I definitely have folks on the list whose emails are off because of alleged spam or bounces. AFAIK there is no way to find them. I have asked Ghost about this and they have said it would be a good filter, but so far I don’t think they have one (it’s been a minute since I asked).
I have no paywall or members-only content, so I prefer these folks are not on my list. I have previously sent them an email (with a fun subject line), as follows:
Just wanted to let you know I’ll be removing you from our database, as you aren’t subscribed for our daily email and, according to my records, aren’t currently a member.
If you think this is in error, please let me know.
That said, I would love to have your support in our second year of business.
We’re going strong but we won’t hit our next goal without your help.
We have lots of great reporting in the works, from data and crime trends to updates on the recall and BPD’s new cameras, among many other subjects.
Stay connected with a one-time payment and support independent, original reporting you won’t find anywhere else.
The main benefit is that some of them always come back and say, I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting the emails anymore, sign me back up. I also think that, when most people unsubscribe, they just don’t want to be connected anymore.
I suppose it’s POSSIBLE that they want to be able to log in but, at least on my site, there is really no benefit to logging in for FREE tier folks. Only paying tier can comment and there is otherwise no paywall.
The downsides of leaving them on the list are pretty small. It may push you into a new Ghost payment tier AND it would reduce your open rates. IMO it’s worth doing every few months or so just to clean up the list, especially if you use it as an opportunity to connect with them once before removing them. That’s my philosophy! :)