I listened to a Freakonomics podcast recently called, In Praise of Maintenance. I liked it because it called out the fact that people are more interested in innovation over ongoing (and boring) maintenance. It’s more exciting to build (do) something new than maintain something that’s already in place.
It hit home with me and the Niche Site Project email list. I have been working on building the list since I started this blog in 2013. It’s been a slow process of incremental gains paired with periods of neglect. The neglect makes growing the list go even slower, of course.
I logged into Aweber to do some routine list cleaning, some people call this “list hygiene.” Basically, you delete the people that don’t open your emails. I checked and found that about 30.5% of my list hadn’t opened an email in the last 80 days.
WOW! That’s a lot of people that don’t care about what I’m writing, creating, or talking about. That’s totally fine, but that also means that I need to do MORE regular maintenance with my list.
Some people say that you should go back 6 months or more to see if people opened your email – it’s totally up to you though. For me 80 days is enough. I want people that are actively engaged and people that actually give enough of a shit that they open up an email once in a while.
I sent out one email to that 30.5% to say I’m deleting unless you click this link that leads to something interesting. A few people clicked the links, about 0.5%, so it’s worth it to send out one last email before deleting inactive people from your list.
So don’t forget about the boring maintenance tasks that are very easy to forget.