Does size really matter? Often it is misconceived that bigger mailing lists are more valuable. Here the saying “quality above quantity” holds true. Though you may have labored in compiling an extensive mailing list, this may not reach the minimum sales targets or response rates you have set.
Increase your exclusivity. Edit your lists; crop them down to readers who often engage with you. Maintain an audience that is interested and build on a focused list.
The biggest gain is from sending content to lists with high absorption rates. An opted-in list of subscribers that are engaged with your brand is always an asset. It’s important to understand that a return with every send is not guaranteed, especially when your mailing list is outdated.
How often do I need to update my list? A recent survey by The Relevancy Group found that 30 percent of consumers changed to or created a new email address in the past year. Authenticated data over time is unreliable.
Where do I start? Removing inactive subscribers from your mailing list is a good practice. Discontinue marketing to someone who has no interest in your services. “A clean list increases your engagement, purchase levels and sender reputation and saves you money,” says Barbara Ulmi, Head of Marketing at GraphicMail.
Subscribers appear to have become inactive because:
- They appreciate your emails, but don’t require your services at the time.
- They’re disinterested in your emails, but don’t care enough to unsubscribe.
- Address churn; subscribers no longer use the address you have for them.
- Subscribers don’t see your email, since it filters into their spam folder.
List hygiene is a difficult process, since most inactive subscribers fall into the first group. This is where campaign engagement really starts to matter. Measuring engagement is a complex issue and can be put aside until you are ready to scrutinize lists more radically.
How to cut out bad entries manually
- Search and correct simple data entry mistakes like misspelled domains (geemail.com, hotmole.com, etc.). Having these is normal, but if there are many bad domain names, then you may want to investigate the cause. Insist on having subscribers enter their email addresses twice on your signup form to authenticate their entries.
- Eliminate duplicate email addresses. Should your email service provider (ESP) not do this automatically, manually remove them. Eliminate fake accounts. Look for addresses like abcd@, qwerty@, test@. These are all entries that you want to get rid of.
- Frequently monitor your list for “no opens” and “no clicks” and remove them from your primary mailing list. If you are reluctant to dispose of these contacts, consider moving them to a separate list for re-engagement campaigns.
- If someone unsubscribes, make sure they’re removed quickly. You should be offering easy opt-out channels to give people who are no longer interested a clear way to remove themselves as well.
Sweep your mailing list by automation. Not everyone has the time to scrub their mailing list by hand. Using automated list cleaning tools are a far more elegant and productive solution. To make this easier, there are ESPs that have developed such features.
“As an ESP, it is important to make it easy for users to clean their lists in an automated and professional manner,” Ulmi explained. “This not only helps them save money in the long run, but also increases their sender reputation and is highly likely to even result in a better return on investment.”