Cleaning up my list of 100K subscribers

Hi everyone!

Like others on this forum in the past, I would like to ask about cleaning up my list, which I’ve been running on phplist for about 12 years (!).

I have 100K users in my database, 70K of whom are subscribed to 2 mailing lists.
I have lots of attributes for them such as language they wish to receive the newsletter in, whether they want to be notified of new posts, which freebie they signed up to receive.

My open rates for my general monthly newsletter are not very good (~25%) and I suspect it’s because some subscribers have changed email addresses or are just no longer interested.

I would like to clean out my list by remove all subscribers who have not opened a newsletter in 2 years. This feels pretty conservative.

I don’t want to do the Invite thing. If they haven’t opened the newsletter in 2 years, they’re out. Since I offer freebies and content upgrades on my blog all the time, they can just sign up again if they’re actually engaged.

I have read that Anna has done this using spreadsheets and exclude lists, but this seems pretty fiddly, and I just want a clean simple purge. (Also, I don’t want to deal with spreadsheets of 100K rows.)

Is there currently a simple way to do this via the interface? I feel like it would make sense to have it among the “Reconcile Users” options.

Or is this something I’ll have to write a query for and run directly in the database?

Thanks so much in advance!

1 Like

@clotilde The Subscribers plugin has a report of inactive subscribers, those who have not opened an email within a period of time.

But I have no idea whether it will perform well with your 100,000 users. The underlying query looks at all rows on the user table with all rows on the usermessage table, but please try it and report any problems.

Thank you very much @duncanc I’ll look into it and report back!
I see it’s not compatible with my current version of phplist so I need to upgrade before I try it out.

Supposing I am able to run the “inactive subscribers” report on my large database, can you recommend how to proceed from there to actually delete them?

Would I be able to export this list of email addresses as a csv file, then paste the email addresses in the Suppression List feature?

Thank you as ever for your help,

Yes that is the approach. But using the Suppression list page just marks them as unconfirmed or blacklisted. If you really don’t want them in the database any longer then use the bulk delete page.

Hi, just be aware that emails won’t be flagged as read if they don’t enable images on their email client, so there is a percentage that may view it without images you could potentially unsubscribe? First I would set up and enable bounce rules to get rid of emails that bounce consecutively and go on from there.