Email Thursday – Know Your List Before You Grow Your List



Today, I will cover the topic, “Know Your List Before You Grow Your List.”

A lot of our clients are looking at how they can grow their email program in 2012. Most have put a concerted effort behind growing their subscriber list in the hopes of increasing market share, extending brand, and boosting competitive advantage.

But before you grow your list, I recommend that you know your list. Although a larger list may help you achieve your email goals, knowing your list on a deeper level may provide greater returns.

Growing a list may also be enticing because in many cases, it requires less brainwork than knowing the list. I assure you, that although it may seems easier to simply grow the list, your list becomes more of an asset when you take the time to know your list.

You may say, “This sounds great, Tim, but where do I start?” I will spend a couple minutes covering the three critical checkpoints to make sure that you know your list before you grow your list.

Some people don’t take the time to segment their lists. For many, it’s an area of mystery that is actually very simple to initiate.

Segmentation can be defined as dividing your entire subscriber pool, or part of subscribed population, according to a subscriber characteristic.

Why is segmentation important? It helps recognize your population as heterogeneous and does not assume that one size fits all.

The key to successful segmentation is to know which characteristic, or factor, offers the greatest utility. For instance, if customers 25-28 years of age form the bulk of your customer base, then segmenting according to age may make sense.

Areas of interest (products, purchase patterns)

Preference Center – simply put, a preference center is a landing page associated with an email message that allows subscribers to self-identify themselves according to predetermined characteristics. In this instance, the preference center allows a subscriber to not only enter in an email address and personal information, but it prompts the reader to select the fraternity or sorority that they are affiliated with.

Do you know what your list has been up to? In reality, are they opening your email messages? And if so, with what frequency?

Most email service providers track the specific subscribers who open a particular email campaign, or series of campaigns.

It’s good practice to periodically weed out subscribers who are less responsive to your email campaigns.

Unless you have a list of less than 10,000 subscribers, it’s good to clean out your list every year.
Ultimately, you want to purge out the subscribers who are not opening your emails
In addition to increasing your return on investment per email sent, you will also be able to help keep your deliverability standing relatively stable with major email platforms
Many Email Service Providers allow you to collect the subscribers who have (or have not) opened the most recent X number of campaigns.
This is a painless way to get those individuals who are dormant

Know the limitations of your technology as it pertains to list management.
Is your email service provider allowing you to manage your list in a manner that you desire? Are you collecting data on your subscribers after the launch of every campaign?
Good opportunity to review your desires and your technology
Map out your list management strategy and reconcile that with your email program