How Do You Maintain an Email List?

Email marketing is among the advertising methods with a high ROI in digital marketing. It's especially a good fit for businesses that operate online. Yet to be successful with the strategy, you'll require a strong, loyal list.

And to get the evergreen list that you need to convert subscribers to buyers, you need to have good email list management practices.

Before you learn the tips of maintaining an email list, it's important you have the right idea of what a healthy email list is.

What makes an email list healthy?

Although there are many things that make an email list healthy, engagement, and churn are the primary ones.

1. Engagement

If no one is opening any of your emails, you'll not be getting any results because it means your subscribers aren't reading your emails.

Sending emails that end up as spam or undelivered can hurt your reputation as a sender.

It hurts your IP reputation, which lowers your deliverability even further.

2. Reduces your churning rate

Email churn includes people who report your emails as spam, email addresses that result as bounces, and the people unsubscribing from your list.

The average churn rate is 83% [1], which means a whole 17% aren't getting to your receiver's inboxes.

While it's hard to avoid some churn, using best email list management practices can lower the rate.

Email list maintenance practices

After spending money to grow your email list, you want to maintain it the right way to keep it productive.

Here are six techniques that'll help you monitor and maintain your email list.

1. Make your new subscribers feel welcome

Maintaining your list begins with the first impression on your subscribers. Keeping a great welcome and excitement of joining your list fresh will encourage your subscribers to stick with you.

Have a series of welcome emails for new subscribers, depending on what triggered them to subscribe to your list.

Thank them and request them to "whitelist" your email address to avoid being spammed.
The other thing to include in your first email is the information on how you'll reach the subscriber in the future.

For example:

  1. How often are you going to email them?
  2. What kind of text should they expect from you?

Also, let your subscribers know how they can change their taste and preferences, contact you, or unsubscribe.

2. Allow your subscribers to choose their frequency

According to MarketingSherpa [2], the number one reason consumers unsubscribe from your list is receiving many emails in general.

When you let your subscribers choose their frequency, you're saving yourself the trouble of guessing what they might be interested in, and you'll begin to enjoy your marketing strategy.

Permitting your audience to choose the frequency and the type of content they want to receive keeps them engaged and subscribed.

Giving them a way to view the content they're interested in, and unsubscribe from what's no longer working for them, lets them know you care about them.

Remember, people subscribe to you, hoping you're adding value to your business or life, so aim at doing that.

3. Keep your list clean

Email hygiene is a buzzword in the email list management, and it's for a good cause. Unfortunately, many businesses still struggle when it comes to this email list management practice.

Consider cleaning your list when you notice an increase in your bounce rate, or annually.

Here are a few email hygiene practices:

  1. Removing identical emails
  2. Eliminating emails with typos
  3. Fixing typos
  4. Updating invalid addresses
  5. Deleting emails from soft or hard bounces
  6. Removing invalid email addresses

If you find you've got a lot of invalid addresses, don't blame your strategy. People change jobs, move or create new email addresses, and forget to change their opt-ins.

Keep in mind that removing these emails will help you maintain a good sender reputation.

4. Re-engage or purge old contacts

After you've sorted your email list, your work isn't over. You'll realize that there are some subscribed individuals who don't open your emails.

You have two ways of dealing with them. The first one is sending them a targeted email, reminding them of the benefits of being on your email list, or engaging them with a freebie to win them back.

If they don't respond, then you opt for the other way, which is unsubscribing them. Although it's painful, remember they're not contributing to your ROI or your sender's reputation.

Only contact subscribers who haven't opened your emails in six months or a year.

5. Make unsubscribing easy

This doesn't sound so helpful because you're trying to keep your subscribers and not to loose them. But even if you hide that icon, they'll still find it anyway. And worse if they don't, they'll report you as spam.

Besides, if they're unsubscribing, it means they weren't engaged. You can now focus on creating targeted email content for people who are excited to hear from you.

And that's where your profits are!

6. Never buy lists

This is too important not to be included. For starters, it's illegal and can result in a fine of$16000 from CAN-SPAM from any email sent improperly.

Secondly, since most of these lists aren't targeted to your niche, they're poor quality, and you may not get any results from them.

They may also contain one-email valid addresses and spam that will get your IP blacklisted.

No matter how tempting it is to bump up your subscriber's number, don't do it. Remind yourself how annoyed you feel when you receive an unexpected email, and stay away.

Final Thoughts on Maintaining an Email List

A healthy email list can significantly improve your ROI. But no matter how much a big list seems impressive – remember quality matters more. Therefore, keep your email clean and use permission-based tactics to grow your list.

Learn more about email lists and their management at: