We’re done – how to clean your list

Estimated reading time: 3 min

I just got fed up. Sick and tired of paying money to a mailing list software company when I’m not utilising their services to the best.

So instead of berating myself for spending $$ which I didn’t need to – I finally took action.

Assess lists first

My account included four mailing lists – all set up for different audiences and different marketing communication tasks.

The mistake I’d made was not keeping these aligned with my business goals. When I ran an education-led B2B marketing agency, we used these lists to share articles, to fill seats at webinars and events and to sell our downloadable products.

Times change and that’s not the business I am in now.

Review what’s needed second

Today my business work is based on three things – being a consultant B2B marketer, business investing, and growing my Faster Masters Rowing sport education service.

My question to myself was “Which of these mailing lists serves my three purposes?”. And the answer was clear – only one of the lists. The remaining list sends the RSS feed of my blog out to subscribers whenever there’s a new article published.

Check the finances third

I reviewed my subscription to the software house – they have the option to switch to buying credits rather than pay an all-you-can-use monthly tier fee. By checking the frequency of my RSS publication I was quickly able to see that this was more cost effective.

I altered the account status and purchased 10,000 email credits.

Align the lists fourth

Then I checked the lists – three had hardly been used since 2019 – hasn’t the world changed a lot since then? And so I downloaded all the subscribers, unsubs and cleaned contacts and saved them in my drive. Always good to have a back up of the back up eh?

Then returning to the mailing software, I checked all the users except one on each list and moved them to archive. I can retrieve them later if I need. But all three mailing lists now have a single subscriber.

I did this because the software house has switched its plans around and in the past you could have unlimited lists – now the lower tiers only allow one or two. And I don’t want to lose the benefit of multiple lists. I can always rename them if they get revived in future.

How to tell your audience you are unsubscribing them

Here’s the text of what I wrote.

If you received it, what did you think?

database hygiene, list unsubscribe, mailchimp downgrade,

Subject line for list housekeeping message

Subject: We’re done – thank you. I’m housekeeping my list and your email is being removed


Hello [FNAME]

Times change – you will remember I told you my work focus altered. 

I’m working as a freelance B2B marketer, I’m an investor, and my Faster Masters Rowing education business is growing. This has meant that I write my blog less frequently.

It’s clear you are busy or your focus has also changed. 

My blog is emailed to you when I write a new article. I checked the newsletter open rates and you haven’t found time to read for a long while.

I’ve taken the decision to remove you from my mailing list. If you want to re-subscribe just head over to the Newsletter web page and sign up. Read past issues to remind you why you signed up.

Thanks for sticking with me – I value the time we spent together.

Best wishes for the future


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