There’s a great scene in The Dark Knight, where the Joker sets fire to a great big pile of money.
All too often, I see business owners taking a Joker-esque approach to digital marketing - setting fire to their own pile of money (although in this case it’s usually inadvertent)
For the foreseeable future I’ll be focusing the majority of my content on how you can reduce wasted spend in your marketing, and be less like the Joker and more like the Batman!
With that in mind, I’m back with another quick cost saving tip:
If you do email marketing, your email marketing platform - e.g. Mailchimp - probably charges you per subscriber (or up to a threshold of subscribers).
Most email marketing platforms won’t charge you for unsubscribed contacts. But what about “inactive” subscribers ... people who are subscribed to your list but never actually open your emails?
I finally unsubscribed from a list the other day. Before doing so, I searched back through my inbox at how many emails I’d received from this sender. Over the course of 18 months, it worked out to about 70 emails (roughly one a week).
The crazy thing? Apart from the first email they sent me - I had never opened another email from them (except for the one that I opened to unsubscribe.
The whole time I’d been receiving these emails, the business in question had been paying to send to me.
One subscriber who doesn’t open your emails but who is a paid expense on your list isn’t the end of the world. But in my experience, many lists often have anywhere from 30-50% plus of subscribers who never actually open emails.
It can feel painful to get rid of them (nobody likes to see their list size go down!) but ultimately you may be better off freeing yourself of these “phantom” subscribers.
Firstly, you’ll be able to get a more accurate picture of how your engaged subscribers interact with your content.
Secondly, you’ll save money (depending on how you pay for your subscriber count in your email marketing platform). For example, imagine you currently have 5000 subscribers on your list but 50% never open any emails - not an uncommon measure in my experience.
You could cut that 50%, and see your database size drop from 5000 to 2500. This might put you on a lower subscription plan, and could save you hundreds - possibly even thousands - of dollars per year.
If you’re really worried about losing subscribers from this (despite the fact that they don’t have much value if they aren’t reading your content) then you could try to re-engage them first with a ‘are you still interested’ email.