How to Optimize and Maintain Your Email List

How to Optimize and Maintain Your Email List

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When it comes to email optimization, the first thing you want to understand is how to improve a poorly performing email campaign. Even if you are running a somewhat successful email campaign, there is always room for improvement. Your target market, demographics and audience interests can change easily and quickly. This is why we’ve created this article to help you optimize and maintain your email list.

Should you clean your lists?

When Internet service providers and email security services are always on the watch for spam and malware, it is imperative that you keep a low profile. The last thing you want is to be on their watch list. This is why you have to look out for undelivered messages, spam complaints and unsubscribes. If they are over their thresholds, you will get unwanted attention from those groups. So, it is never in your best interest to blast an email to an unqualified list. If you do, your email platform may suspend your account. Plus, you will have abysmal marketing results. So, you definitely have to clean your list.

The consumer is in charge

There isn’t any doubt that consumers run the show. You can no longer shout out your messages and hope for a few hits. Consumers have more options and resources today; they expect more than ever before. This is especially true with email. So, you don’t want to blast your email message to a stale or purchased email list. Otherwise, you are wasting both time and money. Plus, you can seriously hurt your brand and reputation. This is why it is critical to have an up-to-date list.

Don’t expect your email platform to clean your list

That is not their job, and they are under no obligation to do so. What email platforms can do is help to monitor the health of your list throughout your email campaign. They can provide metrics such as bounce rate and unsubscribes. You can then use this data to see how well your list is performing. Still, you should keep your list clean.

How can you update your list?

The first step is to strategically find a list. You can do so through utilizing lead scoring and grading solutions. This will automatically check each lead to examine their fit for your business. You might also let your recipients opt-in to receive emails. This way, you have gained their permission–and, their interest in receiving your content. You can also use one of the many online tools that will clean and validate your list for you. Two popular tools are DataValidation and BriteVerify. Don’t launch your next marketing list without a clean list.

Maintain your list

One way to manage your list, and your reputation, is to let your target customers control the types of information they receive. By law, you have to allow subscribers to opt-out. But, you can also give them the opportunity for one last chance to stay. You might offer frequency options that they are comfortable with, and, this lets them know you care about their needs.

You should also create a subscription center on your website. When subscribers click on “unsubscribe,” they will be given the option of changing the frequency. Make sense? Maybe they are still open to seeing you, even if it’s a little less of you.

Segment your list

The objective is to break down your main email list into smaller segments. Why do you want to do this? Because you want the ability to present targeted offers and messages to them. Depending on the size of your main list, it may just mean splitting your database in half. To keep things simple moving forward, you might just permanently segment your email marketing list. Yet, in order to fully optimize your list, you should provide more tailored and customized messages.

A/B Test

In addition, you should test two different types of emails. You might test two completely different email subject lines to see which one is opened more. You might also test two different offers. You are testing A against B. Yet, don’t stop there. You need to test continually. The goal is to have enough winners to use on a regular basis. After that, test again.

Utilize tease marketing

This is not about being manipulative, but it is seduction instead. It’s how relationships are built. You have to lure your recipients into opening your emails. From a customer-centric standpoint, it is about interaction and value. Are your emails alluring? They should have the right mix of offers, imagery, text, topics and call-to-actions. How are you appealing to feelings, emotions and brand affection?

Create engaging emails

Offer alternatives as opposed to purely direct purchases. You want your recipients to interact, even when they are not ready to purchase. Furthermore, you don’t want your entire message in the email itself. Then, what would prompt your recipients to visit your site or landing page? Plus, your email messages should be varied. Since you’ve come up with a few from A/B testing, that shouldn’t be a problem right? A repeatitive message can be redundant and boring. Determine the percentage of your emails that are truly interesting and engaging. Are they geared towards your segmented list?

Maintaining your email list takes work. It is a continual effort to keep your list clean since customers can move, change addresses and more. The cleaner your list, the better off you will be with regard to your brand, reputation and email platform. It can be difficult enough deciding on the right email campaign, but getting kicked off your email platform will just make it much worse.

Plus, you might have disinterested recipients complaining about your “spam” on social media. You don’t want those types of messages to go viral. It’s much easier to maintain a good reputation than to have to repair a tarnished one. Plus, a clean list is necessary for email optimization. Now, you can focus on alluring messages that speak directly to your segmented list. The good news is once you get used to these types of actions, they start to feel like second nature. You then get better at cleaning and optimizing, which can lead to more fruitful marketing campaigns.

Katrina Manning

Katrina Manning is a content marketing specialist who has penned thousands of articles on business, tech, lifestyle and digital marketing for a wide variety of global B2B clients. She mostly writes for and she is also the author of three books and is currently working on her fourth. In her free time, she enjoys fundraising for charitable causes, playing with her cat and baking.

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