Hey—want some one-on-one help getting this set up? Book a 20-minute consultation and we can work through it via video chat!
Because I blog as a hobby, instead of as a full-time job or side hustle, I try to be conservative about my blog spending. That’s why I still use MailChimp for my email marketing, even though a lot of bloggers have moved onto “bigger and better” email marketing systems.
MailChimp is free for users with fewer than 2,000 contacts, which is why I love it! I can practice email marketing and connect with my audience while keeping my overall blogging expenses low.
However, MailChimp has updated their policy on contacts recently, which means there’s a new crucial step for bloggers who use MailChimp!
As MailChimp expands from an email marketing system into a full marketing platform, it’s redefining Audiences. Previously, you were only charged for people who were subscribed to your list. However, because email is no longer the only medium they offer, you’re now charged based on how many contacts you have.
Under this new system, if someone unsubscribes from your email list, they’ll still count toward your contact list, because you could still send them a postcard, for example. That means you could reach the 2,000 contact mark a lot faster than before!
I ran into this issue last week, when I noticed my RSS feed didn’t go out to my subscribers like usual. When I logged in, I saw it was because my contacts list is over 2,000, even though my subscribers list is less than that.
This then caused the extended headache of all of my content upgrade automations pausing. I had to spend about half an hour reactivating all of my automations, which hadn’t been sending as expected for several days. There were 40 people waiting in my Welcome Email queue to get the password for my resource library, and I had no idea they hadn’t received it!
So, what do you do to get your contact list below 2,000?
The biggest thing to keep in mind: this only works if you’re planning to use MailChimp exclusively for email marketing. Don’t take this advice if you also plan to do mail pieces and other outreach!
(Also, I’m 100% not a lawyer, so always take what I say with a grain of salt, and if you’re unsure what applies to you, always consult a lawyer.)
In order to get your contact list to be representative of your true MailChimp audience, you need to manually archive any contacts who have unsubscribed from your email list. It can take a bit of time, depending on the size of your list, so I recommend doing this monthly to keep it manageable. You may need to do it more often, depending on the size of your list.
How to Archive Contacts in MailChimp
To archive unsubscribed contacts, log into your MailChimp account and go to your audience. Then, when you’re on the Manage Contacts screen, click New Segment in the light grey header above your contacts’ information.
You’re creating a segment of your audience that shows everyone who is Unsubscribed. So, from the drop-down options, select Email Marketing Status is Unsubscribed. Then select Preview Segment.
Once the segment appears, select the checkboxes next to their email addresses. Once you have them all selected, go up to Actions and select Remove Contacts. In the popup window, make sure you select Archive! That will keep them in your account but remove them from your audience, so they aren’t counted toward your plan. Click Confirm.
Then you’re done! Again, I recommend doing this regularly so you’re never charged for contacts who aren’t actually subscribed to your list, and all of your emails go out as expected.