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Spring Cleaning: 4 Practices For Email List Health

Spring Cleaning: 4 Practices For Email List Health

Practical Marketer • April 22, 2019

Building an email list can be an exciting journey to prospective email marketers. It does take a little effort, but the results can be magnanimous when the right practices are followed. As a marketer, it is paramount that you check your email list now and then to be sure they are in their best condition possible. One of the mistakes email marketers make is not being consistent when it comes to monitoring anomalies which are bound to happen, and as such, they keep wondering why their marketing efforts aren’t yielding the expected results. There are many ways to maintain the health of your email list, and one of them entails cleaning up your list, to know what you have there. Ask yourself;   Are there any inactive members?   Expired email address nobody uses anymore?     When you come across a situation whereby some emails are inactive or perhaps, bots, then do the needful by weeding them out of your list. In this article, you will be guided on how to maintain your email list health in four easy-to-follow steps. 1. Using Your Welcome Message To Your Advantage A specific practice which is known to set you on the path of conversion is to send a welcome message whenever a new subscriber opts-in to your list. An email marketing automation is triggered when a new member sign immediately in and it is advised you make it customized and personalized as possible. This is because potential converters want to be recognized as a person, not as a group. Learn how to Generate 320% More Revenue with a Welcome Email. It is also in your best interest to make sure that your email design is friendly and straightforward. Your color scheme has psychological effects and using them well can make a difference in your marketing results. Look for the best email designs and steal some ideas. Another methodology which is commonly used to convert potential subscribers to customers is by asking them to add you to their safe/approved sender list. Also, set expectations to ensure that you are keeping interested subscribers on your list. An annoying feature which subscribers hate is when they are unable to opt-out from your list. You have to make the opt-out button very distinct, to give the uninterested subscribers the option they seek. That is how to build a healthy email list. 2. Create A Preference Center According to Econsultancy, 66% of email recipients say that how often a company sends is their reason for unsubscribing. To be on a safer range, send emails occasionally. Too much can seem annoying and spammy to your subscribers. What Is A Preference Center? An email preference center is a tool that helps establish a healthy communication cadence with your email recipients. This tool aids your subscribers to manage their emails by giving them the option to control what they receive and how often they receive your emails. In the email marketing world, unsubscribes are inevitable. No matter how thrilling your contents are, some recipients are bound to use the opt-out button. Why this happens isn’t far-fetched. They probably felt overwhelmed with the number of emails they were getting and decided to take a break. The way out of this menace is to incorporate a preference center, by giving them a better option by giving them control over the content they receive and how frequently they want it. Apart from the reasons above, another advantage of having a preference center is to improve the overall customer experience, to keep CAN-SPAM complaints at bay and to help create a re-engaging opportunity. Time-Based Preference Center This tool is designed to help subscribers receive fewer emails. Not just that, you need to give them the option to go on a break whenever they feel overwhelmed or better yet, give them control over the number of emails they receive either on a daily, weekly or monthly. Content-Based Preference Center This type of preference is the best cause it gives the subscriber the ability to choose the kind of content that appeals to them. More like, a targeted content which they can never get tired of no matter how frequently they come. Not all subscribers want to see all the buck emails you send forth, by having this content-based preference center in place, you give them the power to see only their favorite and the most helpful. The truth is, some subscribers are more interested in your blog updates and not your promos or discounts, while some are more focused on promos and discounts other than the blog update. To make sure that your marketing efforts aren’t a waste, make sure you segment your subscribers appropriately. Benchmark email services are email specialists who help in your email marketing endeavor. 