Maintaining a mailing list is a great way to maintain a loyal audience base. Your subscribers are most likely your customers and those who are genuinely interested in your content, which means you can expect a higher engagement rate with the content you deliver to them.
Keeping your content optimized, however, is not enough. You still need to make sure that the mailing list itself is highly optimized. This means doing some cleaning, regularly maintaining the list, and performing other routine tasks. These top 10 tips will help you cover the essentials with ease.
1. Start Small
There is no way to build a mailing list overnight. When you try to do that, you will end up with a list of recipients that aren’t really interested or engaged. Why send your content to hundreds of people that aren’t really interested?
Always start with a small list and pay attention to how it grows. When you see a spike, find the source of traffic and make sure that the list stays relevant. You don’t have to remove people from the list, but you have to be mindful of sudden spikes that are the result of blackhat tactics.
2. Regular Cleaning
When you do spot anomalies in your list, be prepared to do some cleaning. The best newsletter software can actually automate this for you. What it will do is scan the list for bad email addresses – usually the ones that return error messages when you try to reach them.
At the same time, the newsletter software will also help you identify recipients that don’t really open your emails. When you see passive recipients, you can actually remove them from the list – or separate them into their own group – to keep the main list optimized.
3. Group Better
Speaking of grouping, grouping your recipients based on their interests, the content that they responded to the most, and other common metrics is a good idea. You can refine your newsletter content to be more relevant and targeted this way.
Of course, grouping is also a lengthy process. You can run a series of A/B tests to identify users with certain preferences. Since you can now test before delivery, you can optimize the content of the A/B testing itself and save a lot of time in the process.
4. Mind the Design
The best newsletter software comes equipped with tools to help you design your next newsletter. These tools, including a WYSIWYG editor, are invaluable. However, over-designing your newsletter will have a negative impact on your recipients.
Once again, grouping is the best way to keep the list optimized. You can use lighter designs for certain audience segments, and more visually appealing ones for users who prefer them. If you are not sure, play with the design of your newsletter and gather some insights.
Another thing to do with your mailing list is data synchronization. This is particularly handy when you also use other business solutions such as a CRM or an e-commerce platform. Rather than manually move user emails between platforms, two-way sync is much simpler.
Two-way sync allows you to keep your mailing list up to date. However, you still need to have the permission of users before sending them emails, so make sure you also integrate an opt-in checkbox to the business solutions you use to filter potential subscribers.
6. Use a Reliable SMTP
A reliable SMTP server is everything; the success of your mailing list depends highly on whether your emails are received or if they go straight to the spam folder. The same is true for transactional emails. You want an SMTP server with enough credibility and one that is highly reliable.
Bulk email servers are specifically designed and configured to handle the delivery of mass emails. This is why working with a reliable email marketing service provider is always the best way to go; they already have their server preconfigured for success.
7. Watch Out for Cost
Here’s why keeping an unhealthy mailing list is not recommended: you will end up paying more for dormant recipients. Most email marketing tools charge you based on the number of recipients and how many emails you send every month. Not properly cleaning your list is a costly mistake.
You want your mailing list to have a healthy return on investment (ROI). You can use cost as one of the indicators when doing regular reviews of your list. If you think the cost is too high for the return it produces, you know you need to take a closer look at the list itself.
These are seven tips that you can apply immediately. Most email marketing tools provide features that make completing the necessary maintenance tasks and keeping your list optimised easy. With these tips in mind, maintaining a healthy mailing list will not be a problem.