Listen to article or read below
SO MUCH TO TRACK
You are building your list…or should I say lists?
• You want to track lots of different offers and promotions so you create a new list for each promotion.
Before you know it you have so many lists going that it makes your head spin.
• And now you’ve had some people complaining because they can’t seem to get unsubscribed?
What should you do?
PROTECT YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Good list management practices are important because they protect your online reputation and provide a more responsive and less frustrating experience for your subscribers.
In this lesson, you’ll discover the basics of good list management so you can keep both your subscribers and email marketing services from labeling you as one of those dreaded “spammers.”
• You’ll walk through the three main concepts of sound list management to put into practice when you are growing connections with visitors and subscribers.
THIS LESSON’S OBJECTIVES
Over the course of this lesson you’ll:
- Walk through techniques to keep the list structure simple so as your list grows you are not overwhelmed with the “housekeeping” demands of an unwieldy arrangement of contacts.
- Discover time-tested methods to keep your list “clean” so you are not labeled a “spammer”
- And learn tips to keep your list fresh and engaged.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Each lesson includes the three styles for adult learners with:
• An Audio File
• A Written Transcript
• And a Practice Guide that gives you “hands-on” training customized to your own business.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The first rule of list management is to “keep it simple.”
- Don’t add more lists unless there is a true need for the new list.
Unfortunately the temptation is to create a new list every time you want to track a new offer, sign-up form or promotion.
Let’s look at an example:
I have a signup form on my home page for an ebook.
- I create a new list for everyone who signs up for that ebook.
Next I offer a mini-series on a landing page, and you guessed it, I created a new list for that offer.
- I keep creating new lists for each separate sign-up possibility.
Now I want to send a monthly newsletter to everyone who subscribed.
Wait a minute…I don’t have a list for newsletter subscribers.
- No problem, I’ll just copy the subscribers over to a newsletter list.
But wait…Will my email marketing company let me copy from one list to another?
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE
Next you are notified that someone has unsubscribed from your list.
- Oh boy, which list was that?
- Did I remember to go back and take them off the other lists that they signed up on?
Are you starting to see the problems?
DO YOU REALLY NEED ANOTHER?
Each time you create a new list, you increase the complexity of managing your lists.
- Make sure that you only add lists when there is truly a compelling reason to make it separate from your main list of subscribers.
Explore alternatives, like sending emails to a subset of your list by creating “groups” within the list.
“Keep it simple” really does make sense in the long run.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Next, keep your list “clean.”
First of all, this means to be very wary of purchased, “borrowed”, or “repurposed” email lists.
- Many email marketing companies will not let you use lists of people that you did not get permission from directly.
The other problem with these types of second-hand lists is that they are full of stale data and people who don’t know who you are.
High bounce rates and unsubscribe rates can get you “booted out” of your email marketing account.
MAKE IT STOP
Next, make sure when people unsubscribe they are removed promptly and from all the lists they are on.
- An unhappy subscriber doesn’t care that you have them signed up on 13 lists within your company.
- They just know they don’t want to receive any more email from you.
Respect their wishes and make the email stop.
ARE YOU GETTING THROUGH?
Finally, watch that your email is actually getting delivered.
- Ask subscribers to add you to their address book as a “safe sender” to avoid ending up in the spam filters.
- Check for email bounces and make sure you don’t continue sending to bad addresses.
Email marketing services such as MailChimp.com will clean out bounces automatically.
It make sense to look at your bounce reports periodically to see if there is a pattern of where the “offenders” are coming from.
KEEP IT FRESH
Lastly, good list management includes keeping the list “fresh.”
- Send email to your lists on a regular basis.
(This means don’t send so often that people find you irritating.)
If you haven’t sent an email for a while, warm up the list by reminding them who you are and what benefits they get from receiving your emails.
- Don’t forget to tell subscribers of why they are getting email from you.
A simple “you are getting this because you signed up for the latest information from Company ABC” can refresh their memory.
TIME TO GET REAL!
In the Practice Guide for this lesson you will find a “List Management” checklist to make sure you are using the best practices for growing connections with your audience.
- Compare your email marketing service or process to ensure you are incorporating these concepts into your list management.
Now that you’ve walked through the basics of good list management, let’s look at avoiding the expensive lessons of being labeled a “spammer” in Lesson 5: “Anti-spam Laws-How to stay out of trouble”