Why you should care about building an engaged email list

Building a successful email campaign means nothing if you don’t have an engaged email list.

Once upon a time, the ultimate goal of a digital or email marketer was to build the most massive email list they possibly could. However in 2019, that is no longer the case.

Having a massive email list doesn’t mean much if it isn’t healthy and your subscribers aren’t engaging.

While some may argue that social media is the way to engage with your brand’s audience, and while it is a vital tool, it can be limiting in a number of ways. This is why building an engaged email list is vital. It brings your fans from your varying channels to one central location, giving you more control over how you send your messages, when you can send them, and what you are saying in them.

Statistics show that 72% of people prefer receiving promotions via email when compared to the 17% who prefer to receive them through social media.

So while social media plays a vital role in audience engagement, having them on your email list will help you better build your engagement with them.

What are the qualities of a good email list?

Digital marketing is a fierce environment, and everyone is looking to get results quickly. It’s simply not enough to go out and collect as many emails as humanly possible.

Email marketers need to focus on things such as having an effective list strategy, subscriber quality, and even adequate list hygiene practices.

An ineffective email list most likely suffers from these qualities.

Email marketers need to focus on things such as having an effective list strategy, subscriber quality, and even adequate list hygiene practices.

Image Source: Campaign Monitor

Before we jump into the action’s marketers should take with their existing email lists, let’s look at what qualities make up a strong list:

  • Open and click-through rates are either stable or steadily increasing

  • The ability to segment your list

  • The ability to send personalized messaging

  • List decay is either stable or steadily decreasing

  • Your email campaigns can be directly tied to return on investment (ROI)

Once you have these facts in mind, you can move on to your existing email list and see what you could improve upon.

What can you do with an existing email list

So you’ve done the work and you’ve compiled a massive email list, and while you may have seen some initial success from it, you’re starting to notice a decrease in conversations. This is known as email list fatigue.

Email list fatigue is often due to old subscribers, stale or repeated messages, and even due to irrelevant information being sent out to your list.

If you are working on maintaining the overall health of your email list, one thing you should keep in mind is that completely scrapping an email list is not cost effective. Instead, try re-engaging the people on your list.

Assess your current situation

This means looking at your current list as well as your digital marketing strategy. You’ll want to consider questions such as:

  • What do we want to send subscribers?

  • Will email automation benefit our strategy?

  • What personalization strategies should we consider?

From there, you’ll want to set a goal about where you want to go with your email campaign.

Remove inactive subscribers

Nobody wants to decrease the size of their email list, but to maintain proper email list hygiene, you have to cut the fluff.

Inactive subscribers do you no good. If they’ve been inactive between six months and a year, consider removing them from your list. They should be considered dead weight, especially if you’ve tried re-engaging them in the past with no success.  

Getting rid of these disengaged subscribers should help you begin to see overall engagement rates rise.

Getting rid of these disengaged subscribers should help you begin to see overall engagement rates rise.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

5 tips to help build an engaged email list

Once you’ve taken the steps to re-engage your current email list, you can start working on adding to it.

To build an engaged email list, you must have subscribers who want to be there, receive your content, and will interact with the brand. While there are no shortcuts to building an engaged email list, there are various ways to go about it.

1. Opt-ins are crucial

When it comes to an email campaign, you want to make sure that the subscriber truly wants to be included on your list. This is called permission-based marketing.

Some digital marketers choose to go the route of buying their email lists, but many reputable email service providers will not allow you send to a purchased list. This is because these individuals did not give their consent to be on your list. Therefore, your emails can end up marked as spam.

2. Create sign-up forms

Getting those emails can be difficult, but one way to help increase your chances is by creating an effective email sign-up form.

When users visit your website or social media pages, you can direct them toward a sign-up page. The messaging could be focused on creating an account for returning shoppers or simply to sign up for a brand’s monthly newsletter.

Regardless, you’ll want to make sure you give users the opportunity to enter the following information:

  • First name

  • Last Name

  • Email Address (of course)

  • Interests

This basic information gives you enough to add to your list but also doesn’t seem like you are simply scamming subscribers for personal information. Again, this isn’t forced; it is permission-based. They’re only added to the list if they want to be there.

3. Gating content

Gated content is content that requires a subscription, form fill-out, or purchase prior to gaining access to it.

This is considered a type of lead generation that allows brands to get to know their audience better. When a user completes a form or subscribes to gated content, it indicates that they have a high interest in the topic.

4. Maintain email list health

Maintaining the overall health of your email list is vital.

The success of your email campaigns depends on a variety of factors that should be monitored and maintained over time to get the best results.

You’ll want to keep an eye on key performance indicators, which are measurable values that demonstrate how effective your email campaign is.

These can include:

  • Your open rate

  • Your click-through rate

  • Bounced Emails

You’ll want to keep an eye on key performance indicators, which care measurable values that demonstrate how effective your email campaign is.

Image Source: Emma

Some of the benefits of maintaining email list health include:

  • Increases engagement

  • Improves email performance

  • Decreases spam reports

Maintaining the health of your email list means monitoring all these factors on a consistent basis.

5. Provide valuable content

Your subscribers are there for a reason, and it’s for content.

You can’t just send any content, but content relevant to them, their needs, and their interests.

Sending out promotional offers is a great way to keep up your email list, but it only works for so long. So that means you need to start churning out content that subscribers find both interesting and useful.

The best method here is to have a delicate balance of content such as newsletters, blogs, and promotional materials throughout your email campaigns. This will help ensure that subscribers have a reason to stay and something to look forward to in future emails.

The best method here is to have a delicate balance of content such as newsletters, blogs, and promotional materials throughout your email campaigns.

Image Source: Campaign Monitor

Wrap up

Gone are the days of collecting massive email lists. Having high email numbers won’t help you out if you're sending your content to those who really don’t want it.

Yes, it is vital to have an email list in the age of technology. However, you need to maintain it to ensure that it is an engaged email list.

Building an engaged email list can be involved, but if you focus on the following, we know you’ll begin to see overall improvements in your email campaigns:

  • Have an effective list strategy

  • Know your audience’s needs

  • Maintain a healthy email list

  • Cut the fluff when needed

  • Provide valuable content relevant to your subscribers


If you are ready to build a mass email list or need help managing a current list or email campaign, reach out today and we’ll help get you where you want to be.

 

 

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. Unlike other email providers, Emma puts their customers first. It's email marketing that works for you.

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