How to Nurture Your Email List for Marketing Success

February 16 2017

To be successful with email marketing, you have to nurture your email list. Like a garden, it requires not only regular planting (adding new emails) to grow, but also a little pruning (data cleaning) to thrive.

Growing Your List Organically
The average email list loses its value at nearly 25 percent each year, so it's only natural to want to build yours by any means necessary. But resist the urge to purchase email lists. Purchased data can be inaccurate or contain spam traps, and since the contacts haven't opted in, they're more likely to report you as spam. That's why reputable email service providers refuse to work with purchased contacts.

For optimal results, you need a clean, permission-based email list. Collect emails personally or via web forms and online marketing. To reduce the likelihood of error, take steps to verify the information. Online, for example, you can have them enter their email twice or use a double opt-in that requires email verification.

Maintaining Your Email List
Removing unsubscribe requests is a no-brainer if you want to remain CAN-SPAM compliant. But to improve deliverability and reduce bounce rates, you'll also want to remove bounced emails and inactive accounts.

Hard bounces are undeliverable addresses you'll want to get rid of as soon as possible. Soft bounces occur due to a server error and may be tried again. If, however, an email soft bounces three times, you should consider removing it. Inactive recipients who haven't engaged with your content for an extended period can be segmented into a separate list and targeted for re-engagement.

Remember, subscriber engagement affects more than your return on investment. It also affects how internet service providers treat your campaigns going forward. With a clean list, strong content and high engagement, you'll have a clear path to inboxes far and wide.