, list segmentation was always a big boy trick.

    FYI for Aweber users: Make as many lists as you need under one account, with a different form for each. ;-)

    • Jane Sheeba

      Hey Dennis,

      Thanks. And with Mailchimp too you can create as many lists as possible with custom forms for each of them. I just wanted to have one list segmented. It is just my way. But you can also create new lists :)

      Cheers,
      Jane.

      • Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing

        I never looked into segmenting one list with Aweber, that would be cool.

  • Jeanine Byers Hoag @DressingMyTruth

    Hi Jane! What a great idea!! And I’m glad to hear that it worked so well for you. I am still actively trying to build my list so am not yet ready to clean it, but I see the value in doing so from time to time.

    • Jane Sheeba

      It is good to look at the lists once in a while to do a bit of clean up. This makes things easier. Actually I was a bit late; got things piled up and had to devote one newsletter to do all the cleaning and splitting :)

  • http://thebloggerjourney.blogspot.com/ Arijit Das

    Ya, i use MailChimp, and i think it’s the best for new blogger to launch an email subscriber lists of 2000 without spending a penny of Dollars.

    Generally, maximum Indian Bloggers don’t have credit card and as you know paypal is now not allowing indian users to buy online. So, It becomes difficult for us to step for Aweber, which charges some amount of dollars monthly.

    Aweber is the favorite email newsletter manager for popular bloggers. But i’m happy with MailChimp… “Same Features but little difference”.

    Now.. i’m in process of building a Healthy Subscriber Base.

    • Jane Sheeba

      Hey Arjit,

      The difference is really little. And, I am sure we can just go on with the free option since that is huge now; 2000 subscribers or 12000 emails per month. That is cool.

  • http://BasicBlogTips.com Ileane

    Hi Jane, you made a wise decision. Everyone needs to experiment and test to see what works best for them and I’m glad you did this – it’s a great example. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Jane Sheeba

      Hey Ileane,

      I am glad that I experimented with my list and asked them. Most of them were so happy that I asked them what they wanted :) I also came to know what the majority of my “Find All Answers” population is interested in :)

      Cheers,
      Jane.

  • Oliver Tausend

    Hi Jane,

    pretty cool idea. There’s a solution to anything and everything, is it not ? I admire your creativity and the focused efforts you put into action that resulted in a perfect solution for everybody.

    Awesome, thanks for sharing.

    Take care

    Oliver

    • Jane Sheeba

      Thanks Oliver, glad that I could share my experience :)

  • Andrew Walker

    Wow, it’s a marvelous idea to split the subscribers. I have just started using Mailchimp. I will implement your tips right away. Thanks a lot for providing such a nice informative article.

    • Jane Sheeba

      Glad that you found the tips useful Andrew. Good luck with your implementing :)

  • Cristian

    Running a multi-niche blog definitely made things harder for you in this regard. By the way, I am a big fan of Mailchimp as well.

  • Antonia@Conversational hypnosis

    The only reason i don’t like subscribing is because i read a lot of blogs every day, and i have even more bookmarked, probably over 200. So where would i be if i started to subscribe to those blogs? I’d be reading emails all day long.
    I just prefer to read the info when i visit the blog, at least once every 2-3 days when i search for something new.
    Not all webmasters put so much thought in to what their readers prefer when it comes to mails.

  • Musthafa

    Hi..
    I just entered into mailchimp, already opened account, list setup, and I use popup domination plugin soon.. as I am a newbie.. can anyone suggest some good information for newbies?

    By the way, more than 10% of my visitors are subscribing to RSS as of now..

    Regards

    Musthafa Ullal
    BlogWithin

  • http://www.techatlast.com Olawale Daniel

    This is really cool @Jane, thanks for the mail.

  • http://bobandrosemary.com/featured-posts/boosted-alexa-ranking-108-30-days Dr. Bob Clarke

    I love this idea, Jane…. how better to learn what your subscribers want than by asking them, right?

    A month ago I did a “spring cleaning” of my various lists, getting rid of subscribers who hadn’t opened an email in 8 months. Figured that was enough time of inactivity to qualify them as “unresponsive”! :-)

    But I didn’t go a step further and ask them what they wanted. Even though mine is not a multi niche blog like yours, I see the value of simply sending out an email and asking them what they want to hear more about.

    Great stuff, Jane… thanks!

  • http://srayyangar.blogspot.com S.R.Ayyangar

    You are right in filtering the undesired. You know, I was editing an ezine called ‘Master’ for NGO on awareness issues and was mailing to nearly 1ooo email Ids for nearly 6-7 years but hardly anybody acknowledged or commented on its contents! It was demoralising as well as frustrating, I opted out of the editorship.
    I really do not know if I have responded to your subject mail but would like to be in all your three lists.

