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Managing Your Email Marketing List: Why It's Time for a Makeover

Posted by Jenny Sutton on February 6, 2019 at 9:23 AM

iStock-904150008If you use email marketing to notify your customers of special offers and upcoming events, every new subscriber may seem like a source of potential business growth. However, if your expanding contacts aren't adding to your bottom line, managing your email marketing list may be the answer.

Customers are using tools like Unroll.me to rid their inboxes of unwanted or irrelevant marketing communications, but don't let that hurt your feelings. Instead, view this as a healthy and necessary purge of contacts that are very unlikely to convert — and a chance to cultivate a list of brand-new, high-potential leads.

Think of it as an opportunity to start fresh. Those segmented workflows you've been putting off? Now's your time to figure them out. Have some new acquisition techniques you want to test? There's never been a better opportunity than now.

In this post, we'll review some the strategies to help manage your email marketing list. We're focusing on your internal marketing campaigns sent to your subscribers, rather than paid email campaigns where you select a target audience. We'll talk about what you can learn from your lean email list, ways you can take advantage of a smaller cohort and how to build a new list of highly qualified and interested leads.

Get to Know Your Audience

Start by removing all consumers that aren't engaging with your ads. Once the fat has been trimmed, you're left with subscribers who actually want to receive news and content from you. Watching those unsubscribe rates drop and CTRs rise is rewarding on its own, but you can also use your newly curated list to learn about the type of customer you should be targeting.

If your email platform is integrated with your CRM, you likely have a treasure trove of customer data you can use to determine your top customer personas, including their industry, position, average lifetime value, region and more. 

Even if you don't have an integrated system, your email platform still probably gives you valuable information about the best send times, which content is most likely to be clicked, effective subject lines and campaign performance.

With a smaller list, these insights are more reliable — and therefore more valuable — because you're only observing the behavior of the viable cohort, effectively canceling out the noise of people who forgot they even signed up for your newsletter. 

In addition to having higher-quality data, your newly trimmed list allows for more nimble segmenting and personalization.

Tune Out the Chaos, Hone In on Segments

We know it's daunting to even think about targeting by industry or region with a large list, so now is an ideal time to start thinking about segmentation. A smaller list will make it easier, but really, you should do this now — it's a best practice that isn't going anywhere.

MailChimp data showed that globally and across all industries, segmented email campaigns have a 100.95 percent higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.

It's not hard to understand why this is the case. On any given day, more email goes in the trash than gets read, so your chances of standing out rely on having a highly relevant, targeted message for your recipient.

Industry, location and demographics are all useful categories to segment against as you get started with the practice. Once you get more advanced with segmentation, you can target by interest, sending specific resources to niche users. 

Targeting by behavior may be the best way to take advantage of the micro moments, or moments of high intent, by sending messages that directly follow up on a specific action, such as a request that occurs on your website.

For instance, many big e-commerce companies have started sending emails when a user leaves the site with items in their virtual cart, sending an instant reminder while the idea is still fresh. In B2B, platforms like Drift and Intercom can give you real-time triggers when a prospect is perusing your site, allowing for manual or automatic messages to be sent at those key moments of evaluation. 

There's a lot you can do when it comes to segmentation — and a lot of possibilities. When managing your email marketing list, be sure to plan your strategy according to what makes sense for your business goals.

Build a Bigger, Better Email List

Rebuilding your list with new learnings, new strategy and a new perspective is likely to give you drastically better return on your email marketing efforts.

On your site, you can experiment with your lead forms. Test out different locations, and see if copy or aesthetic changes can make them more appealing or targeted to your audience.

Analyze your site to see where most people are signing up to learn more and where they're bouncing. Optimize what's already working, and give life support to pages that just don't seem to convert.

Social media is also a key tool in building email lists, so conduct an audience analysis to see the groups that are most viable for your brand. This might also be a good chance to align your social, content and email strategies, as they all have the potential to build one another.

If unsubscribes have taken a major toll on your list, you may also need to turn to advertising and paid strategies for a boost of leads. No matter how you handle changes, be sure to strategize with the experts on your side.

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Email Marketing: How to Increase Click-Throughs and Conversions

Lead Scoring 101: How to Calculate Every Lead's Value

Topics: Email Marketing, lead-gen

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