Thriving Email List: Businesses that don’t use email marketing today may be missing out on more time than ever before. Think about the fact that Americans spend an average of 143 minutes each day checking e-mail. There’s a tremendous marketing potential in an email address.
Make the most of this opportunity by building a robust, healthy email list. Otherwise, not only will you reduce your ROI, but your emails may end up in your spam folder or not reach you at all.
So, what should you focus on to create a healthy and thriving list? Let’s look at some of the most important steps.
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1. Get people to confirm that they want to be on your mailing list.
Building a healthy email list means that your subscribers are intentional about signing up for your mailing list. To make sure they do, ask everyone to confirm that they subscribe to your emails. The double opt-in method is the most effective.
How does it work? After you enter your email address into the subscription form, an automated email is instantly sent. It contains a unique link to confirm the person’s email address and their agreement to receive your emails. Once the person clicks the link, they will be added to the list.
This simple action will lead to a more engaged audience. This ensures that no one has added someone without their permission: your new subscriber really wants to receive emails from you.
By not using double opt-in, you will inevitably get people marking you as spam. Keep in mind that spam complaints are one of the worst things that can damage your sender reputation, which is an indicator used by Internet and mailbox providers to determine where emails are sent. If a lot of people hit the “spam” button, that means your activity is illegal.
So if you haven’t already done so, set up a subscription confirmation process. This should be easy to do on your email provider’s dashboard.
2. Use ReCAPTCHA to reach out to real people
Spambots are computer programs that can sign large numbers of email addresses (often fake ones) to mailing lists. You can manage a healthy list and get a huge number of subscribers, often followed by spam complaints, unsubscribes or bounces. This is because a bot has subscribed to the mailing list.
Obviously, a healthy, thriving list consists of human subscribers, not bots. One of the best ways to keep it real is to use ReCAPTCHA. You know those simple tests used to weed out bots by testing human intelligence? ReCAPTCHA is Google’s own CAPTCHA, and you can install it pretty easily.
It adds an extra layer of protection against fake and risky email addresses. However, it’s often not enough to prevent malicious registrations, so if you need more protection, consider email verification.
3. Use email verification APIs to prevent bad data from ending up on your list
Email subscription forms are great for giving people an easy way to start receiving your newsletters. However, if you’re not careful, subscription forms also become a gateway to bad data.
For one thing, some people may accidentally make a typo when trying to sign up. They may also sign up using a lower quality address. Often, when people want access to classified content without giving their real email address, they use a temporary address. There have even been cases where business competitors have sabotaged the list by entering bad or invalid addresses.
Also, some of those who sign up for your emails may be habitual complainers. You think you’re getting a great potential customer, but instead you’re getting someone who might brand your email as spam.
These problems can’t be prevented in real time, but an email verification API can help. Once you set up a double opt-in and ReCAPTCHA, adding this software to your forms ensures that your list stays healthy longer.
An authoritative email verification service should have an API that you can plug into your signup form to block malicious emails. In most cases, if the address is entered incorrectly, the API will notify the user of the error. Excluding such invalid addresses from the list prevents bounces and spam complaints, and also removes you from blacklists.
Bonus tip: Regularly check your entire list in bulk
Email verification is important if you want your email list to thrive, but even good contacts on your list can go bad. People change their email addresses for all sorts of reasons, especially workplaces, so check your email list several times a year. There’s no point in sending emails if they bounce off. It will only hurt your deliverability and the reputation of the sender.
Of course, it’s easy to get hung up on numbers. It’s okay to want a huge list or to compare your list to others. But the number of subscribers doesn’t always mean good engagement or a high ROI. What would you choose between a big, unhealthy list and a smaller but healthy list with interested subscribers?
The key is a list of subscribers who really want to interact with you.