Quality often trumps quantity, and the same holds true for your email list. Having engaged subscribers is far more important than having a large mailing list of inactives. In fact, a large mailing list of unengaged recipients can lead to a slew of problems. This week we discuss list hygiene, reengaging inactive subscribers, getting blocked by an ESP, and Gmail's new 'block' functionality.
This Week in Email is a weekly digest of email deliverability updates, email marketing news, and tips on email list quality. If you have an article you would like us to consider, send us a tweet @datavalidation.
"To this day I feel that list hygiene is one of the most underappreciated areas in email marketing. There is still a false belief that your list size determines its value, despite the numerous campaign showing that it’s the engagement metrics that actually matter." Ireneusz Rybinski
Just like in so many things in life, quality trumps quantity. You may be thinking, "But surely not when it comes to my mailing list. The more subscribers I have, the better." While it may feel counterintuitive as an email market to not worry about the size of the list, focusing on the quality of your list will be the key to your success. List hygiene is not a topic that is widely talked about, but it is a must for maintaining a quality email list. Here are some great tips to maintain and improve your email list hygiene. 1. Let them go, make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your list! 2. Cut your losses, don’t hold on to inactive subscribers. 3. Ask them again, reconfirming subscribers will keep your email list at its best quality. Read more >>
"The sad truth is that too many of the email marketers I spoke with did not even have a plan to re-engage their subscriber base. The simple steps mentioned above can have a huge influence on your business because most subscribers are interested in how your services will help them. They simply need to be reminded of your business from time to time." Andy Nathan
Even the best email marketers will find themselves with inactive subscribers on their list. You need to be intentional when going after subscribers that have not been engaging with you. Take a look at the emails going out and make sure they are relevant to what's going on in the news and media today. Take time to look through your email metrics and decide what you consider an inactive subscriber, and then make a plan on how to reach out. Ask readers for their opinions; this will help you create content they want to read. If readers are really uninterested don’t be afraid to let some of your subscribers go! For those that you do keep, work on building a relationship with your subscribers, so you became a familiar face in their inbox. These are a just a few of 10 valuable ideas KissMetrics gives for successful re-engagement. Read more >>
"One thing that fascinates me about the nature of email deliverability is that it's always changing. It requires constant adaptation from all parties involved: the email marketer, the email service provider (ESP), the internet service provider (ISP), and literally any service that works with email deliverability." Maria Joyner
Have you ever been blocked by your ESP? Do you remember the frustration and frenetic struggle to get the campaign going again? Did you ever think that getting blocked was a good thing? Maria Joyner explains the benefits of having an ESP that will block you if needed. As an email sender you IP reputation is extremely important for deliverability. IP reputation is greatly affected by your email list quality. Taking a look at your list before you send can save you a lot of headache down the line. The ESP that blocks you, is telling you there is an issue with your list, and does not send your campaign until it's resolved. This will give you the opportunity to fix problems with your list. The ESP that allows you to send even if your list is poor, is not doing you any favors, this will lead to low deliverability, and bigger problems down the line. Fixing IP reputation and deliverability problems is much harder than maintaining a good list and taking care of problems before you send. Read more >>
"I’ve said that an unsubscribe is always better than a spam complaint, because opt-outs don’t hurt your sender reputation. It’s unclear exactly how Gmail will be using blocks, but it seems safe to say also that a block is always better than a spam complaint, because a local block is far less harmful than a global block by an ISP." Chad White
Gmail’s new block option has gotten a lot of attention and many email marketers are asking themselves what effect this will have for them as a sender. Chad White runs through what the new block option means and how it may affect you as a sender. The new blocked feature gives the recipient another way to let Gmail know that they no longer want to receive emails from that sender. While this change may sound daunting, this option might be a positive addition for senders, as it blocks them locally and not globally. What does this mean? Traditionally when an email is marked as spam, it would hold a heavy weight with ISPs and cause you to be blocked globally, or over the whole ISP. It looks like the new blocking option will not be as harmful as a spam complaint because it will be viewed as a local block, causing your emails for only that recipient to be rejected. Read more >>
Check out last week's post: 10 Benefits of a Clean Email List
Image Credit: Louis Dallara