  • Rowena Bolo

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for sharing with us a detailed account of how you actually cleaned up and split up your list. I was honestly very curious how your subscribers would react to your email , and I am so glad to know that they responded well. Well, you truly do have a precious list. I also don’t have a multi-niche blog, but I’ll keep this in mind, as I tweak my opt-in and email marketing efforts.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us.

    - Rowena

  • http://www.wpkube.com Dev @ wpkube

    Great strategy, Jane. You’ve made a good decision by creating 3 groups. I don’t have any experience with mailchimp but i may use it for wpkube.

    Keep up the good work.

    ~Dev

  • Maqsood

    Email marketing is quite suitable for target marketing to target people.
    When someone is interested in SEO, if you send “Get a Degree in Internet Marketing” , it will work 99.9%

  • http://www.whatlittlethings.com Samantha Bangayan

    Loved hearing about your process and rationale through this, Jane! This sounds like a really effective strategy that’s beneficial for everyone! =)

    I don’t have an opt-in on my website, so I don’t send emails out to subscribers at all, but I really love what I’m learning here for when I get started with this. Hoping to get an eBook out soon. Wish me luck! =)

  • http://growwithstacy.com/ Stacy@Personal Growth

    Hi Jane,

    This is really helpful, especially since I recently switched to mailchimp and I also have a multi-niche blog – very similar to yours! :) Though I’m very much still trying to figure out the basics of the system since every system is different. I’m excited about it, it offers a lot more features than the last service that I was with.

    Have a great day!
    Stacy

  • Heather C Stephens @ blog marketing ideas

    Hi Jane,

    Loved this post and I wondered if it would work to use different opt ins and different offers for each niche your blog serves. Take a peek at the free marketing ecourses Naomi over at ittybiz.com has created with separate opt ins for each of them. That way she can talk to each segment of her list differently and target her content to them specifically.

    Great job and thanks for the reminder to clean house. With my computer crashing, I’m cleaning house and being selective which programs and files I add back to my computer. Some summertime cleaning may be in order for my blog and list too. :)

    Thanks for the tips, Jane!
    Heather

  • Amit

    Thanks Jane ,Email Marketing is really Great,Thanks for the Great points

  • http://www.techatlast.com Olawale Daniel@Technology Blog

    Though i haven’t used MailChimp before to see some of the cool stuffs that Jane and Dennis is talking about. but I will start using MailChimp as at this time since it offers cool features.

  • John Cooper

    Hi Jane,
    From my past EXPERIENCES :) I must say that Don’t talk so much on first date. Especially about yourself. Women love it when you’re curious about them and show an interest in giving them attention. They also love a man who can hold a decent conversation. You could talk about politics, your careers, the ridiculous gas prices, or why the Fugees broke up. Doesn’t really matter what subjects you choose, as long as they’re not boring.

  • http://www.shedplans101.net/ Adrian@Sheds

    A messy life is inevitable if you are not capable of organizing yourself. You would look pathetic. And, I think people don’t like seeing people like that. My suggestion would be: get yourself together and learn to breathe sometimes.

  • Pearl Jewelry

    Wow, that’s a great idea. For a subscriber, it is good that he doesn’t get all the unwanted things in his inbox; and, you get a target audience. If I may just suggest you an extension to your process, keep sending your reminder mails to people who had not replied to you ‘Clean-up’ mail. Will incorporate some of your process. Thanks.

  • adnan@google

    This is one of the best posts I have ever read because you were kind enough to share exactly how you did and the fact that you got such a positive reaction is awesome and very encouraging.

  • Julius from IceCreamMaker

    Hi jane!I just visit your site but it looks interesting. Your tips are informative hopefully I can apply this if I’ll start to clean up my list too and bear in mind what is useful for me.

  • Rico

    Doing spring cleaning on your lists every so often is encouraged just as you should with everything else. Sometimes you aren’t giving people the value they want or pushing them away, others may just be deadweight either by not using their email any more or just consistently not responding to your stuff. Also, doing the process your way makes them feel more personally involved and invested, cultivating a stronger relationship.

  • bilal

    email subscriber are the source of income to bloggers but what if they are very unresponsive ??

  • http://www.bizkanal.de David Webb

    Jane, your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. I couldn’t resist commenting. Well written! Thank you.

  • http://www.passionategreen.net/ Sudhan

    Hi,
    This is a good decision. his is my first visit to your blog as I am new to blogging and related stuffs. It is really a hard thing for me to find a good blog like yours and the clean split is a very good idea to stop spamming other’s blogs. It will be very useful if all follow the same kind of email sending strategy. You are a pioneer. Keep going.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW9SGffFOvk Ana

    I am looking for more ways to make my list more efficient and responsive, Jane; it was interesting to see how you did it.