Email List Health Check
When was the last time you thought about your email marketing strategy? It’s generally agreed amongst us marketing geeks that the RIO (return on investment) for email marketing is one of the highest of all marketing channels. Some estimates suggest that it could be as much as $40 for every $1 spent. That makes email marketing strategy a pretty big deal.
If you’ve just been letting your email list tick along in the background, it’s time to get proactive. In this two-part blog series, we’ll take you through a two-pronged strategy to not only reinvigorate your email list (including giving it a full health check), but to grow it as well! Let’s start by getting back to the basics…
What is an email list?
An email list (it may not shock you to learn), is a list of email addresses of people who have signed up to receive updates from your business. This could be your regular business newsletter, marketing emails promoting your product or service, or even your regular stream of blog posts. Some of these people may have purchased something from you in the past or plan to in the future, and some might just be in it for your top-notch content.
What do you mean my email list needs a health check?
Don’t worry, your email list doesn’t have the measles (probably). But the quality of email lists can deteriorate over time, which is what we mean when we talk about list health. As people ‘Marie Kondo’ their inboxes or abandon old email addresses, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose subscribers or end up with a number of inactive subscribers on your list. While the focus is often on growing email lists, it’s just as important to make sure your existing list is active and engaged. Use these next points to give your list a health check and give yourself a score out of four at the end.
- Make sure you’re providing killer content.
The best way to maintain a healthy mailing list? Take good care of the subscribers you already have. That means providing killer content that keeps your audience sticking around. If they know they’re always going to get something of value from your emails, they’re much less likely to hit that unsubscribe button. Think about creating content that’s genuinely interesting, entertaining, or of value to your audience. If you’re a physio clinic, you could send out a weekly email with posture and exercise tips for those working from home. If you’re a clothing brand, a behind-the-scenes look at your print design process could get your customers excited about your new range. Of course, occasionally you will need to send an email that is purely promotional, but by providing your subscribers with valuable content most of the time, you’re much less likely to have them hit ‘unsubscribe’ when you do.
- Use split-tests to refine your content.
One way to ensure you’re sending quality content to your mailing list is by split-testing. Split-testing (also known as A/B testing) means sending a slightly different version of an email to two groups of customers to see which one performs best. Typically, you would choose one element to alter per email, like the subject line, call-to-action, imagery or the time that you send the email. Once you start to get a picture of which content your audience prefers, you can really start to refine your content, until it’s basically irresistible to your audience! If you’ve never tried split-testing, you could be missing out on some opportunities to improve your content in ways you’ve never even thought about.
- Segment your audience for maximum impact.
One way to make sure that your subscribers are always getting content that’s of interest to them is to segment your audience. Segmenting means splitting your audience into subgroups, allowing you to send more targeted emails to each group. Your email marketing platform should allow you to segment your audience in a number of ways. Some common ways to segment include by location, gender identity or age, or even behaviours, like purchase history or how frequently they interact with your website or emails. These can allow you to send different messaging to people at different stages of the customer journey, and ensure that your subscribers aren’t put off by generic messaging that doesn’t apply to them, like advertising about events or deals they can’t participate in.
- Run a campaign to re-engage inactive subscribers.
It’s a lot more effort to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one, so there’s something to be said for trying to re-engage subscribers who have become inactive. One way to do this is by sending a campaign to those subscribers who haven’t opened one of your emails in a while, offering them an incentive for engaging with your brand again, like a discount code or free shipping. Another approach is to send inactive subscribers a link to update their email subscription preferences. For example, they might opt to hear from you once a month instead of once a week, or they might opt to unsubscribe altogether. While it might seem counterintuitive to potentially prompt people to unsubscribe, most email marketing platforms will charge by the number of subscribers you have, so ‘pruning’ inactive subscribers could actually be more cost-effective for your business in the long run, allowing you to focus more on your engaged subscribers. Some theories also suggest that if your emails are often going unopened, email services like Gmail can detect this, and your emails will be more likely to end up in peoples’ spam folders.
How did your list score? Is it alive and kicking, looking a little sluggish, or does it need a full spa day to recover? Head to part 2 of our email marketing TLC series to read all about tactics for growing your mailing list now!
If you’re ready to get stuck in to your email marketing but want some guidance, we have email marketing strategy packages to help with everything from building automated email sequences to growing your list. Get in touch below👇 to find out how we can help.