List Management Best Practices September 13, 2018, | Posted by Samantha

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It’s become a simple and immutable fact that email marketing has shifted its focus, as an industry: it no longer works to just blindly send out an email to as many addresses as possible and hope that some will convert. Instead, it’s important for brands and marketers to target highly selective groups of interested consumers with highly relevant content, tailored to a consumer’s interest and level of engagement. List management has never been more important than it is now, with email platforms punishing those brands and marketers that don’t pay close attention to consumer contact preferences. Site Impact has been following these trends, and we’ve compiled a few key best practices for list management as a quick guide.

Permission and options are the cornerstone

While technically, laws like CAN-SPAM do allow spammers to operate, more recent laws like GDPR and others have taken aim at the influx of emails consumers receive every day. Allow consumers to control how often they hear from you, obey their stated preferences, and your list will almost manage itself in certain respects. Consumers have a good idea of how much they want to hear from brands; if you give them the option to opt-in, opt-out, and choose the level they’re engaged at, you’ll find a lot fewer reputation-destroying actions (such as flagging for spam, hard bounces, etc) going on, which improves the deliverability of your messages all around.

Get to know your audience, and keep in touch

A big part of list management is not just adding new people, or removing those who ask (or otherwise indicate) they want to be removed; but also tweaking frequency of emails. Watching subscriber reactions to campaigns through the different metrics you have available is a good way to know what your audience is responding to, as well as what they aren’t. Of course, this can go so far as to indicate individual campaigns, but taken in broad strokes it can also show you those low-engagement recipients who either are starting to become disenchanted with your brand or who might want a break. These are recipients you can look to either quietly remove, or send fewer emails to, or even reach out to and ask if they want to change their preferences.

Getting to know your audience is a key component to list management if for no other reason than that it gives you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about paring down the list when it needs to happen. A bigger list of subscribers is not always the benefit it seems to be, after all; if you have 100 people but only 3 of them are engaged, you’re not doing as well as having a list of 50 people with 5 of them engaged.

List management isn’t just comprised of these things, but these are the first step towards better list hygiene and managing the recipients for your email marketing in a more comprehensive and responsive manner. By taking these steps, increasing the permission basis and options for your subscribers, and knowing who it is you’re sending to, you can maintain a high level of engagement from all of your recipients and keep your reputation in great shape--meaning that as you get new subscribers, you’re more likely to end up in their inbox than their spam folder. Contact Site Impact to learn more ways to manage your lists.