3. Perform Proper List Hygiene Up to 25% of your email list will drop off each year. This is because people often get new jobs and abandoned their email addresses. Some lose interest in your services and so on. If it is essential that you weed off inactive subscribers from your list. Check your mail reports, some subscribers aren’t engaging with your emails, and the reasons can be diverse. Bored with your emails Can\'t find the time Perhaps they aren’t even getting your emails To re-engage them, comment about removing inactive or unengaging subscribers – everyone wants what they can’t have. Another strategy which has been known to spill in the impressive result is trying out coupons or discounts. It works like magic. Other tips are using polls & surveys, asking trending questions they can quickly answer, etc. Try something unique, something zany and out of the fiend that they wouldn’t expect, while also trying to stay within your brand. Do this, and you will witness a spike in engagement. To build a healthy email list, follow the three points below Remove Inactive Subscribers: Like previously said, a lot of factors can cause your email subscribers not to engage with your post anymore. In that case, don’t hesitate to remove them from the list. The chances are that they will never convert to customers no matter how mouth-watering your offers are. In other words, they are eating up resources and become a burden to your performance metrics. After you have removed them from your list, you will feel the difference right away because you now have a full list of people who are interested in your services. List Verification This is a measure every email marketer is advised to indulge you, to make sure you are wasting money on useless contacts that don’t exist. This is one of the core practice you must not overlook in your quest to build a healthy email list. Many email tools come with their list verification systems or have partnered up with third-party solutions, so they don’t have to worry about the process too much. How often you verify your email list is dependent on the email sender. Do you blast emails daily? Irrespective if your email schedule, it is paramount that you check your email list once every 90 days. For a marketer who sends a newsletter once in a month, verifying your mailing list once in 6 months is ideal. Another pointer to look out for is your email report. Ig your marketing efforts aren\'t yielding the desired result, perhaps that is a sign to verify your list once again. Make It Easier To Unsubscribe To not fall victim to CAN-SPAM complaint, it is mandatory you have a distinct \'unsubscribe button\' that helps uninterested email recipients opt-out from your email marketing list. This act shows good customer relationship management. Only keep subscribers who want to be there, none should feel caged to your email services. Sticking to this rule will make sure that your emails don\'t get flagged as spam. That could spell doom for your business. What Benchmark Email offers is to help businesses to quickly and easily turn their most valuable marketing asset, their email list, into relationships and sales. 4. Customer-Centric Marketing This is prioritizing your customers’ needs over other factors, that is, making your customers your central focus and treating them like the kings they are. Without them, there is no business and that in turn can spell doom. This is the reason customers should never be joked with or taken for granted. Potential customers should not see you like a green monster who is out to drain them of their life-force – money. When you fail to project a selfless and emphatic personal to prospective customers, convincing them to take a specific action can become a daunting task. Never take your customers for granted. See through their view and make sure they get what they anticipated. Doing this right means more customers and recommendations from satisfied customers. Ways To Improve Your Customer-Centric Marketing Efforts Make sure your website is mobile responsive, fast and easy to navigate to avoid frustrating customers when they are browsing through your contents. Content is king, and if they are helpful to your customers and positively affecting their lives, they are satisfied which can lead to recommendation or referrals. Having good customer support is very necessary for marketing. This is what helps to rectify whatever issue or complaint a customer might have. If customer support is terrific, your customers will stick around. One of the best way to better serve your customer is to know and understand them. This is done by collecting as much data as possible and using them to your advantage. If you have data about their birthdays, sending a birthday greeting can mean the world to them. Other data can also help disclose their interest, thereby guiding you on the kind of content that leads to conversion. Lastly, always put your customers first, before your needs. When customers are convinced of your genuine and unquestionable urge to help, they will empty their pocket for your sake. Growing And Managing A-List Every email marketer aims to develop an enormous targeted list of people who will be interested in the services they have to offer. Building an email list does take some effort and planning. Here is a list of 15 Ways to Grow your Email List. Managing a list takes some work as well since you will always have to check list hygiene to weed out inactive or unengaging emails. When you work list management into your email marketing plan, it becomes routine. Learn how to Create and Execute Your Email Marketing Plan. Wrapping Up Building and managing a healthy email list is easy if you know what to do and the practices to follow. Ensure you weed out inactive subscribers, give your subscribers the option to control the content they receive and how frequently they are to receive them. Benchmark helps businesses quickly and easily turn their most valuable marketing asset, their email list, into relationship and sales. Get started free today.


