Now is a perfect time to get your email list into shape. Why? Well, just like our bodies can’t function at optimal levels if we don’t take care of them, our email lists can also suffer if they are not getting the attention they need.
A clean, up-to-date email list is critical to the effectiveness of your campaigns, and to ensuring that you’re getting the best possible results. Once your list is in good shape, with a little ongoing maintenance, you’ll see improved delivery, response, and conversion rates — and a better-looking bottom line.
If you’re already a Net Atlantic customer, you may know that our email marketing software automatically updates your list every time you send. It keeps track of successful sends, bounces, unsubscribes, deferrals, failed attempts, and more. Your mail server will make many attempts to deliver your message to all of your subscribers, and only after several failed delivery attempts will it automatically put a subscriber into “held” status.
That said, there are still things that you can do as a list owner, above and beyond what the software does automatically, to get your list into tip-top shape. Here are some ways to tune up your list, improve engagement and interactivity, and get better results from your email marketing efforts.
- Send a brief survey to find out exactly what kind of content your recipients want to receive. You can also ask them why they may have not engaged with your email in a while. Maybe they are no longer interested in your products or services. Or maybe it’s just a matter of tweaking your content to make it more compelling. Sending a survey will eliminate some of the guesswork about why these subscribers have become inactive, and will help you improve your email campaigns going forward, too.
- Encourage sharing, forwarding, etc. ISPs give increased relevance and mail quality rankings to email that gets shared and forwarded. So put your best stuff in your newsletter, and encourage your subscribers to forward it to a friend.
- Ask for feedback by encouraging your subscribers to respond directly to your email message. This helps you establish a nice dialog with your subscribers, and as a result, your inboxing and engagement rates will improve. A simple “Tell us what you think” or “Disagree with us? Tell us why…” can get people to start interacting with you.
- Create segments and fine-tune your content accordingly. If your subscribers are interested in different things, sending the same email to all of them is not going to be as effective as you’d like. So it makes sense to segment your list based on the specific interests, behaviors, and/or actions of your audience. For example, if you sell pet supplies, cat owners who subscribe to your list aren’t going to be interested in the new dog food you’re promoting. In fact, those cat people are probably going to ignore or delete your email without even opening it. This is important to note, since many ISPs track engagement as a way to determine whether your emails end up in the spam folder instead of the inbox. Moral of the story: the more specific your segments are, the more targeted you can make your content, and the more likely your subscribers will be to open your messages. They’ll feel like you’re speaking directly to them, and they’ll feel compelled to engage.
- Run a “win-back” campaign. You’ve probably seen these in your own inbox on occasion. The subject line might say “We miss you!”, or offer a discount as an incentive for you to open the mail and hopefully make a purchase. They can be very effective, especially if you have something unique or valuable to offer. When done right, these campaigns remind your subscribers about why they signed up for your list in the first place.
- Send a “last chance” email. Just put it right out there. Let your inactive subscribers know that you’ve noticed that they seem to have lost interest over the last several months. Give them a chance to show you that they still want to hear from you by giving them a link to click, or another opportunity to engage with your message.
One Last Thing…
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