Email list management is a process most marketers dread, especially if their lists are long. However, there are many reasons why businesses should keep their email lists clean, some of which we’ll mention hereby.

Before that, however, let’s define email list management.

In simplest terms, email list management includes collecting, updating, and deploying subscribers’ email addresses and other info.

When starting out, businesses don’t have many contacts to maintain, but as their operations grow, the list also gets longer.

However, where there are subscriptions there are also unsubscriptions, so email list management is a dynamic process.

Tip: Never buy email lists. They customarily come with more disadvantages than advantages and can hurt your email reputation.

So, which is the best way to manage your email lists?

Let’s take a look at best practices.

Building and Maintaining Email Reputation

Firstly, it is important to bear in mind that email reputation can make or break a business. The higher a business’ email reputation is, the higher the chance its emails will actually reach the recipient.

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) decides the score using the following pieces of information, among other factors:

*The volume of emails sent
*The number of recipients opening, replying to, forwarding, or deleting sender’s emails
*Email bounce rates
*Unsubscribe rates
*Blacklist inclusions
*Spam rate and complaints

Now, the score isn’t universal. Each ISP has its own criteria, so building a healthy email list is essential.

Keeping Subscribers Happy

Building email lists is a strenuous process. To attract reliable subscribers, a business needs to build its online reputation first.

This means that even free offers won’t suffice to keep subscribers interested for long if the business isn’t consistent in providing quality content and services.

First and foremost, businesses should focus on keeping subscribers. This is done by sending relevant, quality emails that don’t come too frequently.

Here are some examples of successful emails.

Personalization plays a crucial role in this regard.

Email Personalization

Usually, subscribers are requested to provide some details about themselves when signing up. It is a well-known fact that people don’t like providing too many details, so businesses keeping things simple stand a higher chance of attracting more subscribers.

However, even when initial information (additional insights are provided when subscribers interact with your website) is scarce, it still isn’t easily used.

E.g., even listing subscribers’ preferences can be troublesome; as the list grows, there are more details to consider.

Email automation has simplified certain aspects of the affair, but it still won’t do all the hard work. Scilicet, it’s upon every marketer to decide which piece of information is worth storing and which isn’t.

Email Management Tools

Obviously, volumes of data can prove impossible for a human brain to process. With all the dynamics, it is simply necessary to use new tech to help businesses with email marketing.

This holds especially true for updating customer info, obsolete email addresses included.

For the latter, particular points of interest include misspelled addresses, duplicate addresses, and address changes (due to changing a job, for example).

Don’t Get Blacklisted!

Here’s a catch: your email address can get blacklisted by both recipients and other parties (ISPs, for example). When this happens, your IP address will be blocked and your email reputation will suffer considerably.

To prevent this horror scenario, make sure to abide by target anti-spam laws. In the U.S., the reference is America's Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM). In Canada, the reference is Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). For so-called Western Europe, the references are General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The Spam Act 2003.

Finally, make sure to use a trusted ISP, as spam filters check the sender’s IP address and domain (among other attributes).

Let Subscribers Choose Email Frequency

The safest way to prevent your emails from being marked as spam and your subscribers from unsubscribing is to actually ask them how frequently they’d like to receive updates from your business.

The usual choices include daily, weekly, and monthly, but you can experiment here in accordance with your email marketing strategy.

It is also recommended to explain the types of emails you’ll be sending and let each subscriber pick their preferences.

This is the most effective way to keep subscribers engaged and a simple form can do the trick.

Email List Segmentation
Last but not least, don’t forget about email list segmentation. Different people have different preferences, so it’s recommended to keep tabs on their shopping preferences and website interactions.

The easiest way to tell people you don’t care about their preferences is to send them generic emails. This is a huge no-go, so make sure to segment your mailing list no matter what.

Key Takeaways
Much has been said about email marketing strategies, so we’ve mentioned only the key aspects here. Obviously, every email marketer knows the ropes, so stick to best practices and maintain professionalism.

Sticking to your business’ mission and vision is as important as the offer you’re promoting, so maintain a consistent tone. In time, subscribers will start recognizing your emails from afar!

Author's Bio: 

Angela Ash is a professional writer, with hundreds of online articles focusing on business, travel and mental health.