It’s a brand new year – it’s the perfect time for us teacherpreneurs to do some cleaning and get rid of platforms, tasks or items we don’t use or need. But have you also thought about cleaning out your email list? This is a must – and this episode explains all about it with special guest Melissa Seideman!

Melissa from Not Another VA specializes in copywriting, blog posts, SEO, automations, and email marketing specialized tasks. She works with a variety of clients and sellers to help them with email marketing, templates, and more!

Episode Highlights

  • Why is it important to prune your email list
  • What happens if we don’t clean out our lists
  • How frequently should we clean our email lists
  • Tips on cleaning up our email lists for different email providers

Resources and Links

DIY Cold Subscriber Package

Not Another VA TPT Store

Follow Melissa on IG @notanotherva

Learn more about Melissa’s services


Kirsten 0:02

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast, I am really excited to share with you a guest who's has been on the podcast before and that is Melissa Seidman. She's at not another VA and she helps TPT sellers and teacher business owners with their email marketing. So this is going to be a really great topic to hear. It might be a come to Jesus moment, if you are not a big fan of parting with your subscribers, even if they have not opened your email list in months, or they haven't clicked on anything. So this is kind of really managing your email lists and cleaning it out just like we would be thinking about at the beginning of the year, the tips she shares are all really great for any email service provider that you might work with. But she also gives specific tips for certain email service providers that we might be familiar with such as ConvertKit and flow desk. So without further ado, let's go ahead and listen to that interview.

All right, so today we've got a special guest on the creative teacher podcast. Melissa is here again for the second time. So I'm so glad that you're here.

Melissa 3:04

Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be back.

Kirsten 3:07

Yes. You're actually my first repeat guest for the podcast.

Melissa 3:14

Very cool. I feel like it was a few years ago. So it's exciting.

Kirsten 3:16

Yeah, it's been a while. Yeah, you were one of my first guests. And now I want to say maybe a couple years ago, I'm not even sure. But now. We're, I'm excited for you to be here. Okay, go ahead and tell us about yourself. If for those who may not know who you already are.

Melissa 3:33

Sure. My name is Melissa from not another VA. We specialize in email marketing, and we do everything in terms of email marketing, a bunch of different platforms from ConvertKit FLOTUS, to Active Campaign, to mailer light to MailChimp. We do everything related to email from weekly emails to cleaning people's lists to scheduling emails, all that fun stuff.

Kirsten 3:57

Yes, I always love seeing a wide range of tasks that you have, which is why I'm super excited to work with you in my own TPT business. So I'm so glad that you do what you do. All right, going into the first question we have about because our topic today is cleaning up our email lists. We may be you know, we hear a lot of things about how to add people to our email list and grow our email list, nurture our leads and convert them to sales. But then there are some times where we probably need to kind of clean out and prune our email list because for a variety of reasons, they may just be sticking around. We're not exactly sure. But it there are some benefits to printing our email list, which I'm really excited for you to talk about today. So let's just start off with why it's important to prune our email list in the first place.

Melissa 4:57

So I don't think this could be more of a relevant To time coming up in the next few months, Google's changing a lot of analytics with how emails are getting sent and received. So it's really important to clean your list for a lot of reasons. Number one, it keeps your bill down. So even if and then people are gonna be like, Well, I have fluid, so my bill stays the same, why do I need to clean my list? The reality is you have people on there that are not opening your emails, not clicking your emails not buying from you. So why keep them on there, they might have left teaching, they might have given the wrong email address. So it can be expensive. Number one, to keep them on your list. It also doesn't give you an accurate representation of numbers. So if you think your click rate and open rate are this number, but you have 5000, I had a client, I cleaned this week and had 20,000 inactive cold subscribers, which means someone is not open to it. Yeah, 20,000. So they haven't opened an email for 90 days or more, which means they have not engaged with their list they have not bought, and she's been paying ConvertKit crisis forum. So I can't even imagine what 20,000 That people have abilities, which is crazy. So I'm cleaning your list. And the idea is that you you'll get accurate numbers of your click rate and your open rate, you'll know how successful in email is because and then you also you keep your price down. And then now it's even better for Google Analytics to tell them you're not spam, you're not getting bounced all of those things.

