As a business owner, you are aware of the importance of email marketing lists. The primary goal of an email marketing list is to have a database of real people that have requested to receive messages from you. So, it’s important to send relevant information, but it’s also important that your email marketing database is up to date. Unfortunately, if you’ve been in business for a while you probably have an extensive email list and you may be sending emails that aren’t being received or that are being blocked. Since the email list is designed to help you reach customers that are interested in hearing from you, it’s essential that you have a clean email marketing database. Here are some tips to help you maintain clean email lists.
One of the first and most important places to start cleaning your email marketing database is with the soft and hard bounces. A soft bounce typically means that the email address has a temporary problem with delivery. For instance, there is a server problem or their email inbox is full. You don’t necessarily have to remove soft bounces right away and it’s okay to resend them, but if you continue to get multiple soft bounces for a specific email address, it should be removed from email marketing lists.
A hard bounce is an email address that cannot be delivered because the email address is invalid. This can occur for a number of reasons, such as a typo when the customer subscribed or it may be because the email address no longer exists. If the problem is something that can be fixed, such as a typo, then fix the problem and leave the email address on your list; however, hard bounces are generally a permanent delivery problem, so if they can’t be fixed, they should be removed from your email marketing database. To reduce hard bounces, you can require your subscribers to confirm their email address. This helps to reduce fake email addresses and eliminates mistyped email addresses, so your message ends up where they are meant to go.
Remove Inactive Email Addresses from Database
Although it may seem irrational to remove subscribers from your email marketing lists, doing so will actually help to maintain your reputation. Internet service providers (ISPs) look at response rate to determine if the email should go into the inbox or the spam box and when the email is continually being deleted without opening, it will eventually begin being delivered to their spam. The goal is to have a database of engaged subscribers, so if someone is going to delete your messages, why waste time and money sending them. Before removing inactive subscribers, consider sending a “re-engagement” offer to get them reinterested in being a subscriber. If this doesn’t work, send an email asking if they want to remain on your email marketing list and be sure to include an easy way to opt out. If the subscriber continues to remain inactive, remove them from the database.
Understand the Risks of Buying 3rd Party Lists
An email marketing list has names, email address and maybe other types of information, such as company names and/or income level. Whether you have recently launched a new business or you are growing an existing one, buying an email list for sale may sound like a quick way to increase your business, it’s actually a bad mistake and may be dangerous for your business. Email lists for sale are usually a waste of money and usually a shortcut that just doesn’t work, often causing more harm than good. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t buy an email list, including:
- You cannot trust the quality of the list. Unfortunately, it’s common for people that sell email lists to make a wide range of claims, many that aren’t true. For instance, the email lists for sale may include incomplete or missing data, such as having the wrong names, out-of-date-information and email addresses that have been illegally harvested from the web. If the email list you purchased was illegally harvested, you could be subject to penalties adding up to thousands of dollars for each individual email you send.
- You may appear as a spammer. You want your emails to be well-written and contact quality information. Unfortunately, marketing emails from a bought list are often poorly written and include poor quality information, even false information. When someone subscribes to an email list, they don’t expect their information to be sold to another company, so if your emails show up as under a different name, they will appear as spam.
- Problems with your email service provider. If too many of your emails are delivered as spam, it will cause you problems with your email service provider (the company that sends out your emails). This creates a range of problems, such as your account may be closed, you could be fined and/or the email service provider may take legal action against you.
- You will get a poor response rate. Email lists for sale will generally have several thousand names, you would expect a selling rate of at least 5 percent, but the reality is the response rate may be significantly less. This is partially due to the email list for sale may contain invalid names or it could be because the names on the list simply aren’t interested in what you have to offer. The reason for this is that those being targeted didn’t have an initial interest in the product or service, so they didn’t request the information being sent.
The most important thing to keep in mind when developing your email marketing lists is that having “clean” lists is the only way to be successful. Even if you are a new business, starting out slowly, with legitimate emails that people have subscribed to will be more profitable and time-efficient in the long run. Buying email lists for sale can ruin your reputation and end up costing you thousands of dollars, so it’s best to only use an email list that has been developed through legitimate subscriptions.