The Power of Purging

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed a post or two about my newsletter trials and tribulations. Long story short, I didn’t send newsletters during the pandemic, and because of that, most of my followers had become “inactive.” When I overrode those protocols to reach out to readers on the original list, my mail service sent a warning shot across the newsletter’s bow.

I’ll be honest; I panicked a little. That list had thousands of followers, and I’d been building the thing for years. In the early days, I’d participated in group giveaways, blog treasure hunts, “sign up for my newsletter” campaigns that promised more than they gave.

And I amassed a lot of emails.

I thought I was doing the right thing, but I completely missed the point of why I wanted those addys in the first place.

It’s never been about how many inboxes I could reach. It’s about relationships. Real, meaningful communication from readers who are interested in the stories I write. That’s the focus, not the volume of emails I’ve managed to rack up.

Data is king in the emailverse, and too many addys and not enough open/click-thru rates will earn an author a one-way ticket into Spamville, which is a place no one wants to go.

And so I took the numbers out of the equation and started the great purge of 2021. I sifted through my beloved list and deleted emails that had either bounced or never opened a newsletter. For those that hadn’t clicked on anything for a long while, I sent a note asking them to reconfirm their subscription. And those that had excellent open/click-thru rates I left alone.

Even though my list is smaller, the interaction is much bigger. And I’m reaching the readers who want to be a part of my world.

And that, my friends, is an excellent thing.

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