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How to find your unengaged subscribers and what to do about them
How to find your unengaged subscribers and what to do about them

Learn how you can clean your email list

Petra Molnar avatar
Written by Petra Molnar
Updated this week

You've probably heard about scrubbing or cleaning your email list every now and then. At the end of the day, you’d want to remove unengaged subscribers so that you can market to people who are eager to get your emails.

Also, when you keep emailing people who don't interact with your emails, it can impact your deliverability.

Who are your unengaged subscribers?

As you're building your list, you may have subscribers who signed up a while ago but don't engage with your content anymore. It can mean they’re not opening your emails or clicking on any links in your emails.

While having a large audience may seem enticing, if they are not actively engaging with your content or buying your offers, they are dead weight and you should remove them from your list.

An engaged healthy list always beats a large but unengaged one.

How to find your unengaged subscribers?

You can find your less engaged subscribers using the Filters feature in Flodesk as follows.

  • Go to your Audience > All subscribers tab

  • Click the Filter option on the top right area of the screen, next to the Add subscriber button—similar to the image below.

Clicking this Filter option will open up your subscriber filter pop-up screen:

Use the following criteria to find your less engaged subscribers:

1. Under Status, set the filter on Active subscribers

2. Under Activity, choose a suitable time frame

3. Hit the Apply filter button to see the results

Your less engaged subscribers are active subscribers—that is, not unsubscribed, bounced, or marked as spam—who last engaged with your emails: (subscriber was last active)

  • 6 or more months ago

  • A year or more ago

Remember to always look at these figures in context. If you typically email your list twice a week, then your less engaged subscribers could be people who last engaged with your emails 90 or more days ago.

There's no right or wrong timeframe here. Select one that you're comfortable with and that makes sense for your business and marketing efforts.

What should I do about unengaged subscribers?

Once you identified these subscribers, you can:

  • Add them to a dedicated segment and send them a short re-engagement campaign

  • Remove them from their current segment(s)

  • Unsubscribe them

  • Delete them

What is a re-engagement campaign?

A re-engagement email is a marketing email you send to inactive subscribers. Its aim is to get people who’ve stopped engaging in your emails interested again.

You can find some re-engagement email ideas on our blog: We Miss You | Re-Engagement Email Examples to Win Back Customers.

If they remain inactive after trying to re-engage them, consider removing them from your list.

What’s the difference between unsubscribing and deleting unengaged subscribers?

Unsubscribing is an email marketing term that refers to a subscriber who doesn't want to receive further email communication from you.

If you bulk select unengaged subscribers and unsubscribe them, it has the same effect as if they would unsubscribe using the link in your email footer. They will be marked as 'unsubscribed', and no emails are sent to them.

Note: Whether they have unsubscribed via the link in your email footer, or you did it manually in Flodesk, you can't add them back (resubscribe) to your list manually or via a CSV upload. The only way they can be back (resubscribe) as an active subscriber is if they sign up again via a Flodesk opt-in form.

Deleting, on the other hand, means you delete a record from Flodesk without unsubscribing them. It also means that if it was done in error, you can add them back manually or via a CSV upload.

If you want to remove a subscriber from a specific segment only, select the Remove from segment action instead.


You can use Filters to locate less engaged subscribers on your email list to retarget them with a re-engagement email before removing them from your list entirely—either by unsubscribing or deleting them.

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