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Email List Management Best Practices: a Comprehensive Guide

Who will do your email list management once you build a huge list of prospects? Some business owners overlook the importance of maintaining a quality email list.

In sports, a team wins when everyone is pulling in the same direction. Unmotivated and unfit players may pull down the whole team's morale, which will be reflected in team results. The same happens with emails. An idle list will do nothing but fill your database.

You have to manage your list using different strategies to ensure that your email list adds value to your business. The end game is to have an email list with active subscribers who add value to your business. Follow the below tips to manage your email list efficiently so it can add value to your sales and profit.


woman learning Email List Management

What is Email List Management?

Email list management is a strategy for managing your email contacts. It is a means to grow, segment, and maintain a healthy list. A healthy email list will help you achieve your email marketing objectives fast.

When managing your list, focus on developing systems that allow you to do the following:

  • Build an email list with quality contacts

  • Ensure your emails get to the targeted audience

  • Track leads through a sales funnel

  • Maintaining accurate customer data

  • Increase your email ROI

  • Minimize your email marketing costs

  • Improve your email deliverability

The main benefit of email list management is that it’ll boost your email marketing ROI. It’ll finally help you achieve the coveted email marketing target of getting $36 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.

But what are the best email management practices that will help you achieve this feat?

1. Validate Your Email List

Quality over quantity—that’s the simple rule in email management. When you understand and embrace this rule, you’ll save lots of time and resources in email marketing campaigns.

You ought to understand that as long as you are recruiting new leads into your sales funnel, you will have invalid email addresses. Some leads may not be interested in your email campaigns, while others may change their emails.

Such disinterested contacts may harm your email marketing progress in more ways than you can imagine. For example, sending emails to inactive customer inboxes is a sure way to fall into spam traps. Falling into this trap risks harming your sender's reputation. As they say, "One rotten apple spoils the barrel."

A damaged sender reputation increases the likelihood of your future emails landing in your target customer's spam folder. A similar fate awaits you if you have numerous uninterested customers in your email list.

Most of these customers will report your emails as spam. Such actions will eventually undermine your email marketing efforts as you will only achieve a little with a negative sender reputation. Use email validation tools to scan your email list and identify inactive emails, abandoned or other red flags that may harm your email deliverability.

Note: don't hesitate to eliminate emails that have been filtered as having red flags. You can always get a new reliable contact list, but it will take longer to undo the mess of a damaged sender reputation.

2. Set Up Your Opt-In Forms


optin form for Email List Management

Some of the new leads you got may only have subscribed to your email list because of the gift you were offering on subscription. They may be less interested in the series of email campaigns you hope to use to develop a relationship with them. Such customers are highly likely to report your emails as spam to avoid reading them.

Opt-in forms help you avoid such a situation with your new leads. The forms let you collect genuine email contacts of customers who want to receive email newsletters and notifications from your business.

When set up right, opt-in forms will help you add new contacts to your email database in real-time. They will also let you get user consent to receive email communications from your business.

When targeting customers in the EU region, you must adhere to their new general data protection regulation (GDPR) on customer email opt-in. Among these rules is that you must use the double opt-in option to collect customer email addresses.

It should be your preferable opt-in option for better email list hygiene. The option enables you to attract more quality subscribers and lower your risk of adding spammers to your list.

The double opt-in option requires a customer to sign up and subscribe to email communications from your business. The customer then automatically receives a confirmation email with a URL to verify that they are indeed the owners of that email address.

3. Send Your New Customers Personalized Welcome Emails

The least you can do to your new email subscriber after the double opt-in hassle is welcome them. An automated but personalized welcome email will do the magic. Such an email makes the new subscriber immediately feel engaged and valued in your business. It assures them that they made the right decision by subscribing to your email list.

A warm welcome email will entice subscribers to open and engage with your future emails. Moreover, it gives customers insights into what to expect. Therefore, your welcome should contain the following details to create a positive customer experience.

  • Greet the subscriber by their name – addressing a person by their name makes them feel the email was specifically meant for them.

  • Include a thank you note – thank the customer for subscribing to your email list.

  • Make the customer feel special – share with the customers the benefits of subscribing to your email list. For example, they will be the first to know any price or products you offer.

  • Include instructions on the next steps- offer your customers a simple orientation to your email campaign.

  • Send the customer light engagement requests- welcome emails have a 91.43% open rate. Therefore, this could be your chance to request your customers for better engagement. For example, ask the customer to add your email to their approved sender's list and also request the customer to follow you on social media.

  • Offer to help - prove that you can add value to the customer. Ask the customer how you can serve them.

Maintain Email List Hygiene


Email List Management- picture with word email

Your email list is like your workstation. You have to keep it clean and organized regularly. A clean email list boosts your marketing efforts. You can maximize your returns by only focusing on willing and enthusiastic subscribers about being engaged with your email campaigns.

A tidy email list also protects your brand's reputation. It is bad for your brand image when most emails you send find their way into your customer's spam folder.

However, you can maintain your email list hygiene by doing the following:

  • Update invalid addresses

  • Reengage or eliminate old contacts

  • Remove duplicate addresses

  • Remove inactive addresses

  • Fix address with typos

  • Delete emails from soft and hard bounces

4. Segment Your Email List

One of the primary reasons for maintaining your email hygiene is to improve customer engagement. You can certainly improve customer interest and engagement in your email campaigns by sending them more relevant content.

Customers relate well with stuff that matches their interests. That means they will be less likely to mark your emails as spam.

Therefore, improve your email relevance by segmenting your email subscribers. Segmenting allow you to create smaller groups of customers who share similar interests. Segmentation allows you to send more targeted and personalized emails to various customer segments. For example, you can segment customers based on purchase behaviors.

Some customers also prefer to shop more when there are offers. Be sure to email these customers whenever you have any offers and encourage them to shop more.

5. Provide an Opt-Out Option


Email List Management- woman reading email

You’ll minimize your email spammers risk by providing an opt-out for your customers. Instead of the customer classifying your emails as spam, encourage them to opt out of your subscription or decrease the email frequency.

The opt-down option lets customers choose when to receive your emails and at what frequency. It minimizes the possibility of overwhelming your customers with too many emails.

Get Professional Email List Management Help

Getting a high ROI on your email marketing efforts is no easy task. It requires time, effort, and sacrifice, which may be hard to get as a business owner who’s spending time on other important tasks. Outsource your email list management functions and let our professionals take care of this part of your business while you attend to more urgent matters.


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