The opt-in list is a vital component of any email marketing campaign. However, the manner in which you manage this list is even more important. Proper list management is a best practice you must follow if you want to have any success in the email marketing game. There are many aspects that need to be covered, but here are some key management areas you need to be focusing on right now:
Bad Email Addresses
All the bad email addresses should either be corrected or removed from your list immediately. By taking a look at your failure reports, you should be able to tell whether these addresses are related to domains executive email addresses that do not exist, or if mistakes were made when acquiring data at sign up. A high ratio of failures is usually a telltale sign of the latter. Simple omissions such as overlooking a misspelled email address is something you can easily fix. Take care of this, and your delivery and response rates could significantly increase.
Inactive Email Addresses
An inactive email address can be just as detrimental to your list as a bad one. The best way to manage your list in this regard is to perform an assessment of subscriber activity and weigh your open rates against email frequency. For instance, if you distribute a monthly newsletter and observe that a few subscribers have not opened any of your emails in the last year, it is probably a good idea to remove those people from your list. When it comes to cleaning up inactive addresses, the strategy you employ should be executed in respect to your mailing practices and business. You may decide to remove those inactive email addresses from your master list and add them to a separate list that aims to reengage idle subscribers, for example.
The Aging Email List
One reason management is so important is because it helps you address the inevitable aging list.
As time goes on, it is very likely that some of the people on your list will either forget that they signed up, or change their level of interest in your offerings. So just how old is too old? The answer to that question depends on the specifics of your business, and how often you contact your subscribers. Spam complaints can still fly even if you email them on a regular basis. You can address this problem by removing all inactive addresses as mentioned above, or creating a re-opt-in program. By sending a message asking subscribers if they would like to continue to receive your mailings, you can determine whether their email address should be removed, or if you need to tailor your messages to better suit their interests.
Keep Your List in Check
Solid management practices will help to ensure that your list is as clean as possible. This is not a one-time deal, but more like an ongoing process that should be performed on a consistent basis. Stick with it and over time, you will come to master the art of list management.