Email List Building: Best Practices

April 28, 2023

Are you looking for a way to increase your sales? Email marketing is the answer. Reach more customers, build relationships, and create an effective strategy that will help you get results. With email marketing, you can stay connected with your audience in a cost-effective way. Start engaging with customers today and watch your sales soar.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows you to create an effective strategy that targets customers with customized messages, segmented lists, and more. You can also track the performance of your campaigns to measure the effectiveness of your efforts and make any necessary adjustments. Keeping your database fresh is paramount to your email success since out-of-date contact information can drastically reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Here are the best ways to set up and maintain a successful email marketing strategy.

Build Your Own Email List

Buying an email list may be more hurtful than helpful. These people have never heard of you, so the most engagement you can get is a bunch of spam complaints. Unsolicited emails are a major turnoff for consumers, your reputation and customer loyalty can suffer if you’re seen as a spammer. Purchased lists contain inaccurate or outdated data and you could also face legal repercussions from sending unsolicited emails to people who didn’t opt-in to your list. Most importantly, buying email lists doesn’t help you build any organic relationships with potential customers.

To prevent wasting your resources, build your own email list. Here are some tips to do it right.

  • Develop an email opt-in form on your website.
  • Create content that encourages people to join your list.
  • Offer incentives for joining your mailing list.
  • Utilize social media to promote the signup page.
  • Partner with other businesses to cross-promote each other’s lists.
  • Ask customers to join when they check out in store or online.

Get Permission

Emailing someone who hasn't granted permission is a surefire way to sabotage email deliverability. It is essential to always obtain permission from recipients before sending them an unsolicited email. Without permission, receivers may mark the message as spam, report it to their email provider, or simply ignore it and delete it without ever reading it, all of which can damage your reputation as a sender. Additionally, many countries have laws that specifically regulate the sending of unsolicited emails and can result in hefty fines if violated. To ensure you are following best practices, it is important to only email contacts who have given permission or opted-in to receive emails from you. Doing so will help improve email deliverability, ensure your messages get delivered to the right place, and prevent your emails from being reported as spam.

Exercise Double Opt-In

Double opt-in is an essential part of any email marketing campaign. Some companies are still reluctant about using double opt-in as they think it will slow down email list growth. In reality, it helps you build a healthier, more active email list. It ensures that users are actually interested in the content they're receiving, and it helps to protect your organization's reputation by preventing spam.

Double opt-in requires a user to first sign up for something, then confirm their subscription using a separate link or confirmation code. This second step ensures that the user actually wants to receive emails from your organization, and it helps to avoid accidental sign-ups or malicious use of email addresses. Double opt-in is an important part of any email marketing strategy and should be integrated into all campaigns for maximum effectiveness. It's a simple step that can have huge benefits for both your audience and your organization.

Vet Every New Email Address

Double opt-in can prevent some fake email signups, but your list can still acquire undesirable contacts. To protect your database from malicious emails, it is important to manually check each new email address. This process can help to detect any potential threats and potentially dangerous emails. The manual verification includes looking out for unusual symbols or characters, suspicious email addresses, and checking the domain name. Additionally, it may be useful to look out for signs of phishing attempts within the email as well. If any of these are detected, the email address should be blocked from registering in the system.

While manual verification is a great practice, at least once a year, your email list should be run through a verifier. Email verification platforms offer a valuable service; they can check the validity of an email address before an email is sent and can check in real time when a user registers on a website. This helps reduce the number of invalid emails sent and received, resulting in increased deliverability rates.

Grow Your Email List

Now that you’ve created an email list, received permissions, implemented double opt in, and vetted the emails, you still may feel that your email list is growing too slowly. Here are some tips to help grow it correctly.

  • Add more sign-up forms to your platforms. Have at least two on your website - one on the homepage and the other on a separate page dedicated to signing up. You could even add one to your blogs. Also include a sign-up link in all of your emails. That way, if one of your emails gets forwarded, the person who receives it has a way to opt in.
  • Social media can be an incredibly valuable tool for businesses to capture more email addresses and increase their subscriber list. Promote your email list consistently.
  • Encourage word of mouth. Talk to your peers and customers about the great emails you send. Encourage them to not only subscribe but also to share your form with others.
  • Most importantly, send those emails. Be consistent with your email schedule to ensure that those in your audience come to expect timely messages from you. Whether it's once a month or three times a week, show up with helpful content. Being present and providing real value to your audience will allow both your subscriptions and engagement to grow.

Maintain Good Deliverability

Emailing invalid, fake, and outdated contacts damages your sender reputation. Your "sender score," is an indicator used by internet service providers (ISPs) to determine your legitimacy as a sender. If you have too many bounces or unsubscribes, it can hurt your reputation and make it more difficult for ISPs to accept future emails you send. The higher your score, the more likely your campaigns and newsletters will reach their intended inboxes. Having a large email list may seem appealing, but it is actually more beneficial to have an email list of quality contacts that are actively engaged with your business.

Routinely Part with Dormant Subscribers

If you want to build a vibrant email list, you need people who actively engage with your emails. As much as you want your list to grow, it is recommended that businesses part ways with dormant subscribers every 3 months. This way, it gives a chance for your business to clean up its contacts list, refresh relationships, and re-engage customers who may have otherwise fallen off your radar. This also helps to avoid any negative impacts on the deliverability of your emails.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

Ultimately, in email marketing, it's not about how many people you email — it's about how many you manage to reach. Don't just send emails to as many people as possible, reach the ones that matter with a well-targeted strategy. Make sure your messaging is relevant and engaging so it resonates with your audience and achieves results that will keep them coming back for more.