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I just spent yesterday afternoon purging my email subscribers. I deleted everybody with a 1 or 2 star rating, But I looked at every one of those addresses and kept the ones that 1) I recognized the person as someone I know, and 2) if they signed up within the past year, and therefore might still develop into a 3 star or better contact. I did note that plenty of the <1 year old contacts had already achieved 3 4 or 5 star status, so those 2 star folks have some work to do. 

I got my total audience down to under 1500 contacts, so now I can use Mailchimp for free for maybe a few more years. I have no interest in trying to re-engage the unengaged contacts, as Mailchimp suggests. If they want back in, they can sign themselves up anytime. I don’t think more is better, for a business where the output is so finite to begin with. I think free is better :-)

I have a big lineup of summer shows starting in a few weeks, I’ll see how this impacts my success rate for the emails. 

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Notice that Mailchimp calls the people on you list "Contacts" now, instead of "Subscribers."

This is because they're really trying to integrate all your email AND social media contacts into one neat, easy, one stop shop for all your internet marketing needs (cue 1950's hand model moves). I think in a lot of instances, it's offering more functionality than tiny businesses like a lot of us here need, but it does leave room to grow. (Their new expanded business model is not without privacy issues, but that might be another long post altogether. That's what's at the heart of their falling out with Shopify.)

Mailchimp doesn't want you to delete your contacts entirely, in part because they can still charge you for archived contacts, and in part because they want to be able to use the demographic information from everyone possible to create duplicate audiences for any ad campaigns you might build on Facebook and Instagram.  If you're not running ads, it's probably not worth worrying about archiving folks on your list, if you want to weed people out. A cynical part of me says the only reason they allow you to delete subscribers at all is that under Europe's GDPR laws, you have to be able to completely delete someone's stored data history at their request.

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