When Email Addresses Go Stale

Every mailing list can go stale when it isn't used regularly, even if the subscribers were added through a double opt-in process at one time. In this article, you'll learn about stale addresses, and how to improve a stale list.

About Stale Addresses

Stale addresses are old or invalid emails that haven’t been sent to in a long time. Lists with a lot of stale addresses can lead to high rates of bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes. We typically recommend that you delete or reconfirm stale addresses. A cleaner list helps improve your deliverability and engagement with the subscribers who really want to hear from you.

Fix Your Stale List

Here are some tips to turn a stale list into a clean one.

  • Remove and reconfirm stale addresses.
    The most important thing you can do to clean up your list is remove stale addresses. Then, contact your stale addresses outside of MailChimp and send them a link to your MailChimp signup form to reconfirm their interest in your content. This process eliminates invalid addresses and uninterested subscribers, and gives engaged subscribers a chance to update their information.

  • Remind people where they signed up.
    In your reconfirmation message, write a short reminder of who you are and why the subscriber is on your list.

  • Personalize your reconfirmation message.
    Tell your subscribers you're going to start sending emails again, and explain why they should stay on the list.
    Here's an example:

"Hi (First Name),

Remember us? You visited our website back on (date) and signed up for our email newsletter. We’ve finally gotten around to setting up an email newsletter program, and we want to make sure you still want to hear from us. We hope you do, because every month or so, our newsletter will include useful how-tos, tips, and advice (plus special offers like the one below).
If you want to stay on our list, click here to renew your subscription and update your preferences! Of course, we don’t want to clog up your inbox with stuff you don’t want. If you're not interested, just ignore this message."

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