It is not just enough to ensure that marketing e-mails reach the inboxes of intended recipients because to make the communication work for you, the recipient must welcome it too. For ensuring proper welcome of your emails, you have to send it to persons who are interested in it. This means that the addresses in your email list should only include those who could respond positively to your emails, which gives meaning to your marketing efforts. Pruning the email list periodically is essential so that it does not contain any superficial contacts that could resent your emails. Resentment towards emails is scary for marketers because it damages the sender reputation besides causing many other problems.
Cleaning of email lists reduces the instances of unsubscribing as well as recipients marking your emails as spam. A healthy email list enhances content relevancy through better segmentation of emails. The opening rates improve as also deliverability and your sender reputation. Overall, an improvement in email metrics gives you more confidence in taking the campaign forward for positive results.
A clean email list is the backbone of any successful email marketing campaign, and you must know how to maintain a healthy and clean email list. You have to know how to maintain an email list that contains only the addresses valid for your marketing campaign. It should help you to achieve the objectives of branding on the internet too. For maintaining a clean email list, first, identify addresses that did not respond positively to your emails and then take measures to create closer engagement with them.
How to Maintain a Clean and Healthy Email List that Contributes to the Success of Email Marketing
Identify the email addresses that you do not want
- Identify the addresses that unsubscribe – Unwilling recipients would unsubscribe from your emails and you too should remove these addresses from the email list.
- Invalid and duplicate email addresses – Besides ensuring that your list contains only valid subscribers you have to be careful about duplicate addresses and weed it out from the list. Also, ensure that the address is not fictitious and it belongs to some human and not any bots or other technical tools that provide automated responses.
- Alias email addresses – Be careful about alias addresses like team @ xxxxxx.com or support @zzzzz.com because such addresses face a problem of deliverability, as many ESPs (Email Service Provider) does not deliver emails to such addresses. The reason is that several email addresses linked to the alias addresses have not opted to receive your communication.
- Contacts reluctant to opt in – If there are addresses in your list that have crept in from some bought out a list or as a result of some not so clean address acquisition methods, you should remove such addresses as soon as possible. It would improve your reputation as a sender as well as open and click-through rates besides ensuring better deliverability.
- Old email addresses – It does not make sense to carry on with very old email addresses. The chances are that the recipient is no longer interested in your products and brand or perhaps the address does not belong to the recipient anymore who might have abandoned it. However, you should retain old addresses after checking its validity. An easy way of doing it is to create a separate list based on the age of subscription and monitor the matrix of activities like bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, click through rates, open rates. Compare the results with the results of the new list, and the old addresses that have performance results at par with the new list are surely the ones you should retain.
- Disengaged recipient – If some recipients have stopped opening your emails it is a sign of disengagement but before scrapping those from the list try to re-engage them by undertaking a re-engagement program. You can figure out new ways of engaging with them by seeking their feedback and giving them a chance to re-set the opt-in settings. In case it does not work, removal is the only option.
- Email addresses that bounce – If an email address is invalid, emails sent to that address will bounce resulting in a hard bounce. This calls for immediate removal of the address from the list. However, if emails encounter soft bounces because the mailbox is full or being on autoresponder mode, you should monitor it for some more time before deciding for its removal.
Now that you are ready with a clean and healthy email list take measures to keep the list clean.
Give clear instructions for unsubscribing
Every email should have the option of unsubscribing and the unsubscribing button should be visible at the bottom (footer) of the email message. Be forthright with the message so that there is no ambiguity in it. Stating ‘unsubscribe from these emails’ is a simple yet clear message and make the process easy to complete when subscribers reach the landing page.
Follow best practices in acquiring email addresses
Maintaining a clean email list begins by following the best practices in acquiring email addresses so that you not only obtain valid addresses but also of people interested in hearing you. Create optimized landing pages, use excellent content and have provision for double opt-in for protecting your sender reputation.
Allow subscribers alter their email settings
Besides giving subscribers the opportunity to unsubscribe, also allow them to edit their settings for emails. If they can select the frequency of receiving emails and highlight the preference of topics, it could save you from the recipient unsubscribing from your emails.
Welcome all new subscribers with a welcome email
Sending out a welcome email to all new subscribers is mandatory as part of the double opt-in process. The welcome email could request subscribers to confirm their subscription once again, ask them to customize their email settings and add your name as a safe sender. Allowing subscribers to make a choice about their preferred topics and frequency of communication can get you much closer to them.
Lastly, pay close attention to segmentation of emails that not only helps to maintain a clean list but also ensures sending the most relevant emails to your subscribers.