Good Email List Hygiene Starts Long Before You Hit the ‘Send’ Button
every experienced integrated marketer knows, a well-groomed email list, filled
with engaged subscribers who don’t automatically hit delete on your emails, is
worth its weight in gold. And as necessary as email list hygiene is, if your
routine consists of going into your database on a quarterly period and purging
inactives – you’re doing it wrong!
list hygiene is an active practice that starts long before you hit the ‘send’
button. This post contains some of the obvious best practices, including when
(and why) you should scrub your list, and tips to fill it with more quality
High Quality, Trustworthy Emails
best way to make sure your list is populated with legitimate prospects you want
to engage with your business is to send communications that add value and clearly
represent your brand and offerings.
with a strong subject line that accurately describes the contents of the email.
It’s OK to sound intriguing and tease the excitement, but it’s not OK to lie or
flagrantly misrepresent what’s in the email.
email itself should be well-written, filled with useful information, and contain
an offer that motivates your audience to take action, whether it’s going to
your website to make a purchase, watch a video, or download a whitepaper.
a physical address associated with your business is another way to establish
that all-important trust and avoid having your emails flagged as spam.
It Easy to Opt-In and Opt-Out
a confirmation when someone subscribes to your list to make sure their email is
legitimate and they really want to receive your communications. And,
conversely, your emails should contain clear instructions for unsubscribing:
you don’t want your readers to feel like hostages whose only resort is to
report your emails as spam.
occasionally send re-engagement emails to reconfirm that your audience still wants to
receive your emails and that their email address is up to date. Let them
customize their subscription by telling you which types of communications they
wish to receive, and how often. These emails are especially effective for
activating inactive subscribers.
the Temptation to Buy Lists
Thinking of buying an email list? Think again. At best, lists purchased from
third-party vendors can be costly. The medium-level risk is that your
competitors may have bought the same list. And the worst-case but highly
plausible scenario is that your sender reputation takes a knock and you find
yourself slapped with fines for violating the CAN-SPAM act.
Go in and Scrub Your Database
your database is still a must. If you’re staying on top of your email metrics,
you should have a good sense of when it’s time to go in and ruthlessly purge
the inactive, unengaged, or spammy email addresses. One easy way is to look at
the results of your past few email campaigns: if you see a pattern of declining
open or click-through rates, it may be time for a purge. You should also look
for big, obvious, red flags, such as higher-than-usual unsubscribe rates, spam
complaints, and the number of hard bounces.
on the email service you use, you could automate the purge, and there are a
variety of online tools you can buy. But doing it by hand allows you to go in
and fix obvious errors – for example, entries like [name]@gmial.com, which is
probably a typo for Gmail.
Can Help Enhance Your Email Marketing Efforts
The best marketing campaigns are part art and
part science, and as all integrated marketers know, it takes more than one channel to get the results you need. So when you're ready for a direct marketing campaign, give us a call.