Email list management: best practices for your email marketing strategy
The success of your marketing campaigns depends a great deal on constructive email list management. In other words, having a list full of contacts is not enough if you want to have your goals achieved.
What matters the most is the way you engage with the members of your audience and their responses. The idea you must withdraw from this thought is: if a lot of contacts on my lists are not going to make my company successful, the focus should be on the best practices to create engagement.
In light of this conclusion, we prepared this article to share the best practices on email list management for your marketing strategies. By the end of this text, you will understand how to make the most of your email lists and also put these tips into practice.
- What makes a healthy email list?
- How to organize an email list to keep it healthy
- Clean email lists: Discover why you must do itgement: best practices
What makes a healthy email list?
Planning and executing email marketing campaigns can be a challenging task because it demands a lot of time and effort from everyone involved in such a project. When a marketing professional doesn’t have a healthy email list, the work from a whole team might be put at risk. A healthy list should be:
The only way to have a healthy email list is through strong email list management, that is, you must have a process to keep only the engaged accounts in your lists and also organize them into segmented groups, according to their preferences and behavior as customers.
Another thing you should pay attention to is the necessity of only saving updated data inside your lists. Countless companies keep bringing new information and contacts into their lists, accumulating an excess of data, which will only cause damage to your results and negatively impact their deliverability and engagement rates.
That’s why you should care about email list management. Bringing more and more contacts to your lists (not worrying about their origin, status, and level of engagement) is a questionable strategy.
Returning to the healthy of email list, check some solutions that make a subscriber list successful:
- put engagement in the first place: when people don’t read your messages, or worse, don’t open them, conversion and sales are impossible. You have to be sure your messages are interesting, public-targeted, and capable of generating conversation;
- eliminate emails that can destroy your reputation: some emails on your lists can be incorrect, fake, or disposable accounts, so, to keep your reputation as a sender safe and sound, you should look for these accounts and remove them from your lists;
- keep track of your churn and bounce rates: these rates can show you the number of contacts that left your database (through unsubscribing), reported you as a spam sender or a dangerous email, suffered hard bounces, or even the ones that didn’t open your messages;
- aim at high deliverability rates: don’t rest until you reach at least 90% of deliverability or higher;
- make sure you receive new subscribers regularly: having new people arriving at your database is a sign your messages are interesting and engaging, as well as it shows your marketing campaigns are being seen.
These solutions will provide a healthy email list, protecting your marketing campaigns and the company’s domain. They are also good strategies for email list management, in case you are in doubt about how to organize your email lists.
How to organize an email list to keep it healthy
One of the biggest mistakes of email marketing campaigns is to send mass emails, to random accounts in a messy list, with messages that, in fact, don’t interest the receivers.
Moreover, the damage here is massive. Besides not reaching satisfying results, this strategy will make you receive spam complaints, hurting a company’s online reputation, while a lot of people send unsubscribe requests.
Instead of doing such a thing, you should be looking at strategies to improve your email list management. It means you should adopt practices to organize your audience into segments, and also keep your email list clean and free of invalid accounts.
For instance, you can separate the active and responsive users from the ones that never or rarely engage with your message as a means of organization.
After you know the accounts that don’t interact with you anymore, you can try re-engaging them with a specific campaign and see how they are going to respond. Once the campaign is over, but they keep ignoring you, it’s time to remove them from your lists.
Knowing exactly where the problem is, it’s easier to fix it, and identifying disengaged users will save you from a lot of trouble and headaches.
You can also use other patterns to organize your email lists, such as:
- how engaged they are (open clicks, requests, sales, and other metrics);
- customer journey stage (where they are on the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, or advocacy);
- user (or business) location;
- user’s activity when visiting your website;
- subscribe or unsubscribe requests;
- purchasing behavior and patterns.
Organizing email lists will make your job easier and more triumphant. You can segment your audience as you wish, according to your objectives with a certain campaign or another way that is fruitful for your company at the moment.
Email list management: best practices
If your marketing campaigns are not reaching their full potential, reviewing your email list management can give you some insights into what went wrong.
But what is email list management? The concept can be defined as a set of strategies you can use to grow, organize and maintain your email lists working in the best way possible.
It’s an ongoing project, which will never be finished. Your email lists need constant care, attention, and control.
The good news is, if done correctly, email list management can bring awesome results for your company, and also show the strengths and weaknesses in your marketing campaigns.
We have a collection of the best practices on email list management that might help you in future campaigns. Check them out!!
Have a good Opt-in process
The first impression of your emails are really important. If your Opt-in process is disorganized, confusing, and messy, the newcomers might not stick around for long. Your subscriber must feel welcome in this first encounter, and you have to provide it with the best user experience, such as:
- make sure to present your brand. Be brief but don’t miss anything;
- don’t forget to thank your new customer and say welcome;
- ask the newcomers to whitelist your address, making sure they receive your future emails. This will keep you away from the spam folder and protect your deliverability;
- mention the kind of content they will receive in future messages;
- explain clearly how these new customers can keep in touch with you;
- let them choose their preferences, such as frequency of emails and easy unsubscribing;
- respect all their preferences and desires by not sending surplus emails, for example.
These actions will make sure your welcome is nice and warm. In the Opt-in process, you must think about the user experience. It’s all about the new customers.
Before we move on to the next subject, it is important to mention that making sure you have permission to send emails to a certain account is extremely relevant for your reputation. So, when elaborating your Opt-in process, think of ways of having this permission.
Make unsubscribing easy
Some companies hide their unsubscribing buttons and commands, making the process unnecessarily difficult. They have a misguided idea that tiring their users will make them stay. Well, they won’t. If they want to leave, it’s better this way, for both the user and company.
You have to remember, when they are not able to leave, unhappy users will probably give you spam complaints, which is worse than forcing them to stay.