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Email Verification: What, Why and How

Email Verification: What, Why and How

Beyond • June 14, 2017

It can come as a surprise: you sign up with a great new email service provider like Benchmark, you prepare to launch your first campaign, you upload your email list and then . . . your progress suddenly stops. You’re told you need to verify your email addresses. Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. We’re going to answer your questions and get you back on track. The bottom line is that email verification doesn’t take long, doesn’t cost much, and can significantly improve your marketing efforts. Let’s dive into the details. What is email verification? Email verification is the process of making sure the emails on your list are tied to an inbox. In other words, it’s making sure that the messages you’re sending have somewhere to go. Why should I verify my emails? When it comes to undelivered messaging, blasting your emails to an unverified list could result in some unfortunate consequences. Email service providers like Benchmark get proactive about verifying your emails to protect you from: Account Suspension Internet service providers, spam monitors, and email security services all set thresholds for spam complaints, undelivered messages, and unsubscribes. If you are emailing a stale or unmanaged list, you will likely cause a high number of all three. Email platforms like Benchmark have an obligation to enforce these thresholds. If you exceed them, they may be forced to suspend your account to maintain their reputation and deliverability rates. Verifying an email list is specifically helpful for reducing your number of undelivered messages. Dismal Marketing Results Sending an email to a lot of addresses might make you feel productive, but if those addresses are not valid, you won’t accomplish what you set out to do. After all, sending an email is a tactic. The underlying goal is to make a connection, which isn’t possible with an invalid address. If too many of your emails bounce back, this can hurt your deliverability. That means that even valid addresses may not hear from you. Plus, a high bounce rate can muddy your campaign metrics, making it more difficult to understand what’s working for the valid addresses on your list. Wasting Money Since email service providers like Benchmark base their pricing on the number of subscribers on each user’s list, keeping invalid email addresses in the system is a recurring waste. How does Benchmark know my emails need to be verified? Benchmark works with BriteVerify to perform a preliminary scan on a portion of your list. During the verification process, BriteVerify checks email syntax (“does it have an @ symbol”), verifies its email domain (MX record), and confirms the address exists on the server using custom integrations. Benchmark flags users when the percentage of risky emails in the sample list exceeds its acceptable standard. In general, of course, it’s a good idea for everyone to verify their entire email list before importing it into an ESP. While Benchmark’s preliminary process helps assess your risk, it doesn’t subject your entire list to a complete scan. That’s where BriteVerify can help you. What kinds of emails are risky and how should I handle them? BriteVerify sorts emails into different categories, where “Valid” emails are not risky at all and “Invalid” emails are those you should obviously remove from your list. The remaining categories are a bit more nuanced. “Accept All” emails are associated with domains that accept everything that comes in - at first. These catch-all domains may have a firewall or other spam tool that could remove or bounce your email later. “Unknown” emails are associated with a domain that isn’t responding. This may be a temporary issue, but it still creates uncertainty. Since “Accept All” and “Unknown” emails are risky, it’s wise to proceed with caution. If a large majority of the list consists of Invalid, Accept All and Unknown emails, consider the age and source of the data. In addition, BriteVerify also scans for and identifies two more potentially risky types of emails: role-based addresses and temporary addresses. Role-based addresses are usually set up to manage an organization’s generic inquiries or issues. Examples include addresses starting with sales@, support@, or info@. These emails may be managed by several people across different departments. In general, sending email to such addresses results in a high complaint rate. Temporary or disposable addresses are created by users in lieu of using their primary address. Users may want to conceal their identity or simply be wary of joining another email list. Temporary addresses are valid and active for a while - in fact, users may share them with multiple organizations. However, they are more likely to be shut down after some time. Because of their temporary nature, they are identified as risky emails and should not be included in the imported list to Benchmark. How should I verify my emails and how much is this going to cost? You can sign up for BriteVerify and verify your emails by clicking this link and following the steps. As for cost, proper email verification can save you money. For example, maintaining 100,000 subscribers in Benchmark costs $449.95 per month. If 20% of those emails are invalid (a realistic possibility), that means the user should ideally only be paying for 80,000 valid subscribers at a cost of $360 per month. Without verification, the user is paying the higher price. The difference between the real world and the ideal world is a recurring loss of $89.95 per month or $1,079.40 per year. BriteVerify costs just a penny to verify each email - in this case, $1,000 for 100,000 addresses. Verification thus pays for itself in less than a year - and that doesn’t even account for the benefits of better and unimpeded marketing results. The benefits of cleaning your list are direct and measurable. Mike Means, Sales Channel Manager at BriteVerify, advises that \"continuously monitoring the quality of your emails before sending is becoming a ‘must do’ as email data is decaying faster than we think.\" Why are so many of my email addresses invalid? Here are a few reasons you may have a high rate of Invalid or other risky emails: List decay. Email addresses don’t necessarily stay valid forever: people change jobs, get married, or abandon accounts. Citing MarketingSherpa research, HubSpot notes that “[e]mail marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year.” You didn’t validate your emails as they came in through webforms, allowing typos to enter your system. In addition to cleaning your existing list, BriteVerify can block typos at the point of entry. The list is peppered with role addresses (like sales@ or marketing@) or disposable ones. Even great marketers have bad emails on their list. They just know that by proactively removing them, they’ll achieve better performance, improve campaign measurement, and protect their campaigns from sudden derailment.


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Managing Email Bounces

Beyond • March 20, 2009

Emails sent in campaigns can bounce for a number reasons. Common reasons could be \"user over quota\", \"recipients server temporarily unavailable\", \"content rejected\". These bounces are classified into soft bounces and hard bounces. Soft Bounce: When the email has bounced with a reason indicating short term issues with the recipient, they are flagged as soft bounce. These email addresses could later be available in future campaigns. They include reasons like \"Quota exceeded\", \"Too much sessions in a connection\", \"Temporary local problem\", \"Out of Office Auto Reply\" Hard Bounce: When the email has bounced with a reason indicating permanent issues with the recipient, they are flagged as hard bounces. Chances that these emails could later be available for future campaigns is less. The reasons for such bounces could be : \"Mailbox not found\", \"unknown user\", \"mailbox is no longer active\", \"incorrect domain\". Benchmark email recommends cleaning up such emails to improve your statistics for future campaigns. In case the same contact has hard bounces in three consecutive campaigns, Benchmark email automatically flags the contact as a \"Confirmed Bounce\". A \"Confirmed Bounce\" contact will be excluded from your active contact count, and will not be sent any email, if the contact list is selected again. In case a previously bounced email is opened in another campaign before it has been flagged as \"Confirmed Bounce\", the contact\'s bounce counter is reset to zero. This allows bounced emails, to remain in the active contact count and not be flagged as \"Confirmed Bounce\". The \"Confirmed Bounce\" contacts are listed separately in your contact list.


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