6 Email List Management Best Practices

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics that companies take full advantage of. While many email marketing strategies exist, all of them depend on the quality of your email list.

No matter how hard you try to implement and measure email marketing tactics, you may end up with insufficient or unclear results. By paying sufficient attention to email list management, you can be sure that your email marketing efforts are achieving the desired marketing goals.

What is Email List Management?

Email list management involves segmenting and maintaining contacts on your email list. If your email list is in top shape, you can make sure your messages are reaching the right recipient.

This type of management is vital to the success of your marketing campaign. Poor email list hygiene could cause you to make wrong marketing decisions. It could also affect your conversion and retention efforts.

Maintaining a high-quality email list involves ensuring list viability, avoiding spam traps, and segmenting your contacts. Many different tools exist to make the email list management system easier.

Why is Email List Management Important?

Email is the direct portal to your target audience. A carefully designed email marketing strategy can generate over 3800% ROI. However, it will only work if your messages reach email subscribers. If for some reason, your contact list is filled with invalid email addresses, your campaign will show poor results.

 A clean email list should NOT have:

  • Inactive subscribers
  • Unengaged subscribers
  • Duplicate contacts
  • Non-existent addresses
  • Old email addresses
  • Contacts that send your emails to the spam folder

Besides affecting your email campaign, poor email lists could interfere with the analysis of your efforts.

For example, you send a marketing email with highly relevant content to 100 addresses from your subscriber list. Let’s say five subscribers click the link in your email. Now you think that you have a 5% click-through rate. You use this information to adjust your marketing strategy.

Now let’s say your list contained 10 invalid addresses. So in reality, only 90 messages reached the recipient. That makes your click-through rate higher. This information could take your strategy in a different direction.

Other reasons why email list management is vital are:

  • Sender reputation and bounce rates – if your emails bounce, you could be in trouble with your email service provider. A poor bounce rate could affect your sender score.
  • Reputation with ISP – bounced emails and messages that end up in the spam folder could lead to problems with your ISP (internet service provider) and ESP (email service providers).
  • Reputation with clients – if you have typos in your email addresses, your subscribers aren’t receiving targeted emails. This could affect your relationship.

Proper email list management is the key to designing high-quality email campaigns. To maintain a healthy list, you need to take a smart approach to email validation.

Email List Management Best Practices

These management practices can help you make sure that all your contact lists contain quality contacts.

1. Validate Your Email List

Email list validation involves checking your mailing lists for inactive users, invalid email addresses, disposable email addresses, disengaged users, address typos, and much more.

No matter how many contacts you have on your list, validating it manually could take a while. That’s why many companies use email list management software. Automatic email list validation is highly convenient. With the right tool, you can vet all problems with your contacts in one place.

Email validators correct typos, look for spam traps, check address formats, and much more. These programs alert the user about any problems that need addressing.  With such a tool in hand, you can run email list checks regularly without spending more than a couple of minutes on the task.

2. Set Up Double Opt-In

When you are designing your subscriber list sign-up form, consider giving your users a double opt-in option. When there is a single opt-in, all the user has to do is enter their email address and click the “subscribe” button.

With a double opt-in, the user receives a confirmation email that contains a link they have to click to verify their actions.

A second opt-in makes sure that the email users mention is valid. It also gives a subscriber another chance to think about signing up. It’s always better to lose a contact at the initial stage of subscription than to deal with a subscriber who sends your messages to spam folders.  

This approach also reduces the chance of spammers appearing on your contact list.

3. Welcome Subscribers with a Personalized Email

Make sure all of your subscribers receive personalized emails that welcome them to your list. Marketing automation makes it easy to set these messages up. With a welcome email, you can kill two birds with one stone: make the subscriber feel special and check if they really want to receive your messages.

Work on your subject line to make sure the subscriber understands exactly where the email is coming from. Otherwise, they may ignore it.

Make sure your welcome emails and other messages always have an unsubscribe link. Make it easy for new subscribers who don’t want your content to opt out of it. Besides, the CAN-SPAM act requires the link to be present in all email messages.

4. Segment Your Email List

The key to a high-quality email campaign is audience segmentation. To create personalized content and engage your subscribers, you can break your list up into groups.

For example, you are selling running shoes to men, women, and teenagers. You may want to design different promotional emails for each audience. Sending an email that promotes shoes for men to your female buyers may not always be effective.

If a person continuously receives offers for products they would never buy, your messages are likely to end up deleted.  

Filtering subscribers based on their qualities can help you design effective email marketing campaigns.

5. Run Re-Engagement Email Campaigns

Many email marketers make re-engagement campaigns a major part of their effort. Besides checking back with your subscribers and bringing them back into the game, a re-engagement email campaign can validate your email list.

Reach out to your existing clients to find out whether they still want to receive your emails. Do it by designing a special offer or creating highly personalized content. If you don’t get a response, delete these contacts from your list.

6. Allow Subscription Management

Make it easy for your audience to manage their subscription to your email list. Your subscribers should understand exactly how to change their contact information when necessary or unsubscribe when the time comes.

This can minimize spam issues, increase email deliverability, and streamline your entire email marketing effort.

The Takeaway

Email management is the key to a high-quality marketing campaign. Take the time to review your email list management practices, stay up to date with validation techniques, and make it easy for subscribers to opt-out when necessary. Email marketing software can help you automate the majority of these processes.

By keeping your email list in top shape, you can increase your marketing ROI, improve conversion rates, and keep your subscribers happy. 


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