Kirsten 6:21

Yes, those are all great reasons. And if you know, maybe some TPT sellers, or business owners are thinking well, like, you know, we always, of course, we want to have as many subscribers as possible. So it is kind of hard to part with those subscribers, even if they're not engaging. And just kind of going into the next question, what happens if we don't clean out our list, even though 20,000 subscribers is a lot, there may be some listeners who may not even reach 20,000 subscribers total, including myself. So you know, that's a big amount of people not engaging. And what would happen in that case, if we don't clean out our email list, and we just continue to let it accumulate and just let people stay on our list other than like the, you know, financially, it's expensive. What are some other what might else happen,

Melissa 7:16

Google's gonna start marking your account as spam. So the reality is, those emails are not even going to be delivered to inboxes. So you really want to clean your list, it's really important because you want your emails to go to somebody's inbox, you want your domain verified, all of those things that go along with it. But you also want to clean your list for the sake of knowing accurate numbers, and also telling Google and all these other providers, Yahoo, whatever it is Hotmail that you're not a spammer. And they're a legit customer

Kirsten 7:43

with email. Definitely, we want to make sure we're on the good side of Google. Because what I feel like the worst thing is, yes, you're losing subscribers, but then you're not being marked as spam, like you said, and then I guess it would mean that nobody would be receiving your emails, regardless of whether they're active or not, is that what would happen if you were to be marked spam with Google? Yeah,

Melissa 8:05

they the emails will not be delivered to your inbox. So the reality is, you really want to clean your list. I changed my mindset a little bit with this, because it's important to think about, like, I used to take it personally and get upset when I hit unsubscribe, and remove people and delete people. I used to get really upset, oh, my gosh, I'm removing 200 people or moving 2000 people or 20,000 people. But the reality is, they're not your people. They're not going to be your customers, they're not opening your emails and not clicking your emails, I would rather have a smaller list that's engaged opening and buying than someone who has a larger lists saying I have 30,000 emails, but 20,000 are not even opening them. So the reality is, you want people who are engaged and are going to buy from your list and visit your store and visit your website and all that stuff. Yeah,

Kirsten 8:46

totally agree with that. And worst case, they might if they do realize they're not getting your emails, they can always re subscribe. You know, but yeah, it is kind of hard to part ways with people who are who initially opted in. So what is a good frequency of how often we should clean our email list? You know, which is which is better monthly or quarterly? What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, I

Melissa 9:15

have a cold subscriber package where I do it for some of my clients who opt into doing that package, but we do it every 90 days. I think it's 90 days gives them enough time to send emails receive emails, because if you send them even once a month or twice a month, that's That's enough emails to say that you can viably send those that that amount of emails and then they're going to check them. So we do every 90 days, every 90 days, we send a series of breakup emails, and with those breakup emails, we kind of give them a chance to stay on the list. So click here if you're in ConvertKit, you can use a click here to stay on the list. If your float asks, well, this was great because you can filter by active subscribers or on active subscribers and then filter those people and then send only those people targeted email. All they have to do is open the email to then be Add on an active subscriber. So then you can filter it again. But then we resend the email. And we also give it a few emails champ. So ConvertKit, we do three emails will ask you to, and give them a chance to open emails, give them freebies make the subject line really like tons of freebies for you open now, like, give them value and a reason to stay on the list. And then you want them to reengage and you want them to stay on there. But it's and usually when we do clean our list, we get about 25% people back to reengage. So that's something helpful to know. That


is, is it typically over a series of like a week that you recommend? Or like what is the timeframe between like, you're sending that initial like we're about to kick you out versus actually deleting them?


Yeah, so typically, I send the three email two or three emails within a week and a half period of time. And then I wait an entire week for them to check the emails. So it's usually two to two to three weeks of spam to give them time to check it. And then after the three weeks, I let my customers decide, do you want to keep the people on your list because some people saw my customers are like, Well, they didn't click it, but I want to keep them. Some say delete them right away, I don't care. They didn't, they didn't reengage lead them. And then some say let's download the spreadsheet, and then we'll re engage with them in six months. So that's another helpful idea. So if it hurts you, if it hurts you to say remove 20,000 People wait six months, maybe they'll reengage in six months, maybe they're just going through a busy time in their life, maybe they love teaching. So that's why it's interesting to think about, you could try to re engage if you want to,


that's a really smart idea there is just like keeping them on hold and downloading that CSV and then trying again, in a like later on down the line. That's that's a really good idea. Something else I thought of is because I you know, I have this problem with teachers on my email list is they usually would opt in with school email addresses. And that in itself is a whole problem. Because number one you're getting, sometimes I see that immediately after I send something, it shows that they've clicked in on every single link that you have in that email within like a minute. So I'm just like, that's doesn't seem kind of accurate. So school emails are kind of like a in a kind of a, you know, are they really engaged? Are they really opening it? Or is it that bot that goes with the school email? What are your thoughts on like, having what to do with school emails?


