Which would you prefer: working with a team of 50 people who are not motivated, or working with 10 people who are enthusiastic and supportive from start to finish? I’d choose the latter. You?
We fixate on size rather than quality when it comes to our email lists. Although more subscribers may seem like a good thing, it can actually have negative consequences if a large proportion of them are inactive. This can lead to poor email performance and deliverability.
Having a good email list is essential for successful email marketing. Often people overlook this important part of their marketing strategy, but it is what will help them achieve success in the end.
What is email list management?
It is the process of maintaining a healthy email list is email list management. Cleaning out your inactive subscribers is a regular part of your routine. This needs to be done frequently because people’s involvement can change over time.
If your subscribers start to lose interest, it will have a negative effect on your marketing plans. If a subscriber is no longer responding to your emails, it’s best to unsubscribe them from your list. We’ll explain why.
Your Email Service Provider will track how many people open the email, how many people click on the links, how many unsubscribe, and how many report the email as spam.
First, they track spam complaints. When a subscriber clicks the “Mark as spam” button in their inbox, that means they consider your email to be spam.
They will look at the number of people who have opened the email, clicked on the links, unsubscribed, and those who have not interacted with the email. As long as your subscribers are happy with your content and are engaging with your emails, you don’t need to worry. You need to take action if the engagement is low. If inactive subscribers are not engaged, it will negatively affect the deliverability for active subscribers.
ESPs also keep track of bounced emails, which occur when an email does not reach a subscriber’s inbox.
Why should I manage my email list?
The best email subscribers are those who open and read your email campaigns and show some sort of interaction with them. Interaction refers to any type of action a subscriber takes, such as clicking a button, answering a survey, visiting your website, or buying a product.
It is important to include email list management as part of your strategy to keep your email list of good quality. Especially because it’s easy to clean up your list. You can determine which subscribers are not valuable to your business by a few clicks or a re-engagement campaign.
Having fewer, higher-quality subscribers will give you better ROI for your marketing messages.
Quality over quantity
In general, people tend to prefer things that are high quality over those that are lower quality. The same goes for subscribers! It’s more profitable to have 20,000 subscribers that open your emails 30% of the time, rather than having 100,000 subscribers that only open your emails 3% of the time.
10 email list management best practices
Here are 12 ways to increase clicks and conversions, lower bounces, and keep your email list clean.
1. Validate your email list
At some point when you are growing your email list, you will inevitably have some invalid email addresses. This occurs frequently and isn’t an issue, so long as you frequently check your list.
It’s important to identify which inboxes are inactive, as they are more likely to be caught by spam traps. If a spam trap email address is on your list, your sender reputation will go down, and future campaigns will probably end up in the spam folder.
But how do you spot an inactive email? Although you won’t have these superpowers yourself, email validation tools do.
To ensure high email deliverability rates, we recommend using MailerCheck. The MailerCheck integration will help you keep your list clean by providing you with a variety of tools to manage your list.
Email validation import done right
When you upload your email list into a validation tool, make sure to filter out the bounced emails.
Your total price will be higher if you verify more emails, so there is no point in checking emails you know are not in use.
You can create a list of email addresses that have not bounced using many email tools. If you cannot find what you are looking for, you can import the entire list and check all the email addresses for accuracy, although it will cost a little more.
2. Opt-ins: single versus double
Operating under GDPR means using double opt-in to collect email addresses. Although you are legally allowed to choose between a single or double opt-in, we strongly suggest that you use double opt-in for your signup forms and pop-ups.
In order to subscribe, people need to add their email address and click on the “Subscribe” button. This action alone adds them to your email list.
The double opt-in process ensure that each new subscriber automatically receives a confirmation email with a URL. The URL verifies that the subscriber is the owner of the email address. The method of verifying email addresses results in more quality subscribers because everyone that verifies their email address shows that they really want to receive your newsletter. In a double opt-in system, someone must confirm their email address (usually by clicking a link in a confirmation email) before they are added to your contact list. This helps to lower the risk of spammers being added to your contact list.
3. Provide frequency options
Everyone’s schedule is different. It is easier for people to fit your content into their schedule if you offer frequency options.
The signup form or pop-up should have an option below it for people to select their preferred choice.
4. Send personalized welcome emails
An automated welcome email series is a great way to greet new subscribers! Welcome emails are a great marketing tool because they are easy to set up and very effective.
The emails are well-read because they are sent directly after someone subscribes. Welcome emails have an average open rate of 4x and a click-through rate of 5x compared to a standard email marketing campaign.
When you add a new subscriber to your email list, start the relationship off by sending them a personalized email. You can use these workflows to interact with new subscribers and get to know your audience better.
5. Segment your email list
It is important to keep your list clean in order to engage your readers. You can send personalized content that fits each reader’s interests by segmenting your list.
You should send different emails to different groups of people on your email list, depending on what they are interested in. This way you can make sure that everyone is getting content that they are interested in.
You can divide your readers into groups based on engagement, location, age, gender, topics of interest, and any other criteria you choose. Whatever segmentation lets you send more targeted content.
6. Let people unsubscribe if they want to
Now, don’t take it personally! Sometimes people need space for something new and aren’t interested in what you have to say anymore. It’s okay to unsubscribe, and you can make new friends easily.
Good friends give people space. Every email you send out should have an unsubscribe link in the footer.
Make sure it’s visible and easily clickable. If you hide the option to unsubscribe from your emails, it not only reflects poorly on your manners, but you also risk receiving a complaint about spam. If people report your emails as spam, this will damage your reputation and the reputation of the email tool you are using.
7. Offer alternative ways to stay in touch
You want to keep subscribers on your email list if possible. There is no need to worry about algorithms affecting your visibility when using this marketing channel as it is the most direct. If people are determined to unsubscribe, you can suggest they keep in touch via other channels. On the unsubscribe page, request that people follow you on any of your social media channels. This will ensure that you can still contact them in the future.
8. Deal with inactive subscribers
The experts have conflicting opinions about whether it is best to keep inactive subscribers or remove them from the list.
Those in favor of cleaning up your list argue that:
- Keeping inactive addresses becomes pointless from an economic point of view because they only increase your list size without contributing to any potential gain.
- They can damage your sender reputation. Email deliverability can be affected by engagement metrics. A high number of inactive subscribers can result in a lower open rate; and a lower open rate can result in ISPs treating you as a potential spammer. If you remove subscribers who never open your emails, your open rates will improve because there will be fewer total subscribers. This could also lead to a better sender reputation.
9. Use re-engagement email campaigns
A re-engagement campaign is a good idea before you clean your list. Running a campaign like this will help you figure out if subscribers are uninterested or if they actually want to stay connected.
A re-engagement email campaign is a strategy designed to re-engage readers who may have lost interest, and to ensure they still want to stay connected. This allows subscribers to share their opinion before you unsubscribe them.
10. Exclude existing subscribers from email popups
No one wants a brand to ask them to join a newsletter they’re already on.
Show your newsletter popup to everyone except your existing email subscribers. Then, create a campaign that invites visitors to a popular page such as your listings page, or perform another action that moves them further down your sales funnel.