How to Manage Email Lists and

How to Manage Email Lists and 12 Best Practices

Want to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns? Then you’ll want to start paying attention to not only how quickly your email list grows but also how well-maintained it is.

Email list management is fundamental to achieving strong results from your marketing efforts. Not only will it help you keep your audience engaged, but it will also save you money in the long run.

If you want to learn what email list management involves, how to do it right, and the best practices for managing your email lists, then keep reading.

What is Email List Management?

Email list management describes the strategy of managing and controlling email subscribers in your lists and segments. It encompasses various processes, such as maintaining updated tagging and segmentation, removing invalid email addresses, duplicates, unsubscribes, and unengaged contacts from your list.

Through this strategy, you can send more targeted emails, which is essential to delivering engaging and highly converting email campaigns.

Benefits of Proper Email List Management

Email list management isn’t just good practice; it’s a strategy that can put you ahead of other businesses and transform your email marketing program into one that generates an outstanding return on investment.

Here’s what you can achieve through managing your email contacts:

– Better Understanding of Your Audience: Identify key segments that generate the most value for your business.

– More Reliable Data: Send personalized emails that drive more revenue from your campaigns.

– Higher Inbox Placement Rate: Spam filters rely heavily on email users’ engagement.

– Healthy List Maintenance: Keep your list free of unwanted addresses such as spam traps, unengaged contacts, and fake email addresses.

– Cost Reduction: Most email marketing providers charge you based on the size of your contacts list or the volume you send to.

Best Practices for Managing an Email or Contact List

Here are 12 best practices to get you started and improve your existing email list management processes.

1. Ensure Your Opt-in Forms Are Set Up Properly

Even if you already have an email list, it’s crucial to ensure your signup forms are secure and add new contacts to your email database in real-time, collecting user consent the right way.

– Transparency: Be specific and transparent about what users are signing up for. This builds trust and ensures your subscribers know what to expect.

– Minimal Data Collection: Ask for only essential personal information, like name and email address. Gathering additional information can be done later.

– Explicit Consent: Get explicit consent for sending marketing emails by adding an optional checkbox.

– Privacy Information: Provide details about how you process user data, how subscribers can edit or have their data removed, and access to your privacy policy.

– Confirmed Opt-in: Use confirmed opt-in to verify new email subscribers and filter out invalid email addresses immediately.

Additionally, implement extra security features like Google’s reCAPTCHA to filter out bot traffic and prevent mail bombing. This ensures that only legitimate users can submit your forms, keeping your list clean and secure.

2. Verify New Contacts with Confirmed Opt-in

Confirmed opt-in, also known as double opt-in, is the gold standard for email marketing. It ensures that only quality contacts join your list.

– Step 1: Notify new contacts in your signup form that they need to verify their email address by clicking a link in a confirmation email.

– Step 2: The confirmation email contains a single link that, when clicked, verifies their submission. If they do not click it, they are not added to your list.

This process helps filter out invalid or fake email addresses and signals to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail or Yahoo! that you are a reputable sender, improving your sender reputation and email deliverability.

3. Greet Your New Contacts with Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are essential for making a positive first impression. When new subscribers opt into your contact list, their engagement and interest in your brand are at their peak.

– Confirmation: Confirm that the subscription was processed correctly.

– Gratitude: Thank new contacts for joining and entrusting you with their personal information.

– Set Expectations: Inform them about the frequency and topics of future communication.

– Deliver Promised Content: Provide any content you promised during the signup.

– Tips and Links: Offer tips and useful links for exploring your brand or website.

– Sender Address: Confirm the sender address they can expect to hear from in the future to avoid your emails being marked as spam.

Welcome emails typically have high engagement rates, which can positively impact your sender reputation with ISPs.

4. Master Your Tagging and Segmentation

Tagging and segmentation are powerful tools for understanding your audience and tailoring your communication to their needs.

– Tagging: Assign tags based on recipient actions. For example, if a subscriber uses a discount code from a welcome email, tag them as “welcome-offer-converted.”

– Segmentation: Divide your audience into smaller groups that share common traits. For example, segment customers who consented to marketing from those who didn’t.

Effective tagging and segmentation enable more personalized and relevant email campaigns, boosting engagement and conversions.

5. Reactivate Unengaged Subscribers

Unengaged subscribers are those who haven’t opened any of your emails or clicked any links in a specified period (e.g., 90 days).