Yeah, so when I do opt ins, I do three things I try to consider number one, I try to encourage people to use their personal email. So I will even say that in on the often use your personal email, less likely to get the email delivered, I will usually say use personal email. And you can fill that in in the subject line of where people type the email. So instead of saying email, write literally personal email in that spot. Number two, I always have double opt in on because you want the people to legitimately be an email subscriber. So some providers tell you to actually not turn on double opt in, which is really interesting. And then in some countries, it's a legal requirement. So we make double opt in a requirement. Check your opt ins if you're listening to this, because I bet you have some that are not double opt in, because then it's forcing someone to go to their provider, tell them you're not spam, check that they got the email. That's everything. And then the third thing is we've been doing is a lot is opt in should be on your website, not on the email provider in case you ever switch. And you're directing traffic to your website not to, quote ask for ConvertKit or anything like that. So yeah,


those are some great tips on that. Yes, thank you. All right. So what are some additional tips for different email providers? As far as I know, you mentioned a wide range of email service providers. So what are some tips for each of those? Like, let's say maybe the common ones I know of would be ConvertKit and flow desk and Active Campaign. What are some tips on that?


Yeah, so active campaign is really great, you can actually set up an automation that does it automatically for you. And you literally can Google Active Campaign email clean out or something email cleanup list or email cold subscriber, and there's an automation you can download or create yourself or hire somebody to do it. And it does the automation itself, and it will automatically tag people when they open emails every single time and then it will remove them from the automation when they open an email so it will put them through the cold subscriber automatically ConvertKit I like because you physically take the subscribers that are cold and move them to the automation over flow desk is a little more manual because you got to do that. I really don't like using the workflow feature of flow desk for for cold subscribers. I just send a manual email to them, they tag them and then I send that email to them. What else mailer light. I haven't actually never done a cleanup in mailer light, but I bet you could I'd be surprised if you couldn't and the MailChimp tags them automatically. So it's easy to select people who are inactive. Yeah,


that's good. And I want I'm gonna say ConvertKit. I like Googled somewhere and they had like some type of email template sequence or something that you could duplicate. But I don't know if they still have that. But they do. Yeah, you could just Google


ConvertKit called subscriber automation and download the automation, and then personalize the emails to your store. And then you just select the right tags or triggers. And if you ever need someone to check that I can check that I've had clients do that too. But you just check the triggers and the tags, and then you get physically moved them over to ConvertKit. And it goes through the automation.


Perfect. That's awesome. All right. Well, I've got a few bonus questions for you. If you could travel back in time and have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?


Oh, my gosh, um, history. Okay. So I haven't taught history for so long. So the would I like to, I personally would like to go to Obama's inauguration. Like, I know he's not Yeah, like he's still alive. I wish I could have gone to his inauguration. That historic, like, moment when we had the first African American president being sworn in. I think that would have been my moment. I would have picked it's not that long ago. But yeah, I would have loved to be there.


That would have been. That's pretty cool. That's a good one. Okay, second question. If your life had a theme song that played every time you walked into a room, what would it be?


I'm a big country music fan. Right now it'd be anything from Dan and Shay. If I can. Okay, anything from Dan and Shay? Yeah. Okay. Music, man.


All right. Last question is a little bit easier. Superhero or super villain? Superhero I have.


It's funny. I have two boys. And one of my boys never went through the superhero phase. And one of them went through it like crazy. So we have superheroes, everything like costumes and shirts and pants and underwear. And oh, boy. Yes.


That's awesome. Yeah, I I'm in that kind of stage right now with my oldest son. So it'll be interesting to see what the younger son goes with it or is not into superhero. So we'll see. But just ending off what are some I know you mentioned you do some email services and maintenance cleaning services for emails. So what are some? Where can we work with you? Where can we find out more about you?


Yeah, so I also have a TPT store for not another VA. And you can actually reach out on not another VA on TPT. And I do have a cold subscriber Do It Yourself package where you can buy the package yourself. And it's got the email done for you and a video how to do it. So that's something if you want to do it yourself. It's a pretty small package. To do it. You can reach me at not another Not another VA on Instagram. I also have a great Facebook group called email marketing for business owners. The group is really active and engaged and I love my Facebook group. So if you're interested in joining, feel free to reach out. Yes.


Well, thank you, Melissa, for coming again on the podcast.

Thank you so much for having me.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.