Looking to boost performance with your email marketing? The new year offers a new opportunity to start fresh with a solid foundation. However, in order to build your foundation, you first need to do a little clean-up. While the idea of list hygiene may not be the most exciting task, top marketers know it’s an absolute requirement.
When it comes to cleaning up your lists, it’s not uncommon to miss a few spots. To help you achieve a pristine database, we’ve compiled a list of the top three often-overlooked areas. So, roll your sleeves up and let’s get to work!
1. Prune Inactive Subscribers
Even the best email addresses sometimes go stale. But don’t rush to prune every subscriber who doesn’t engage with your emails. There could be a great many things going on behind the scenes. If the email address is in fact inactive, then yes, remove it from your list. But if it turns out the subscriber is still active on other lists, a smart re-engagement strategy can bring the subscriber back on-board.
How do you tell the difference? Email activity scoring. This service allows an email provider to assess an email address over millions of data points across their system. The resulting score shows whether an email address is in fact dead or abandoned, or whether the subscriber is actively engaged with other lists. Armed with this insight, you can confidently know which addresses to prune and which addresses to re-engage.
2. Revisit Your Segments
The beauty of data is it allows us to do amazing things, like segment our subscribers and send messages directly speaking to their wants and needs. However, for segments to be most effective, you need to ensure they’re still current and relevant.
To make the most of your segments, apply the same hygiene best practices you use on your overall list. This is also a good time to see what new insights you can gain about your customers to make sure your segments still make sense. Email enhancement services can shine a valuable light on your subscribers’ demographics, interests, social networks and even recent purchases-giving you important insights into new ways to engage with groups of like-minded subscribers at a time.
3. Clean Newly Acquired Emails
One of the most important steps in the cleaning process starts before you even add new addresses to your database. Because mailing unvalidated email addresses can wreak havoc on your deliverability rates-creating spikes in bounces and spam complaints that could potentially affect your sender reputation-it’s important to vet them beforehand.
Email validation can help mitigate this risk. By identifying invalid email formats, correcting common misspellings and verifying the status of email domains, email validation allows you to remove potential spam traps from your list and correct erroneous addresses. Do this proactively to every new email address you gain, before you send a single message, and you’ll save yourself from a Pandora’s Box of concerns.
Of course, these three areas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to developing and implementing robust, powerful campaigns. By starting with proper hygiene, you can achieve the results you’ve been seeking.
Interested in growing your email program in 2015? For more ideas, download our free eBook: Take Your Email List to the Next Level!