Implementing a sunset policy for your email program is a great way to boost overall engagement metrics and improve your reputation score. However, when it comes to actually executing this strategy, you may be left wondering where to start. This post will walk you through the mechanics involved with sunsetting recipients from a list using SendGrid Marketing Campaigns.

Spoiler alert: it’s a lot easier than you might have thought!

Segment users who don’t open your emails

Let’s say that you have an existing list for your weekly newsletter, and you would like to remove all recipients from the list who haven’t engaged with you in two months. The first step is to create a segment of your weekly newsletter list that includes all people who haven’t opened your emails in two months (or your preferred time frame).

You could then just remove these people from your list. However, you could also first email these contacts to see if they’d like to remain on the list and keep receiving your amazing emails.

Create a new campaign that says something along the lines of, “I noticed you haven’t opened any of my emails in a while, and that makes me really sad. Is it something I said? Well, I don’t want to keep emailing you if you don’t want to hear from me. But, if you do want to hear about [insert all the awesome things], click the button below to stay on the list.”

For more on re-engagement campaigns, check out 4 Tips for Sending Re-engagement Email Campaigns.

Editing your unengaged segment

The next step is to edit the segment you created earlier to only include the recipients who did not click the link in the campaign you sent. In this example, the campaign we had sent was called “Please Don’t Leave.”

Finally, you’ll have two options to remove the un-engaged contacts from your list. The first option is to delete this segment en masse. However, this method will remove the contacts on your segment from your account entirely, which includes all other lists on which these contacts may reside.

The second option is to delete each contact one at a time from the weekly emails segment. While this method is slower and more manual, the contacts will remain in your account and on any other lists on which the contacts may have resided previously.

To execute the first strategy, go back to the Contact Lists & Segments, find the updated segment, and delete it.

You’ll then be asked if you’d like to delete the contacts associated with this segment from your account. Select this option to delete the contacts from your account entirely. Note: This will remove the contacts from your account entirely and from any other lists on which they may reside.

If you choose the second option, the easiest method is to export the No Engagement segment to CSV. Then, go into the Weekly Emails segment and remove all of the contacts that are present on the No Engagement segment.

Sunsetting policies are crucial for building and maintaining an engaged email list. If you want to learn more about sunsetting policies read our blog post, Putting Engagement Data To Use- Sunsetting Policies. And for more on growing your email list, check out our best practice guide, How To Grow Your Email Marketing List.



Devin Chasanoff
Devin is a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid. As part of the Community Development team, Devin helps run the SendGrid Accelerate program. Devin loves hacking, hustling and helping start-ups change the world.