A geek’s guide to managing your email list in 2020

Email Marketing

As we come to the close of a decade of unprecedented, rapid technological innovation for modern businesses — and everyday life — email continues to thrive as an essential method of communication.

We wanted to know what email marketers are really thinking about as we step into the next decade, so I put out a call to #EmailGeeks on Twitter.

You can check out the full thread [and add your two cents] here.

Here’s their advice to today’s email marketers.

Protect the integrity of your lists. Without security protocols in place to validate email addresses submitted through web forms. Ensure that you only have real people signing up for your emails by implementing security tactics like CAPTCHA codes to protect your list from being overrun by bots.

Verification emails requiring users to click a link within the email are another effective — and engaging — method to ensure real subscribers are being added to your lists.

These steps are also necessary to protect the integrity of your email lists, your deliverability reputation among ISPs, and to help manage costs with email service providers (ESPs) that charge brands per contact; an unexpected influx of bots could quickly drive up costs and could require pricey remediation.

Don’t overlook the importance of nurturing subscribers. As “The Email Marketing Heroes” point out, trying to move subscribers through your funnel too quickly before they are ready could end up an above-average unsubscribe rate.

Email marketers should remain cautious to not overwhelm new subscribers with onboarding campaigns. A 2019 survey from GetResponse that analyzed global email users indicates that high send frequency results in low engagement — but could be offset by optimized subject lines. Make engagement a KPI for these types of emails.

Brand email communications should be a two-way street. Many brands still use ‘donotreply’ email addresses when sending emails through an email service provider. Why wouldn’t you want to hear direct feedback from your subscribers?

Using ‘donotreply’ as your brand’s “Sent From” address can bring on negative repercussions that are difficult to remedy. Inbox providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are perpetually updating their algorithms to identify common and emerging email spam tactics used by bad actors.

The clearer your brand is in identifying themselves to their subscribers, the more likely consumers are to recognize — additionally beneficial for deliverability elements. Request that the IT department creates branded aliases for customers to reply, and incorporate regular monitoring of alias inboxes into your email KPIs.

Additionally, the upcoming BIMI initiative — set to start rolling out next year — will drive changes to how brands name their aliases and should be taken into consideration during conversations around branding in the inbox.

If you love [your subscribers], let them go. It might seem counter-intuitive, but providing subscribers with a clear and simple opt-out process will result in long-term success in terms of deliverability.

“Email newsletters and marketing campaigns are considered to be a low-cost, effective way to reach your audience, making it a no-brainer for many brands,” wrote Marketing Land’s George Nguyen. “However, as inboxes fill up, email fatigue can set in and members of your audience may wish to unsubscribe.

No email marketer wants to see their email list decrease, but complicating the unsubscribe process for users will have dire consequences for your brand’s reputation among inbox providers. Establish a straightforward unsubscribe process with as few steps as possible to maintain a healthy relationship with subscribers — and their inboxes.

More about the Managed Inbox

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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