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How to clean your email list in Convertkit from copywriter Ashlyn Carter at Ashlyn Writes


last updated:
April 7, 2017


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Let's get you a message so tight you can bounce a quarter off of it. Around here, we serve up science-based storytelling strategies the creative set.  Even while raking in more than 1.26M in agency work since I've been at it, I firmly believe working from a place of rest (not hustle) IS possible—and I want the same for you. Words matter. Best be sure they work (and oui, with math) ... and know how to party while they're at it. 

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Reading time: 3 min.

I’ve got rosemary and Thieves essential oil wafting ’round my head as I type this and a freshly cleaned desk: oh yeah. It’s spring cleaning time!

Aaaaand your email list shan’t escape: you need to clean it up every now and then, too.


Well, as a copywriter, my goal is to talk to your tribe slash those interested in your services … not trick a robot (or yourself) into a big number on your email marketing account.

If you want higher-converting emails, then stellar subject lines, body copy, a hook of a call to action, and a segmented email list (more on that later) are the secret.

But the red-headed stepchild of the things-you-need-to-do-for-an-engaged list isn’t spoken of quite so often.

Cleaning uninterested people off your email list!

6 Steps to Clean Up Your Email List Subscribers so your

After all … you’re definitely paying for them. Open those spots for more engaged readers, so you can put killer copy in front of them!

Today, I’m gonna give ya the skinny on what to do, and why on earth you’d ever want to do this.

Starting with the latter.

Here we go!

First, I have 4 mindset shifts for your entrepreneur self so you jump the line and get on my team here, because I know I’m telling you to take a whack at that number you’ve worked hard to build:

+ Mindset Shift 1: Your cold subscribers — at least as ConvertKit describes them — haven’t opened or clicked an email in 90 days, even though they’ve been on your list for a while.

+ Mindset Shift 2: Note that “list cleaning” is TECHNICALLY when a bot scans your email list for invalid addresses … what we’re talking about here is removing inactive subscribers. Learn more about that here. 

+ Mindset Shift 3: Your open rates percentage will pop back up, ’cause HURRAY — you’re now seeing the people who were actually reading your careful crafted copy all along.

+ Mindset Shift 4: Your tags and segments will be more rock solid, because people who never clicked anything in your copy are gone … meaning your copy can be more tailored to speak to specific buckets of people on your email list.

Note: I’m going to show you this in ConvertKit, and yes, I’m a big fan! And an affiliate. I tried a lot of email marketing options, both on my own and working in PR. ConvertKit was the best for being able to tailor emails specifically to groups of people (aka my brides AND my creative entrepreneurs who wanted copywriting) for the price. To me, um, an email list isn’t worth a dime if I can only send out one type of newsletter blast. I need to be able to talk to more advanced entrepreneurs about things like copy formulas and launch funnels, and newer small biz owners about brand messaging and site copy. CK to the rescue!

How to Clean Up Your Email List in 6 Steps

1. Head to Subscribers > Confirmed Subscribers (click on the big words right there, see ’em?) > Cold Subscribers

2. Click the checkbox, and hit “Select all X subscribers in your account.” <— X is whatever number of cold subscribers you have.

3. Click Bulk Actions > Tag, and tag them with something. I use numbers to keep my tags categorized, and #4 is my profile tag. So, I’d tag them as “04. PROFILE: Cold Subscribers.”

4. Make a new landing page or thank you page on your website or with LeadPages … I’m going to have you set an automation rule next, and I want copy on a website somewhere that lets them know they’ve been heard! Here’s an example:

4. Now, go ahead to set an automation rule. You want to set it to the link you just made, and set a trigger so if they click to that page, they get UNTAGGED with “Cold Subscriber” and tagged with your newsletter tag (if you have one).

5. Click on Broadcast > New Broadcast > and select just the Cold Subscribers tag. Send them somethin’ somethin’ like this:

6. Now, just wait a week, go back to your list, and delete everyone tagged with Cold Subscriber .. the ones on that list didn’t a) open it (again!) or b) click through to stay. So, you’re better off letting them go on their merry inbox way!

Again, I can’t express how important it is to monitor things like your list engagement … so give this a whirl a few times a year, and don’t stop there: keep studying your subscribers! I go tag-crazy in ConvertKit because I want to know exactly who wants what. From Instagram interest to launch interest, wedding etiquette interest to Jesus interest, I want to only send people what they actually want to hear.

Interested in ConvertKit? It’s THE BEST. Try it for free for 30 days right here!

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Well, as a copywriter, my goal is to talk to your tribe slash those interested in your services … not trick a robot (or yourself) into a big number on your email marketing account.

There’s on thing-you-need-to-do-for-an-engaged list that isn’t spoken of quite so often.

Cleaning uninterested people off your email list! Here’s how.


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