How many subscribers receive your email marketing campaigns? You probably have a good idea of your audience numbers. But how many valid subscribers do you have?
Whether your have 200 or 200,000, you should look beyond the number of subscribers. Many people believe that more is better. They will gather subscribers haphazardly or in inappropriate ways such as buying lists. Others will collect and let their list grow but never look back.
Two keys to a successful email marketing campaign are to collect email addresses legally and to reevaluate your lists regularly.
Collect email addresses
The CAN-SPAM Act regulates how you can collect email addresses. You cannot use purchased, borrowed or rented lists, or pull email addresses from online directories. When you collect email addresses, you must receive the clear permission to send emails. As long as you are receiving adequate permission, you can collect email addresses however you please — through face-to-face contact or physical signup sheet, on your website and social media sites, or via surveys and contests.
Reevaluate email addresses
There are several ways to reevaluate and keep your list current. The first is to follow up with new signups immediately with a welcome email and additional opportunity to give permission. You may also want to send permission reminder emails occasionally to ensure your subscribers are still interested.
Email marketing software typically has the basic tools to filter out bounced and undeliverable addresses. They also permanently remove unsubscribed addresses from lists. Check to see if your software does this automatically for you or if you have to set up filters. Some software has more advanced programs to remove subscribers who haven’t opened your emails over a certain period of time. It’s a good idea to remove inactive subscribers. There’s no point spending money sending an email that is going to be deleted or abandoned in an unused inbox.
Email campaigns are successful when you are sending to subscribers who truly want to engage with your emails. Ensure your list is updated and valid by collecting email addresses honestly, gaining permission more than once and keeping your lists current.