For most businesses, email marketing is their primary method of staying in touch with customers and leads. However, email list management can be challenging. There are many moving pieces that must be addressed individually to keep your strategy running smoothly. If you’t manage your email lists carefully, it’s easy to get confused about which contacts are on which list and what stage they’re at in the sales funnel. If you overlook an important segment or edit a segment with outdated information, your marketing campaigns might not have the intended effect. To help you avoid these mishaps, we’ve compiled this helpful guide to everything you need to know about managing your email lists so your marketing efforts remain organized and effective.
Know Your Audience
Before you start list management, you must know your audience. You have to know who you’re marketing to and how you can cater to their needs. Without this information, you’ll find it hard to know which contacts should be on each list. For example, if you’re marketing a fashion blog, your primary audience will be women between ages 18 and 35. Knowing this, you can tailor your emails to this demographic with ease. If you don’t know your audience, you won’t be able to put your contacts into the right list. You’ll have no idea which group should get a certain type of offer. You’ll also struggle to target your emails appropriately, so they resonate with each segment. Keep in mind that you may have more than one audience. For example, if you also write articles about travel, you’ll want to add a secondary audience of men between the ages of 35 and 50.
Segment Your Lists Correctly
Once you know your audience, you can begin segmenting your contacts into lists. The best way to do this is to create segmented lists for each of your marketing campaigns. For example, you may have a pre-launch list, a launch list, and a list for subscribers who’ve purchased a certain product. At a minimum, you should have two lists: one for contacts who’ve signed up for your blog and another for contacts who’ve purchased a product from your online store. If you want to optimize your email marketing strategy, it’s best to have at least three lists. Contacts who’ve signed up for your blog are the first type of segment that you should cater to. At a bare minimum, you should have two lists for blog subscribers. One list should contain all of your subscribers, while the other should be reserved for VIPs. A VIP list is for the most engaged contacts on your list. These are the people who’ve shown the strongest interest in your brand and have proven that they’re more likely to buy from you.
Set Proper Tasks for Each List
After you’ve segmented your contacts into lists, you can set tasks for each list. A task is a single action that a contact must do to stay on the list. Contacts who haven’t completed a task within a certain amount of time are removed from the list. Each list should have different tasks that reflect the type of communications those contacts expect from you. For example, your VIP list should receive very different communications than your general blog list. Contacts who’ve signed up for your blog should receive a wide variety of emails. These are your general communications, and they should be very helpful and informational. Your general blog subscribers should receive emails that pertain to a wide variety of topics. They’re the contacts who are interested in learning more about your industry but aren’t necessarily ready to buy anything. The tasks for this list should be geared toward building authority and sourcing quality leads. Contacts on your VIP list should receive less frequent emails but they should be much more detailed. These are the contacts who’ve shown a strong interest in your brand, so these emails should be more sales-focused. They should contain detailed information about a specific product, perhaps an upcoming sale or promotion.
Email Marketing Best Practices
There are many best practices for email marketing. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few to consider: - Make sure your emails have a clear subject line. The subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s the first thing your contacts will see, so it needs to grab their attention in a positive way. Make sure it’s short, attention-grabbing, and relevant to the content of your email. - Include a call to action in every email. Your goal with each email should be to get the reader to take a certain action. A call to action is a phrase that tells the reader what to do next. For example, you may want customers to click a link to learn more about a certain product or to sign up for your email list. - Send emails at the right times. The best time to send emails depends on your industry and the types of emails you send. However, in general, you should send emails to your general blog subscribers more often than you send emails to VIP subscribers. This is because contacts on your general blog list are more interested in learning about your topic in general than they are in a specific product. Your VIP contacts, on the other has, are closer to being ready to purchase, so you should send more sales-focused emails to this list.
Email list management is an essential part of any business that relies on email marketing. If you manage your email lists incorrectly, your strategy will be unorganized and less effective. To avoid this, first know your audience. Then segment your contacts into lists and set tasks for each list. Finally, follow email marketing best practices so your emails resonate with your audience. By implementing these strategies, you can maintain a healthy email list and keep your communications consistent and effective.