How to effectively use an old mailing list

How to effectively use an old mailing list

Among all the challenges a marketer faces, deciding to use an old mailing list is the toughest one. When an email list grows over time, there are chances for the mailing list to become a host for inactive contacts and spam traps. Though an old mailing list may contain potential contacts that you can try to win back, you must cautiously weigh the risks before sending emails to the mailing list as it can result in bounces or spam markings and might severely affect inbox placement.

What to expect from an old mailing list

When you decide to use an old mailing list with which you haven't engaged in a while, be aware that some contacts might have forgotten that they had subscribed to receive your emails. Often your contacts will have changed their email addresses, or addresses they provided will have become spam traps.

Don't worry- you can revive your old mailing list by cautiously planning and executing the following technique.

Revive your old mailing list

Reviving your mailing list is a twofold process. First you should clean your mailing list to remove expired email addresses and spam traps. Then you should re-engage with idle contacts and win them back.


Clean your mailing list

Use a list cleaning service

If you decide to use an old mailing list, it's ideal to use a list cleaning service to identify email addresses that have become invalid. After the list validation process is over, you will get a better idea about the quality of the mailing list.

Filter potential contacts

In Zoho Campaigns, you can assign scores to contacts when they open or respond to your emails, purchase your product/service, or attend your events. This technique is called contact scoring. If you've been using this technique, once you're done validating your mailing list using a list cleaning service, you can create a segment for contacts who have engaged with you in the recent past. These contacts are interested in your product/service and would love to hear from you again.

Let go of disengaged and unresponsive contacts

Sometimes contacts will have joined your mailing list just out of curiosity or for the trial version of your product/service. They might have become inactive after using the trial version or might have moved on to a different product/service. The probability of bringing them back to an active state is significantly low.

You can send them a winback email, ask if they wish to remain on your mailing list an also provide the option to unsubscribe. You can create a workflow with an email action trigger and configure the workflow to move contacts who don't open the winback email and contacts who prefer to stop receiving emails to a different mailing list while retaining contacts who are interested in receiving your emails in the current mailing list.

Now that you've removed disengaged and unresponsive contacts from your mailing list, you can focus on the potential contacts in the mailing list and start re-engaging them.

Re-engagement with contacts

Re-engagement emails not only help you bring contacts back to an active state, they also help you build a healthy relationship with them. Let's dive deep and learn more about designing a re-engagement email.

    ➤  Reintroduce yourself and provide a discount

When you're planning to send a re-engagement email to a mailing list with which you haven't interacted in a while, it's better to reintroduce yourself and gently remind them that they'd previously subscribed to receive emails. Be sure to also give them more reasons to continue receiving your emails. Let your contacts know that you've missed them and provide a discount on their next purchase as a goodwill gesture. This will help you win back their interest and create a positive perception for your company.

    ➤  Request feedback

A great way to rebuild the lost relationship with your contacts is by empathizing with them. When you request feedback, your contacts will open up to you and let you know what they really expect to receive from you. With the feedback that you receive, you can design your future campaigns appropriately and start building a healthy relationship.

    ➤  Offer valuable content

When you send emails after a long period of inactivity, you should provide content that spurs the recipient's interest.Including a topics link in your email footer allows your contacts to choose the subjects they're interested in receiving information about. You can then send emails on the topics they chose and keep them engaged.

Optimize your email volume


If you decide to send emails to a mailing list that you haven't used in a while, first send emails to contacts who have read your emails very recently before becoming idle. In the email you send, you can also reuse the content that garnered high engagement in any of your recent campaigns. This will ensure that your email isn't filtered on the basis of, "spammy content".

Observe the response you receive for those emails. If they receive positive reception, slowly send emails to the remaining contacts. If those emails receive spam markings and complaints, you should stop sending emails as it will further damage your domain reputation. Reviving your old mailing list can be very beneficial as it's cheaper than acquiring new contacts. Though your mailing list will be trimmed down after you remove disengaged and unresponsive contacts, you will have brought potential contacts back to the active state. After you revive an old mailing list, you can focus your efforts on keeping your contacts engaged and on maximizing ROI.


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