– Reasons for Disengagement: Subscribers may have ignored emails, are no longer interested, or your emails may have been filtered into the spam folder.

– Re-engagement Campaigns: Regularly target unengaged subscribers with re-engagement campaigns. These campaigns can reignite interest and keep your list active.

Addressing disengagement is crucial as ISPs monitor engagement rates closely. High engagement rates improve your sender reputation and deliverability.

6. Automatically Remove Unengaged Subscribers

If re-engagement campaigns don’t succeed, it’s essential to suppress or remove unengaged contacts from your list to maintain a healthy list and ensure good deliverability.

– Manual Removal: Search for unengaged contacts, select them, and delete them from your list.

– Automated Removal: Use an automation workflow to automatically remove unengaged subscribers after several failed re-engagement attempts.

While this may seem drastic, it’s necessary to maintain a healthy email list and avoid being penalized by ISPs for poor engagement rates.

7. Remind Subscribers They Opted Into Your Email List

The average email subscriber receives 416 emails per month, making it easy to forget they signed up for your emails.

– Permission Reminders: Include a short statement in every email reminding subscribers they opted into your list. This helps prevent them from marking your emails as spam.

– Compliance: Including permission reminders helps ensure compliance with privacy laws like CASL, CAN-SPAM, and GDPR.

While not legally required, permission reminders boost your deliverability rate and build subscriber confidence.

8. Automatically Remove Bounced Email Addresses

Bounced emails can harm your sender reputation. There are two types of bounces: soft bounces (temporary) and hard bounces (permanent).

– Soft Bounces: Usually temporary, such as a full mailbox. Monitor and address if they persist.

– Hard Bounces: Permanent issues like non-existent or invalid email addresses. Remove these immediately.

High bounce rates indicate poor email list management practices, which can lead to ISPs blocking or delaying your email delivery.

9. Use a Scoring System to Gauge Engagement

A scoring system helps measure the engagement of each subscriber, providing valuable insights into their behavior.

– Activity Points: Assign points for selected activities, such as opening emails or clicking links.

– Attribute Points: Assign points to users with specific attributes, like not using a free email domain.

– Rewards and Warnings: Use engagement scores to build reward programs for valuable subscribers and create early warning systems for declining engagement.

Combining a scoring system with automation workflows allows for more targeted and effective email campaigns.

10. Send Personalized Email Sequences Based on Your Scoring System

Using engagement scores, trigger personalized email sequences to keep subscribers engaged and drive conversions.

– Trigger Emails: When a subscriber reaches a certain score, send a targeted email sequence.

– Follow-up: If there’s no response, send follow-up emails. If engagement remains low, reduce their score and adjust your strategy.

Personalized email sequences based on engagement scores ensure you send relevant content at the right time, boosting engagement and conversions.

11. Use A/B Testing to Determine What Works

A/B testing, or split testing, is a powerful way to optimize your email campaigns by comparing different variations.

– Elements to Test: Subject lines, headers, main offers, email length, colors, layout styles, headlines, images, videos, and navigation elements.

– Experimentation: Run experiments to see which variations perform best and refine your campaigns accordingly.

Regular A/B testing helps you understand your audience better and continuously improve your email marketing results.

12. Switch Email Service Providers (ESP) if Necessary

Sometimes, despite best practices, your email service provider may not be delivering the results you need.

– Deliverability Issues: If your deliverability rates remain low despite your efforts, consider switching providers.

– Migration: When moving providers, ensure essential information like email templates, contacts, segments, forms, and workflows are migrated properly.

– Leave Behind: Skip migrating contacts who unsubscribed, bounced, or reported your emails as spam.

Switching providers can provide a fresh start and improve your email marketing performance.

 Email List Management Tools to Consider

Now that you know the list management best practices, it’s time to consider the key tools that’ll enhance your marketing strategy:

– Forms and Popup Software: Build your subscriber list the right way with modern form designs and targeting options.

– Email Marketing Software: Manage your email lists, run campaigns, and report on your results.

– Email Validation Software: Verify old subscriber lists or new sign-ups to maintain a clean email list.

– Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Keep all data about your contacts and interactions in one place.

 Improve Your Email Marketing Through Email List Management

Email list management is an essential part of any email marketing strategy. By implementing these best practices, you will increase your ROI and improve the quality of your contact list. Use what we’ve shared here to get your email list organized and keep sending relevant and personalized email campaigns to your subscribers! The improvement in the bottom line will make all your email marketing efforts worth it!