Customer Service / Customer Experience

Free Campaign of the Month: Clean Out Your Contact List

Paul Sokol

Updated: May 27, 2020 · 5 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

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When email marketing was first taking off, the money was all in the list. The bigger the list, the more potential. Today, this is still true; however the money is now in the relationship with the list—a big list doesn't always bring with it a good relationship.

The thing about relationships is that they can change over time for one reason or another. With regards to a relationship with people over email, these changes can have many reasons. Maybe the initial catalyst for someone seeking out information is no longer an issue. It is possible your business was one of a few someone was considering, and you simply didn't win their business. Perhaps, they are simply no longer interested in learning about the stuff you are sharing. No need to beat yourself up for the relationship changing, that is just the nature of the beast. Just like how you have to prune dead leaves off a plant to help it grow further, cleaning up your contact list periodically and removing inactive or no longer interested people is a highly recommended practice these days. People who haven't been opening or clicking on your emails for a while can be considered the "dead leaves" on your list. To prevent your contact list from looking like a dying hedge, I am thrilled to announce the first free campaign of the month for 2014: Clean Up Your Contact List.


The purpose of this campaign is to reach out to people who you have identified as being minimally engaged and asking if they still want to hear from you. All they have to do is click on the appropriate link in any of the three "Still Interested?" emails and they'll either stay on your list or automatically be removed.

Who Can Use It?

Any Keap customer can download any campaign from the Keap Marketplace. However, since this campaign is for intended to clean up a list of emails, I feel that everyone should be using this about once a quarter. This works well for B2B or B2C companies as everyone wants their inbox relationship to be respected. Plus, this type of awareness into the engagement levels of your list can provide more insight into what is working and what isn't so you can adjust your communications accordingly.

Anything Else I Should Know, Paul?

Since this campaign is triggered from a Tag, you can easily chain it onto your existing campaigns. Let's say someone makes it all the way through your prospect funnel and never purchases. This might be a good opportunity to add an extra tag step at the very end which kicks off this re-engagement campaign.

... But I Don't Want to Remove People From My List!

I totally understand where you are coming from, fair reader. You spent a lot of time and energy building up your list, so removing people seems like a slap in the face to all that effort. However, the consequences of not removing your inactive people can actually be more harmful to your business than you might realize. If you continue to email people who aren't engaging with your emails, the risk for being marked as spam increases which hurts your sending reputation with Keap and the major email providers. Sending to inactives can also hurt your word of mouth reputation as well, as people are more likely to share their negative experiences with others, "Oh my god, ABC Cleaners keeps emailing me even though I used them once five years ago. Don't give them your email unless you want to get spammed relentlessly." You don't want to be that business" who just emails blindly to anyone who was trusting enough to share their email address at one point.

OK, Paul, I'm serious, I don't want to remove people from my list! 

This campaign is simply applying and removing tags based on the recipients action or inaction. It isn't actually taking people out of your database. However, list attrition is a real thing and your list of people will decay over time, that is just the nature of a relationship. Think about it for a second: If someone isn't even opening or clicking on your emails, they probably aren't primed to buy anything from you, either.

Maybe this example will drive the point home. Let's pretend I went out to a restaurant, met a cute girl and got her phone number. However, I wait 6 months to give her a call and ask for a date. Do you think she will remember who I am? Probably not.

This is exactly what you are doing when you email people who haven't been opening or clicking anything lately.

If anything, use this as a method to get people back to your list. If they indicate they aren't interested anymore, that means they at least read and clicked your email. It is some level of engagement. Maybe thank those people for letting you know and offer a coupon or something for free that is different than why they originally got on your list. Be careful though! These people just said they weren't interested so you'll want to stay low-key and respectful. The last thing someone needs is to click "Not Interested" and then get dumped into a 100-email series. That is a surefire way to get the Keap Email Compliance Team on your doorstep.

Need Help Identifying Who Is Inactive In Your List Of Contacts?

You may have been thinking about how great this campaign is, but you just aren't sure who exactly to target. Have no fear! Along with the campaign launch instructions, there is also a four phase list hygiene process included to help you find anyone who within the past 120 days has:

  • Opened an email
  • Clicked a link in an email
  • Placed an order
  • Filled out a webform

From there, you can take everyone who did not do one of those four things and confidently add them to this campaign.

How do I get it?

Check out the Marketplace listing and download it to your Keap account. That’s it for now! 

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