Written by Michael Keenan

May 13, 2021

Contact list hygiene is the act of cleaning out cold (inactive) contacts from your Chat Marketing campaigns. It keeps your lists “warm” and engaged and improves deliverability. 

Cleaning your contact list ensures you only market to people who care about your brand. If someone hasn’t opened an email from your business in six months, odds are, they won’t act on any future messages. 

This guide will help you remove contacts from your ManyChat accounts so you can build a more engaged contact base and improve your Chat Marketing ROI.

When to clean your contact list

Deleting contacts from your ManyChat bot may sound scary and self-defeating. You worked hard to get these contacts through Facebook ads, Messenger campaigns, SMS sign-ups, or other channels, and it’s only natural to want to keep them. But remember, you only need contacts who want your messages. They’re the most likely to give you the best return on your ROI. 

“I regularly delete hundreds of contacts who don’t meet my bot’s criteria. It helps keep costs down and create more targeted Custom Audiences for Facebook ads.” 

— Trilce Jirón Garro, TBS Marketing

The timing is up to you. Trilce recommends cleaning your list every 90 days; other businesses routinely do it every four to six months.

But how do you know when it’s time to clean your list? You can look for these signs:

  • Reduced open rates: people aren’t opening your messages
  • Low click-through rates: contacts aren’t interacting with your messages
  • High unsubscribe rates: more people are voluntarily leaving your list over a period of time
  • High spam complaints: more users are reporting your business over time

All these signs point to one thing: It’s time to scrub that list. If contacts are no longer engaging with your messages, they aren’t converting. This means you’re 100% missing out on sales and revenue and shouldn’t be bothering with them anymore. 

How to clean up bot contacts

Let’s look at two ways to delete contacts from your bot:

Groups

1. Click the Audience tab from your dashboard.

Finding audience in ManyChat dashboard

2. Click +Condition and filter your audience by the attributes that qualify them for removal. 

For example, you may want to unsubscribe contacts who haven’t interacted with your bot in the past six months. To do so, filter your audience by “Last Interaction before September 1st, 2020.” You can also filter by other System Fields, Customer User fields, and Shopify Customer Fields.  

Filtering audience

3. Once you’ve established your conditions, click Bulk Actions. 

Selecting bulk actions

4. In the dropdown menu, select Unsubscribe from bot. 

Unsubscribing group from bot

5. Type unsubscribe and click Confirm to unsubscribe the group. Note: Make sure you want to unsubscribe these people. You will not be able to add them back after clicking Confirm.

Officially unsubscribing people

Individuals

1. Find the user you want to delete in your Audience tab. 

Individual profile in manychat

2. Click the three dots in the upper right corner.

Deleting contact data

3. Choose whether you want to completely remove the user from a specific channel or your bot. Then click Confirm

Deleting one contact

Tips for maintaining a clean contact list

We’ll say it again: It is healthy to delete your contacts.  Furthermore, maintaining your list goes beyond deleting inactive users. You can proactively keep your list engaged by adhering to the following tips. 

Welcome new contacts 

A welcome series is a sequence of messages that you can send automatically to contacts after they join your list. You can deliver these messages through email, SMS, or Messenger—whichever platform a contact finds preferable for a back and forth conversation. Contacts are most receptive to your messages right after they sign up, so make that first message count! 

For example, if a contact signs up through your customer loyalty program, send them a discount to kick off the relationship. 

Welcoming new contacts

Your welcome message is your best chance to introduce yourself and show people you care. Think of it as a digital handshake upon meeting your contact for the first time. It’s the start of a new relationship in which they (hopefully) won’t ghost your brand in the future. 

Re-engage cold contacts

Give cold contacts one last check-in before cleaning them from your list to confirm they’re genuinely disengaged. Kelly Noble Mirabella of Baby Got Bot cleans her list every four months and recommends the following tactics to find still-interested contacts:

  1. Filter your audience by last interaction (as described above).
  2. Create a Custom Audience and run a paid Messenger broadcast. Ask if they are still interested in being on your list.
  3. Send an email and SMS re-engagement campaign if you have that contact information.
  4. Wait about a week after your paid broadcast has finished.
  5. Remove everyone from your list who didn’t interact with you. 

Employ Kelly’s strategy to keep your list healthy and valuable. 

Respect contacts’ time

It’s a privilege to receive someone’s contact information. Aim to send only relevant, valuable content to their inboxes at regular intervals to keep contacts engaged and happy with your brand. You’ll also enjoy better results for your campaigns.  

Make unsubscribing easy

It goes without saying, but no matter what channel you use to connect with contacts, make it easy for them to unsubscribe. If you don’t, people will ignore your messages or send them to spam, and they’ll likely never see your messages again anyway. Why risk harming your email’s reputability?  

Never buy lists 

You can’t buy lists for Messenger because people must interact with your Messenger account, but you can purchase email and SMS marketing lists. However, buying contact lists is not the best way to build a healthy, engaged contact base. 

Messaging people without their explicit permission on any platform is against the law. It also won’t help you develop trustworthy relationships or generate sales for your business because the people on these lists never opted in to hear from your brand in the first place. 

Scrub your list regularly

Regularly cleaning your contact list is a good idea for multiple reasons. Not only does it create a more engaged audience, but it also helps you keep costs low. A win-win situation! After all, you only want to pay to chat with contacts who have shown an interest in what you offer. 

The best Chat Marketing strategy isn’t to maintain a huge list (unless, of course, they’re all engaged subscribers!), but to have a list of recipients who enjoy what you send them. So delete cold contacts, send valuable content to people, and respect their inboxes. It’s the best way to build and grow an online business today. 

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.