I admit I’m a huge fan of Marie Kondo.
And I was excited when Netflix released a new series on January 1 called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” It’s a great series for those who want to de-clutter their home.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese organization expert. She created her own method for de-cluttering called “The KonMari Method,” which I think is the best thing ever.
The method is rather simple. She organizes home objects by categories: clothing, books, documents, miscellaneous (which includes kitchen, bathroom, garage, and basement items), and sentimental objects.
Her approach is to handle each item and ask if it “sparks joy.” If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, either throw it out or give it away.
I’ve done a lot of “tidying up” by following the KonMari Method. (photo below) I’m a bit of a clutter-bug and am constantly trying to “tidy up” our home. I’m always in de-clutter mode.
The Cowboy was highly doubtful I’d finally part with any of my books.
I mean, when I say I’m a bookworm, I’m not messing around.
It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve owned hundreds of books. I’ve given many away but also have kept a good amount of them.
So when I applied the KonMari Method to my books, I had to admit that I had many that simply didn’t “spark joy” anymore. I realized there were probably others who would gain more value from those I no longer needed. Why allow a good book to collect dust?
And so I filled twelve grocery bags full of the books I no longer needed.
The Cowboy was impressed. Heck, I even impressed myself by my willingness to let go of them!
It felt amazing.
My bookshelves were now filled with the books I truly loved.
There even was some room to place decorative objects and yes… a little space to breathe.
So, you might be wondering: what does this have to do with marketing or email marketing?
Well, I’m going to apply the KonMari Method to our lists, but with a slight twist.
KonMari Your Email Lists
If you’re using Mailchimp, you can email up to 2,000 contacts a month. After that number has been exceeded, then you will pay according to how many names you have on your list. (As of May 15, 2019, Mailchimp has changed its pricing structure. Click here to learn more.)
Some subscribes will choose to “self-deport” and unsubscribe from your list. But sometimes you have to take a good look at your list to determine if certain names still need to be on it.
Most email service providers will remove names from your list if there are hard bounces. A “hard bounce” is when the email server tries to deliver your email but is prevented from getting through to the recipient’s inbox.
A “soft bounce” is when the email address, although valid, rejects the email message. Common reasons for the soft bounce could be that the mailbox was full (the user is over their quota). Or the server was down. Finally, the message could have been too large for the recipient’s inbox.
There are various reasons for this: some businesses have very strict protocols regarding spam, so your email may be thrown in with the rest of email messages that are either spam or mistaken for spam.
Other times the person no longer works at the company or they changed email addresses. Invalid email addresses are often the reason for a hard bounce. So it’s good to practice what’s called “email list hygiene” and clean your list regularly of contacts that no longer engage with your business.
De-cluttering should be a part of both your personal and professional life. We often keep items that are no longer serving us.
With email lists, there are people who might have needed our expertise at one point but not any longer. It’s a good idea to check in with your inactive list subscribers. Send a re-subscribe campaign.
You may remind some of your contacts why they still need to hear from you. But if you don’t hear back from them, you can remove them from your list with no regrets.
Email should be a way to keep the channels of communication open. However, if the other person has demonstrated that they don’t want to stay in touch, then the smart thing is to let them go so your list is engaged and interested in what you offer.
And yes, de-cluttering is an on-going task. Just as we collect items in our lives that eventually outlive their use, so we collect names that eventually have moved on.
Ultimately, you want a list that welcomes your emails. Taking the time to prune those lists will pay off with higher open rates and click-through numbers.