A Strategy to Reduce # of Contacts

We are approaching the 20,000 contact number. I want to systematically reduce the number so we stay below that price level.

Can you recommend an approach to use to delete contacts that have little value being in our system?

I’d run the Email Status Search report (inside Marketing Reports).
Take out those with ‘bad’ email statuses, then move to people who have the further away engagement dates.


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And to augment Jeff’s answer, I’d consider sending some contacts an opt-in email. Ask them if they even want to hear from you. Getting a “yes” answer is more likely if you offer value for that “yes” answer, such as a free account that gets some free content or something.

I junk contacts that have never ordered before and they have not replied to opt in emails. I have a campaign that sifts these out for me all the time, and I just delete them with prejudice whenever I get the itch.

Here’s a snap of what the campaign looks like:

It’s all triggered on a specific tag, which is automatically applied to all emails that bounce and have had no engagement after 1 year. If they don’t confirm and opt in, it applies a “soft delete” tag which I added to the campaign without any real plans to use and still haven’t found a reason. Then it splits them based on having any orders (decided based on tags applied elsewhere) and sends both groups another opt-in request, applying tags again if they don’t opt in. You can see that “no orders, no opt in” gets a “Hard delete” tag. They are the ones I delete every few months. Recently I set up an email notification to see if I get “waves” of contacts flowing through the campaign. That’s the “Email Mike” sequence. Finally, if they do confirm anywhere along the path, remove any bad email tags and they exit the campaign.

The “No Name” sequence at the top was added on because a poorly made webform created a bunch of contacts with only an email address. Before deleting them, I wanted to be sure they were junk or not.

I have far fewer than 20K contacts, at about 3.6K. It was has high at 4.8K a little bit ago, most of them being spam emails collected on a bad webform. After fixing that issue, I notice that I delete about 25 to 50 emails a month. Doing this helps me decide if I’m doing the right things to gain new qualified contacts who are real people that may actually become customers. I don’t need a big list of non-customers. I need a modest list of mostly customers. Depending on your business, maybe 20K is modest and maybe “customer” is best defined as simply those that visit your site, so don’t take my numbers as meaningful for you specifically. I’m only reassuring you that it’s very possible some contacts are dead weight and you aren’t helping your business by hanging on to them.