Email marketing remains one of the most popular, consistent marketing platforms around. Entrepreneurs and businesses big and small depend on their email lists as a source for their leads. Yet many of these same businesses don't update their email lists as often as they should. The problem that arises is that consumers on these lists don't always stick to the same email addresses. After a time, the lists become outdated, and it's impossible to be sure if your emails are actually reaching your audience.
In addition to maintaining an updated list, companies need to make sure their subscribers are people genuinely interested in their offers. Sending emails and newsletters to the wrong audience is a waste of time and money. Cleaning, pruning and enhancing an email list is therefore crucial for any modern business.
So how can an organization make sure its email list is both accurate and targets the right people? These seven experts from Ad Age Collective share their strategies for how to improve an email list and ensure it remains an effective form of marketing for your business.
1. Optimize your content to make it relevant.
My strategy is to optimize the digital content so that it is relevant to our target audience. Many consumers have a short amount of time, and they are less likely to open a marketing email if it seems to be blatant advertising or spam. Thus, every email should give the reader a reason to open it and to pass on word-of-mouth to other interested viewers. - Duran Inci, Optimum7
2. Focus on ongoing verification and consent.
Conduct ongoing verification of your list and make sure you have consent. I don't know how many times someone has tried to sell me a list with my own name on it and my college address. - Lana McGilvray, Purpose Worldwide
3. Segment your list based on common features.
You can improve the email list you already have by segmenting it. This means grouping people based on similar characteristics. You can do this according to demographics, interests, purchase history and other relevant details. When you have a segmented list you can send an even more targeted email campaign, which is certain to see higher open rates and conversions. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
4. Use industry-specific gated content.
My advice is to use industry-specific gated content. Let's be honest, we want ideal customers in our email list. By providing gated content that is relevant to industries that your business is targeting, you'll naturally gather quality people for your email list. Adding further self-qualifying questions can also allow you to segment the list further into prospects to follow up with, depending on how they identify. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
5. Make sure you respect their privacy.
Privacy has become more and more of a concern for consumers, so don’t waste their time or yours. Make sure that your consumer has opted in to your messaging with their initial interest, and then follow up with messages that are relevant, such as discounts or similar content. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
6. Include fun articles in your email marketing.
In the service business, we've had great success engaging prospects by having more fun articles and references within our email marketing. Being human is still a good trait to carry into your marketing strategy -- imagine that, right? Anything from cooking or baking recipes, personal picks for color choices on decorations and before-and-after photos has made an impact on open rates. - Rob Palowitz, PALO Creative
7. Attach audience acquisition to your strategy.
Attach audience acquisition to your content marketing strategy! Whenever you produce a valuable piece of content for your audience, include a call to action for the reader to sign up for an email list or newsletter, or to be alerted of future blogs, podcasts, etc. Not only do you have interested parties opting into your content this way, but you'll also know what interested them. - Holly Fearing, Filene Research Institute