A few tips for optimizing your subject lines.

How can you choose which contact names to delete from your list?

One way to determine whether to shave down your list is to first search for duplicates. If you have more than one list, you can export your lists to an Excel spreadsheet and use the “Remove Duplicates” button to identify and remove duplicate names.

However, if you want to keep the person, make a note of the name and email address (you can use Microsoft Notepad or another document program). Then after cleaning up the lists and importing them to your email service provider, you can manually choose which list to re-add the contact.

Another way is to check the engagement of your list. Since I work mostly with Mailchimp, I can give a little instruction on how to do this with their service.

If you look at a list of contacts in Mailchimp, you’ll notice a group of stars after their name. This is called “Contact Rating” and you can use it to delete inactive names.

If the name has only one star, the person hasn’t engaged with your emails. You can click on their name to view their history. Use the filter to choose “Opens” and you’ll quickly see the last time they opened an email from you, if ever.

Note: You may want to give your inactive subscribers one more chance to engage with you. Send a series of emails to the segment of your list that is inactive, and ask if they’d re-subscribe with a new opt-in button.

You may be able to recover some of those subscribers. But if they don’t respond, you can scrub the names from your list.

Deleting names can breathe new life into your list. It’s a good exercise to prune your lists so that those who are on it are those truly interested in your content. It may take some time to work through your lists but it’s worth it.

You’ll be able to know that you’ve released those who really aren’t a fit for what you offer and you can start focusing more on the names of those who do want to hear from you. Win-win!

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