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Might they want to hear from us again?

While the email services used by most companies handle unsubscriptions and ‘bouncing’ emails automatically, there’s another aspect of email list management that requires more manual involvement: inactive subscribers.

If someone on our list hasn’t even opened the last few emails, never mind acted on them, we should remove them from the list. This is not just to save money; if the recipient is using an email service that keeps seeing our emails as unopened, it could hurt our deliverability with those email services.

However, there are two types of people who don’t open our emails: those who’ll never want them but haven’t unsubscribed; and those who may want them in the future. The latter group are very important, which is why we shouldn’t remove recipients without thinking. It doesn’t cost much to ask.