Let ’em go! Let ’em go!
In my first job out of college, the Federal Aviation Administration provided me with a TTY, a telecommunications device for the deaf. I used it quite a bit, even for conference calls. That was an adventure, as the relay operator had no idea who was who. But it was better than nothing.
Boy, have we come a long way!
Today, when I need to contact people, I rely on email, text messaging or the Internet relay service. As a result, all my phones have turned into dusty paperweights. In my desire to clear the house of clutter, I donated all of them to a nonprofit.
Recently, a new caption phone came to my attention. I’ve had one before, but this one sounded like a notable improvement. It hooks up to both the landline and the Internet. Another bonus is that it works with a connected iPad. It has more features. The captioning is faster. Still, it’s unlikely it will ever be fast enough to cut delays, but it’s as good as it gets with today’s technology.
One feature is that it can import an address book from the iPhone and iPad. Unfortunately, 96 percent of the contacts have a duplicate. It drives me batty. Instead of having 320 contacts, it’s 600. Talk about a mess!
Some people work well in organized chaos.
I function better with a clean desk.
A messy space makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s harder to think and be efficient. The duplicated contact list is like a messy desk. I’ve contacted tech support, and we’re working on it … slowly.
Fortunately, it doesn’t harm anything; it just wastes space.
Can’t say the same thing about a business email list …
How an email list turns into a jumbled mess
You may have a lot of garbage email addresses. People enter fake or rarely used addresses to obtain your free offer. People change jobs, but the email still exists on the company’s servers, so you don’t get any bounces letting you know that person left the company.
People pass away, yet their emails live on. InternetVIZ founder Hank Stroll — who passed away more than a year ago — still receives emails. (They’re forwarded to the team to ensure we don’t miss anything.)
Or people simply don’t want the emails. Rather than taking steps to unsubscribe, they delete each one. Or they create an email filter to automatically delete the email. Or worse, they report it as spam, because it’s easier to do than unsubscribe. Now imagine a whole bunch of accounts doing the same thing or not checking the email account at all.
This skews your data. And you could act on bad information.
What’s more, a few email services charge by the number of emails you send. Do you want to pay for emails not being read? The cost adds up.
The unsubscribe process
Some companies have a complicated unsubscribe process. They can’t help it, as they’re beholden to their email service provider’s process. Some do it on purpose, thinking you’ll keep reading their emails if you can’t opt out.
But if they don’t want your emails, let ’em go.
Yes. Let ’em go! Let ’em go!
Keeping people like these muddles your mailing list. They’re not reading your emails. It’s not worth all this just to claim you have X number of subscribers.
Let ’em go! Let ’em go!
Yes, one-click unsubscribe is scary. I’ve accidentally clicked the link on emails I wanted. And it took effort to get back on the list.
You can work around that by making sure the link doesn’t have other links nearby. Several email newsletters place an important link hear their unsubscribe button. Isolate the unsubscribe link, and it should be OK.
You don’t have to scrub the bad emails right away. Give them a second chance by sending a “we miss you” email. You can send a follow up after that explaining if you don’t hear back by X days, you’ll remove their email from the list.
Get creative! Yes, it’s harder for B2B companies to make offers with a sense of urgency, as they don’t sell simple, cheap products that people buy on the spur of the moment.
This is an opportunity to let your company’s personality shine! Just search for “we miss you” emails, and you’ll see some ideas that’ll make you smile. And some will work for B2B companies.
Skip the jargon. Trade the stiff shirt and tie kind of writing for a conversational one. Of course, maintain your company’s identity and branding as you create the content.
In working to fix my caption phone address book problem, it created a new problem. That happens. We’ll keep toiling and hopefully, my contact list will be clean.
Go do the same for yours.