As a digital marketing company, one of the services we provide to our clients is email marketing.  Email marketing is a crucial part of any business’s digital marketing strategy. The first step to developing successful email marketing is developing your email list.  Each of our client’s email lists vary in size, and it is our job to build, manage, and maintain them.

Email lists are essential to executing successful email marketing campaigns. When it comes to compiling the best email list for your business, there is always room for improvement.  We have come up with 4 ways that can help you to improve your business’s email list.

1. Grow Your List

First and foremost, you always want to be increasing the number of email subscribers you have. Your consumer base is constantly growing and your email list should reflect that. Your list can include current customers, future customers, people who have shown interest in your brand and have opted in to get emails, other businesses in your community, email contacts, etc.

As long as someone gives you permission to email them, you can build your list from many different groups of people. At the most basic level, you can have a spot on your website that allows people to sign up to receive emails. Social media can be used as a tool to increase subscribers. You can also use your social media platforms to promote joining your email list or use a social media contest that requires opting in to emails as a qualification for entry.

TIP:Opt-in methods are a very effective way to grow your email list.  An opt-in method provides a benefit for you and the customer.  By offering something such as a free eBook download, entry into a contest, a coupon, etc.,  you gain valuable customer information in exchange and thus both sides benefit. People will be more likely to give an email address when they are getting something in return. 

2. Manage Bounce Rates

While you should be continuously growing your email list, it is also really important to monitor your bounce rate. A bounce rate is the percentage of emails sent that could not be delivered.  There are two types of bounces: soft and hard. Soft bounces reach the server but are not delivered for reasons such as a full mailbox. Hard bounces do not reach the server and may be caused by using an invalid email address.

High bounce rates may interfere with successful delivery of future emails.  Undelivered emails due to hard bounces may be limiting the success of your email marketing.  To manage the number of hard bounces, you can simply remove the invalid emails from your list.  Some email marketing tools will even do this for you, which makes this a super easy way to manage your bounce rate and improve your email list!

3. Maintain Subscribers

It is normal for people to unsubscribe to your emails, and while you can’t prevent people from unsubscribing, you can try to minimize the number of unsubscribes. Maintaining subscribers factors into the overall growth of your email list. You don’t want your unsubscribe rate to exceed the rate at which you are adding emails to your list.

People unsubscribe to emails for many different reasons and it’s hard to be sure what motivates them to unsubscribe from your emails. Your best shot at trying to minimize the number of unsubscribes is through email content and frequency of sending emails. Sending emails with content that your email list will be interested in and not bombarding their inboxes are ways you can try to keep your number of unsubscribes low. Some email marketing tools have an option that allows you to ask why an individual is unsubscribing.

TIP: If you are unsure about what types of content your list is interested in, try sending a variety of emails each with different content included to test and see what content they respond to.  By doing test emails, you can monitor how your list responds to the different types of content and then decide which is most effective.

4. Segment Your List

It is likely that not everyone on your email list will be interested in the same information. By segmenting your email list into sub-lists, you will be able to tailor your messages to a more narrow audience and in turn have stronger email marketing campaigns.

Having sub-lists can help your total email list by allowing you to more effectively reach and communicate with people. You can segment by demographic, customer behavior, customer type, etc. There could be endless ways to slice and dice your list to make it work for you.