Clean Up Your Email Marketing Lists!

There is a temptation email marketers are often subject to.  It’s the “how large is the mailing list” lure.  It typically the most accessible metric that email marketers are subjected to and can cause a yearning for more and more people.  Resist this urge and keep tidy lists. Email success rates don’t come from how many people you send to, it comes from how many people read and take action on the emails that are sent.

Just to prove that anyone with enough time or money can build a large email list, you can review multiple list broker services.  These sites contain listings for millions of email addresses.  Just think, talking to millions of people; that don’t want to listen.  It’s more important to build a credible list than a large one.

This is just like cleaning your room when you were a kid.  Sure it might have felt good to be surrounded by all those neat toys but ultimately you couldn’t find or use the ones you intended to play with.  You were drowning in a pile of unusable possibilities.  That’s what large unkempt lists are, unusable possibilities.

So how do you keep a tight ship with your lists.  First, almost every email marketing program has the functionality to identify and scrub bad addresses.  Identify yours and use it.  Bad addresses are unmonitored email, bounced sends, full mailboxes, non-existent addressed, and some out-of-office reminders.  (If you get the same out of office reminder for six months, remove the address.  If it says the person is no longer with the company or passed away, definitely remove the address.)

Why does a clean list matter?

  • First it might save you some money based on how your email marketing program runs.  If you are charged by the amount of names in the database, scrubbing bad ones can decrease your costs.  If you are charged by email sent, it will reduce the amount of outgoing email.
  • Second, it will save web server bandwidth.  If it’s your servers running the email there is a direct benefit.  If you are purchasing a program that runs from a vendor’s servers, then think of it as a subsidiary good deed.
  • Lastly it will clean up metrics.  A high bounce rate can negatively skew your open and click-through numbers.  Make sure you are getting accurate, and therefore actionable, data to improve your email marketing campaigns.

Clean email lists make for cleaner email marketing.  It helps to keep data accurate and might even save a buck or two.

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