Tip of the week 48 - How unhealthy mailing lists ruin your holiday email marketing

Tip of the week 48 - How unhealthy mailing lists ruin your holiday email marketing

Reaching out to a huge number of contacts promptly and effectively is one of the USPs of email marketing. The holiday season is a big testimony to that. Email marketers are at their busiest this time of the year sending promotional emails to as many contacts as possible. If you're an email marketer, you already know how email marketing software makes your life easier during these times. That said, you must look after it well for proper returns, by not feeding unhealthy mailing lists. 

What's an unhealthy mailing list? 

A mailing list that has invalid and inactive email addresses is considered unhealthy. While you'd be happy to see your email marketing database expand, it's important to validate every address now and then. Now comes the next question: from where do these come? Let's find the answers now. 

Invalid address

Let's assume that you met a person in a trade show, had a nice business conversation, and got their email ID (Jamiejames14@xyz.com). If you disrupt the format, say, like Jameijames14@xyz.com, while feeding the data into your system, it becomes an invalid address. Put simply, if an email ID doesn't meet the email format standards or doesn't exist at all, it's invalid. 

Inactive contacts

Recipients who are non-responsive for a long time come under this category. Though there are multiple reasons for this tendency, being subjected to irrelevant content is the most common one. 

How do invalid and inactive contacts hurt you 

To understand how these contacts affect your email marketing, you must first understand a concept called, bounce. Emails that can't be delivered returns a bounce, and it can be divided into two types: 

1. Soft Bounce - It's a temporary delivery failure which happens when the recipients' server is busy or their mailbox is full

2. Hard Bounce - It's a permanent delivery failure that happens when an email address is invalid or doesn't exist 

While the former is a short-lived problem, the latter poses a serious threat to your email marketing. The ISPs (Internet Service Provider) and ESPs (Email Service Provider) keep a close eye on your bounce rate because of the increasing presence of spammers. Once your bounce rate slips below the threshold level (defined by them), they pre-meditatively start seeing you as a spammer and direct your emails to your recipients' spam folder. 

How to overcome this problem 

Clean your mailing lists often

Supposing your last email campaign was done in the previous holiday season, you can't afford to use the same mailing list this year without removing your invalid and inactive contacts. From account deactivation to switching and inactivity to disinterest, a lot can transpire with a contact over time. So remember, old is not always gold. 

Segment your audience
Understanding what your contacts want and catering to those needs is the best thing you could do as an email marketer. And the good news is, your email marketing software helps you achieve that. Using the segmentation option, you can classify your audience based on their profile information, behavior, and more, and create relevant content. 

Use a double opt-in method 

This is a tried-and-tested way to ensure only genuinely interested contacts enter your mailing lists. After all, such contacts will not think twice to say YES if you ask them twice whether or not to join your mailing list. 

Final words 
Despite a busy holiday schedule, you should follow these basics to make justice to your purpose. Don't let the invalid and inactive contacts ruin what could be a fruitful holiday email marketing experience otherwise. 

We hope this helped! Stay tuned to this space for more useful tips on holiday email marketing. 

Aravindhan S


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