Marketers are continually adding new email addresses to their mailing lists to grow and expand their marketing programs. A common myth among marketers, however, is that the more addresses to target, the better.
In order to foster long-lasting and profitable relationships with subscribers, it is essential that email lists are regularly monitored for positive engagement; this helps better focus on subscribers who want to receive content from brands.
Email marketers will come across numerous types of subscribers including those who actively engage, never engage, or don't exist. When developing their next campaigns senders should consider these three common subscriber types to help determine which addresses to remove and whether to remove them from lists.
Keep: Loyal Lucy
The ideal subscriber is one who continuously engages with marketing programs; she opens emails, clicks through to landing pages, and acts on marketers' calls to action. Even subscribers who only occasionally open emails should remain on mailing lists, as a steady stream of content can help to foster their loyalty.
To strengthen and create long-lasting relationships with loyal subscribers, marketers should establish a regular cadence in sending content and plan strategic email campaigns to move readers through the sales funnel. Subscribers should be segmented into those who open emails, those who click through and those who purchase. By segmenting lists this way, marketers can create campaigns that drive subscribers to the next stage in the funnel, with an end goal of making a purchase. This email strategy will allow marketers to better segment customers and offer content to best pique their interest.
Delete or Re-Engage: No Go Moe
Subscribers who never open emails after an extended period are likely not interested in continued communications. No specific amount of time should be set to track this lack of engagement. Instead, marketers should use their gut instinct to determine how long to continue emailing subscribers before removing them from lists. Marketers should also take into consideration low engagement scores among subscribers, deleting those who have a zero.
However, before completely removing these emails from lists, initiate one last re-engagement campaign to win back subscribers' interest. Email marketing programs should already have an established cadence, meaning subscribers are in sync and expecting to receive correspondence at a regular time. Deliver these re-engagement emails at a different time than normal emails are sent, using subject lines like "We Miss You" or "Open to Continue Receiving Emails," to ensure you're keeping any contacts with lingering loyalties.
Delete: Jane and John Does
It's common for email marketers to encounter fake emails on their mailing lists, which can pose a danger to deliverability rates. If new email addresses have never opened a subsequent message, a keen marketer should note the warning signs indicating a potentially false email.
Marketers can combat this risk by becoming more wary of addresses with popular domains where it is easy to create disposable accounts, like email@example.com. These emails get added to lists with no intention of engaging and should be removed at first sight. Marketers should also dedicate time to examining the addresses in their lists, especially following the holiday period when an increase of list sign-ups occurs, and rogue addresses can more easily fly under the radar.
Email marketers should regularly practice list hygiene by removing subscribers who no longer engage with their brands and implementing reactivation campaigns for lapsed contacts. By removing those who do not engage or contain disposable emails, marketers can focus on loyal subscribers who are most interested in correspondence. More focus will allow them to increase deliverability rates and can even help brands grow their ROI.
EJ McGowan, VP of Engineering for Glance Networks and Founder of Carpe Diem Software, is a highly experienced software professional with a career spanning over three decades. With a background in mini-computing and experience building major applications for microcomputers, EJ has a unique perspective on the evolution of technology. He was the architect for one of the first SaaS applications and now focuses on creating scalable and highly available applications for the on-demand marketplace. With a successful track record in building and leading development organizations and sales and marketing teams, EJ is a valuable asset in the software industry.