Forget the small letters and don’t ever think about making unsubscribing a complex task. It shouldn’t look like an endless maze. Explain, in detail, what users should do when they no longer want to receive your emails.
Asking them the reason why they are leaving is also a good idea because it can provide valuable insights into strategies that are not working.
Finally, keeping only interested users in your subscriber lists is always the right path to pursue. Making unsubscribing easier can save a lot of your time, and effort.
When you focus on the right audience (as in people interested in your brand, content, products, business model, and so on), you can boost your ROI, the best metric to measure your company’s results.
Remember, the user experience must be positive from beginning to end.
Track email marketing metrics
Numbers can show the exact situation of a company, and they never lie. This sentence summarizes very well the reason why numbers matter and why you must watch email marketing metrics very closely.
Monitoring metrics will show, precisely and accurately, the successful strategies while you can also notice the ones that should be replaced or reformulated. You must give special attention to:
- deliverability rate: it shows if your messages are being sent, so it provides data on how the email providers classify your domain, that is if you have a good reputation as a sender;
- open rates: this rate can uncover how engaged your users really are, and also point out some other aspects of your email campaigns, such as sending time, subject lines, kind of content that can interest users easily, sales performance, among many others;
- engagement rate: Opening emails is not enough. Users have to interact with your message in some way, clicking on a highlighted link, for example. This rate reveals how engaged they are and how good are your call-to-action messages.
There are more metrics to keep track of, but we desire only to call your attention to never underestimate the power of numbers. Reading and withdrawing conclusions from them is one way to keep an effective email list management.
Don’t buy email lists
Ambitious markets fall into the trap of buying email lists because they worry excessively about the number of contacts. This strategy is dangerous, once it puts your reputation as a sender at risk.
When you buy an email list, you don’t know the origin of the addresses, if they are real or not, and, most importantly, you have no idea if these accounts are trustworthy. Purchased email lists can bring pristine accounts (electronic addresses and domains that have never been used before and never signed up to receive your messages) and spam traps to your mailing lists. These accounts are likely to never interact with your messages.
Sending messages to purchased email lists can hurt your online reputation and make you get blocklisted. As a result, your reputation as a sender will be deeply affected, not in a positive way.
Instead of buying email lists, make efforts to find people who might be interested in your products, and ideas, as well as everything your company stands for. Never ever consider purchasing email accounts as an alternative.
Elaborating creative content and having a good Opt-in process are some ideas to start building your contacts lists in a healthy and prosperous way.
Clean up your email list
When the subject is email list management, cleaning up email lists is the ultimate task. You can’t overlook it while you are organizing, segmenting, and classifying your subscribers.
Many companies rely on services by email checkers, such as SafetyMails to clean email lists. These tools can help you verify and validate email addresses in order to provide proper hygiene for your email lists.
SafetyMails, in particular, has an API, to be installed in landing pages and other forms, to validate accounts before they even arrive at the company’s database.
While the users fill out their information, SafetyMails API can certify if the data is real. In case of incorrect, fake, or unreal data, the validation API can solicit changes in real-time.
This is the most effective way to keep email lists clean. If you need to check addresses that you already have, SafetyMails can also provide a Email Verifier, so you can get rid of:
- invalid email addresses;
- disposable and temporary emails;
- duplicate accounts;
- incorrect (misspelled domains and other typos) addresses;
- spam traps and pristine accounts;
- outdated information.
Without all these kinds of harmful accounts, you can find the users that can give you the expected return, protect your domain and improve your deliverability.
Cleaning up your email lists is something you should do regularly, as well as having strategies to keep dangerous accounts away from your subscriber lists, such as equipping your landing pages with SafetyMails API.
Personalization of your subscribers
Back in the day, companies treated their customers and clients as if they were all the same person. It worked in the past. But, in the new generation, when everyone has a unique and distinguished personality, such a technique displays its flaws and no longer works as it should.
Today, companies must connect with their customers if they want to sell a product or execute a service. Customers look for identification in the companies they choose to buy products and services from.
Calling customers by their names (in the greetings and body of emails), creating relevant content, understanding their pains and necessities are all characteristics of the personalization of subscribers. Your emails must sound and feel human.
In order to have such personalization, you must be very attentive to your email list management, once it provides organization and segmentation of your subscribers.
Re-engage inactive subscribers
Sending messages to inactive subscribers and/or disengaged users can lead you to low open rates. When you repeatedly do that, the situation can be even harder, because it can result in spam complaints.
This should be enough to eliminate these subscribers from your lists. But before trying that, you must make a last attempt to re-engage them. If you called these people’s attention once, you are able to do it twice.
Creativity is the most important thing you will need in a re-engagement campaign. You have to show these uninterested users that your brand is worth it and that you still have more to offer.
Showing these users that they are important and a part of your community also counts. Re-engaging messages must be a reminder of the reasons why they came to you in the first place.
Calling someone’s attention for the second time can be harder than the first. If they don’t respond the way you expected, the recommendable action is to remove them from your subscriber lists.
Use the right marketing tools
Nowadays, we use technology for everything. It makes us do more in less time and the results are also more accurate.
It’s not different when we look into email list management. There are some essential tools for marketers to help on daily (and always necessary) tasks, for instance:
- cleaning email lists;
- validating email addresses;
- identifying and monitoring blocklists;
- classifying email addresses according to their status.
And the list goes on. Can you imagine doing all that by yourself? Probably, you would need many hours to execute all these tasks, not to mention the accuracy. Thankfully, technology is here to help us all, and it does make life easier for all marketers around the globe.
Now that you learn all about email list management, learn also how to verify and validate email addresses to keep your domain and deliverability completely safe. SafetyMails can help your company have success in email marketing campaigns.