As a business owner with two website businesses, Mykidstime.com and now Digital4Sales.com, one of earliest lessons I learned was the importance of creating a strong email list. I’ve got some tips for you based on our experience of growing our mailing lists – here’s How to Make a Mailing List that Pays off for Your Business.
Which would you prefer: a large mailing list with below average open rates or a smaller list with higher than average open rates? I know which I would choose every time. For me, it is all about quality over quantity.
Remember, every email you send represents a cost to your business so while you should continue to work on your list building, you should also look at your current list and how to maintain and retain people on it.
Remember too that parents are busy people, so every email you send to them needs to deliver value or solve a problem.
At the end of the day, you want your mailing list to yield results for your business, so nurturing and delighting your customers is just as important as the initial add.
#1. Clear Out Once in a While
Don’t be afraid to have a clear out of your list once in awhile. This will keep your list fresh, optimise your open rates and help keep your send costs down.
A good way to do this is to target people who may not have opened your emails for the previous 3 months and ask them to re-activate their subscription or to simply click on a link if they wish to continue receiving information from you.
#2. Ask Your List What They Want
Survey your readers and ask for feedback on what they want to see or hear next, or what else you can give them in the way of content or new products or services to improve your offering.
#3. Check and Re-check Your Analytics
Know what content, links and CTA’s (call to action) are working. Most mailing software services give you the details of when people opened, how many opened and clicked, which links got the most clicks and so on.
Recommended Reading: Why List Building is Crucial For Your Business
#4. Be Daring and Innovative
Don’t be afraid to try new things and if you are up-to-date with your analytics you will quickly know what is working and what is not.
#5. Segment to Target Content and Offers
Consider segmenting your list according to what you know about your audience. Give them information, offers or products they are interested in but keep some mystery in your communications with read more buttons directing them to your website or landing pages.
You should also consider segmenting the list further between active, inactive or lapsed readers or customers and prospects. It may take more time but you will be offering real value to each segment and in turn this may help make sales or further grow your list.
#6. Keep Communications Concise
It is best to have one main goal per communication. Offering to much choice can be overwhelming and may result in the reader clicking out without taking any action.
Recommended Reading: 6 Simple Strategies for Parent Email List Building That Work
#7. Use Split Testing
Most mailing software services offer split testing. This simply means dividing your database and sending your audience two different versions of your mailing to see which yields more clicks, contacts and sales. This could be as simple as using two different subject lines or could be more comprehensive where you change the body text on each.
#8. Encourage Sharing
Ensure that every communication can be easily shared on social and forwarded to friends, family and colleagues. And ensure your mailing looks great across all platforms and devices. Most people nowadays read email on their smart devices.
#9. Less is More
As with mailing list numbers, sometimes less is more. People should look forward to receiving your communications and not click delete before opening because you:
- send too many mails
- are not giving them the content they want anymore.
- are hitting them at the wrong time.
#10. Look at Timing
Get to know when your target audience are online and open your communications and aim to hit them when they are most receptive. Your analytics will give you this information. In our experience, parents catch up with online activities such as reading email or using social media in the morning at coffee time, at lunchtime, and after kiddie bedtime.
#11. Little Things Matter
If at all possible personalise your communications by using subscribers names where possible. And don’t forget to thank those people who do open your communications.
#12. Surprise Them
Delight your readers once in a while by giving them something unexpected for free.
#13. Have Clear Subject Lines
Ensure your email subject lines communicate clearly what people can expect when they open your communication. Trying to be mysterious in email subject lines will generally result in lower open rates.
#14. Optimise Your Mailings
On all communications you send:
- Avoid spam trigger words.
- Ensure ensure your html and CSS coding works on all mail clients, browsers and devices.
- Send a plain text option too.
- As your list grows use a mail software company to deliver your communications. Having Re and Fwd in your communications is a no no.
#15. Never Buy an Email List
It is much better to grow your list over time and know that the people on it are there because they want to be.
#16. Use Double Opt In
Have a double opt-in to protect your subscribers and keep your list current and clean. It also means under GDPR you can show that consent was given.
Over to you now. Do you have any tips to share on maintaining and retaining your mailing list? Tell us in the comments below.