When it comes to email, far too many marketers focus on email list size, prioritizing quantity of email addresses over list quality. While larger lists give you more flexibility, there are drawbacks as well. So, what should you look for in a quality email list? And what does your current email list say about you? Here are a few important factors when assessing the value of an email list.
Email List Quantity
First, let’s break down the number one metric for an email list: list size, or quantity of email addresses. A too small list doesn’t give your a broad reach and can limit your ability to test effectively since you won’t have a large sample size. A large email list gives you scale to slice and dice your list and compare various factors through testing, but you need good data to make this work. And larger email lists are often full of unengaged or uninterested users, which can hurt your list quality. Small, medium or large, your email list size can be used in combination with other metrics to determine your reach and awareness.
Email List Age
How old is the oldest email address on your email list? Not how old is the user, but how long has that user been subscribed. And when did you add the newest email address on your list? These age ranges are another indicator of email list health, when you combine them with other factors. An old list of engaged subscribers could be very strong, but still benefit from qualified new subscribers. But an old list that isn’t clicking or converting isn’t doing you any favors. An email list chock full of brand new additions could seem like a risky proposition with no history or brand affinity, but they could also represent an eager and excited list of subscribers who are gearing up for a new product release. Old or new, your email list age can be combined with engagement level to determine list quality.
Email List Data
When you look at your email list, are you overwhelmed by data, or struggling to pull insights? Email list data can be a very powerful tool, but you have to know what you have, and how to use it. Purchase history is one of the biggest data points but also the hardest to pin down. You may want to compare your email list to your overall customer data. Hopefully you’ll see that your email list represents a valuable segment of your customers. If not, you may want to look at email engagement and list age to determine if you need to reactivate subscribers or sign up new ones. Your email list data should tell you the value of your list, and may also highlight any shortcomings in your list collection or CRM capabilities.
Email List Engagement
Understanding how often users are interacting with your content should be a critical element of your email marketing strategy. Many email service providers prioritize email engagement when looking at email delivery, so sustained low engagement such as low open rate or few clicks, can hurt your future sends and have a larger impact on your overall email list. If users are not engaging, you need to understand why and correct quickly. Segment your list and run tests, or consider an opt-in campaign to re-engage without continuing to send unopened emails. Your email engagement rate is one of the biggest indicators of email list quality.
All of these items combine to get a picture of your email list quality. Big or small, old or new, your list can be very valuable. But you have to know what data you have available and how to use it to increase engagement. Need some guidance activating your list or building an email marketing plan? We can help.