When it comes to your marketing efforts today, protecting your email sending reputation is one of the most important things you can do. Whether you are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or a generic email sending application, you want to ensure your marketing lists are always up to date.
In previous blogs, we have discussed some must haves in terms of security to protect your email reputation and maximum email deliverability, but what can you specifically do with your lists to maximize your email deliverability and minimize your email bounces?
Below are 5 tips for maintaining your marketing lists:
- If your platform allows it, tweak how many times any given contact can Soft Bounce before they become a Hard Bounce. Our recommendation is that after 3 consecutive Soft Bounces, a contact should turn into a Hard Bounce.Hard Bounces are typically all auto-suppressed by default in these platforms and, minimizing your bounce rate on every email send should always be prioritized.
- Use List Maintenance Programs to map your contacts subscription preferences back to your master marketing lists. Once you have your leads and contact subscription preferences listed in your master marketing lists you can build out list segments to identify everyone who is and isn’t opted-in to each subscription preference.These segments should then be used for deploying your emails, they can be used as the primary segments to send to and as suppression lists.
- Use segmentation logic to suppress contacts who aren’t interested in your communications. If you have leads or contacts on your lists that never open your emails, even though the emails always seem to be successfully delivered to their inbox, you need to consider adding them to a suppression list or segment.Creating a query, so that any lead or contact that has not opened a communication from you in the last 6 months for example, can be added to a suppression segment. The email service providers are looking at you as an email sender and evaluating how many of your recipients a) actually receive your emails and b) actually open your emails. Ensuring you are only contacting those who want to receive your emails will help to maximize your sending reputation.
- Flag contacts and leads that can be deleted, updated or archived in your CRM. Through the use of segmentation you can identify bad contacts (hard bounces, opt-outs, spam complaints etc) that should be updated or removed in your CRM. Utilize a particular field in these lists that can either be updated with a List Maintenance Program or a mass updating tool to indicate what should be done with that contact, after a sync between your marketing automation platform and your CRM.If you do not have an integration between your MAP and CRM, you can still download this list or segment from your MAP and do a manual append to your CRM with that list.
- Utilize List Cleansing Tools on lists you have never used before or have been using for a very long time. There are a variety of List Cleansing Tools out there for cleansing your lists and one we actively use ourselves is Neverbounce. The cost of utilizing this service varies depending on the size of your list that you will be cleansing and it does offer a free estimate before you proceed with cleansing the list.What you will receive back from them is a report on the quality of your list. This includes good contacts, bad contacts, and contacts that have been deemed unverifiable. Email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org for example are “accept all” email addresses and they are considered unverifiable. That doesn’t mean the email address is bad, it just means you want to be careful with sending to them. If “accept all” email addresses are a fraction of your overall email list, then they should not pose an issue.
There are many things you can do to maintain your marketing lists and these are just 5 examples that should have your marketing efforts in great shape. If you find that you are having issues with your bounce rates (consistently 3% or higher) or email deliverability, even after ensuring your lists are as clean as can be, it could be a few other factors that would need to be investigated.
Need help with your marketing lists or email deliverability? Contact us today to learn how we can help.