Email List Management – 4 Rules Of Thumb

Email is a good way to communicate with your customers and build enthusiasm for your brand for a fraction of the cost of communicating through other mediums such as direct mail, radio, and television advertising. Just remember these rules of thumb:

Email is a tool for customer retention
Email is a good way of moving potential customers through the sales pipeline, while keeping your current customer engaged in your company and stimulating business from them. However, if you find yourself using email to try to acquire new customers that you do not have a previous business relationship with, you are going down the wrong path and it will probably be a waste of time and money.


To manage your email list you probably will need a software tool
The first thing companies often do to save money on their email list management is try to send using Outlook or some other email client by listing all their contacts in the bcc field. This quickly becomes unmanageable because:

It is hard to keep track of and manage email bouncebacks -
emails that do not reach their intended recipient; Unsubscribe requests take time and energy to manage and get lost; Mail servers get clogged up and you can slow down email for the whole office. Once you have decided that you need to manage your email list with a software tool, you can choose either a hosted, desktop solution. Desktop solutions, although faster than Outlook and easier to manage, still leave the person managing the email lists with the same problems listed above. A solution that many companies end up turning to is a web-based hosted email list management. There is a monthly subscription fee associated with these types of software. But ask yourself “Is it worth 0 a month to save the time and effort of trying to manage these lists on my own, block up my company’s mail servers, and not get the benefit of tracking data?” A lot of people say yes.



Divide your names into lists based on interest areas
The way to keep customers on your lists is to let them control the frequency and content of the messages that they receive. Two mistakes often made by companies are to lump all customers into one list and send them all e-communications or to create separate lists for each mailing. Both of these mistakes will end up forcing the email recipients to either be “all in” or “all out”. The best way to manage your lists are to divide them into interest areas, for example Conference Updates, Alumni News, New Music Reviews, and always import your customer data into these “interest area” lists. Segmenting based on demographic or other information should then be done within the given interest area.


Email should follow your company brand
HTML emails are just little web pages that are sent to people’s inboxes. They should look like your website miniaturized in most cases. Keep the width small – less than 620 pixels wide – so that they can be viewed in the smaller email client browser window. Also, forget about using javascript. The end user will get warnings that make the email appear like it has a virus attached to it. Do not forget that images used in HTML email must be hosted on a server and have full URL paths.


If you follow these rules of thumb, email could become one of your most vital communication mediums with your customers.

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