Home  › Email › Email Marketing

When Size Matters: Managing List Hygiene

  |  October 24, 2011   |  Comments

Marketers must not only look at click-through rates but also use click-through data as a segmentation attribute to target subscribers that are not engaged.

Recently I was speaking at the Online Trust Alliance's Cybersecurity Forum. At the event, policy makers, government, law enforcement, and businesses came together to discuss the tactics to deal with cyber-attacks and foster trust online. At the forum, one thing was immediately clear: ISPs will block senders that mail to too many dormant email accounts. In a survey of 1,001 consumers conducted by my firm, we found that 31 percent of consumers stated that they changed or created a new email address in the past year. This would indicate that there are potentially tens of millions of dormant email accounts, particularly at free webmail providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL.

Marketers must not only look at click-through rates but also use click-through data as a segmentation attribute to target subscribers that are not engaged. What is alarming, however, is that less than half of email marketers actually segment lists by email click behavior. In an executive survey to 368 email marketers that my firm conducted earlier this year, we found that 41 percent of marketers have used email click behavior as a segmentation attribute in the past six months. Clearly, most marketers are sending the same message to every customer regardless of their engagement, without even understanding if this subscriber or email address may be dormant. Our study went on to find that the number of marketers that cite email delivery as a challenge was over two times greater for those marketers that were not segmenting than those that were segmenting their lists. List hygiene is important, and the failure to remove non-responsive subscribers from your list is wasteful and potentially creates delivery issues.

I was thrilled to have Nicole Delma, chief data officer at RCRD LBL on my panel at the Cybersecurity Forum because RCRD LBL is a great case study on how to responsibly manage list hygiene. RCRD LBL provides highly-curated free music downloads delivered to subscribers via email newsletters and personalized email alerts. RCRD LBL takes proactive steps to honor stated and passively expressed preferences for content and frequency, meaning that it will downgrade frequency based on behavior that offers the subscriber the ability to opt back into higher frequency emails. Beyond ensuring that the emails are highly relevant and based on user-defined preferences, it will also remove non-responsive subscribers after three months. This aggressive approach has lead the company to maintain a list of highly engaged subscribers and it regularly has open rates that exceed 80 percent. Since RCRD LBL's email offering is ad supported, it is much more important for the company to deliver an engaged audience to its sponsors rather than a big gigantic list where maybe two-thirds of the list is inactive. If you are an advertiser, ask your publisher how many subscribers on the list actually are engaged and how many are actually opening or clicking? RCRD LBL knows just how many subscribers are active for one month and their behaviors and music preferences.

Whether you are a publisher looking to improve ad CPMs and defend your list engagement or simply any email marketer that is seeking to improve email delivery and the relevance of your mailings, then begin with looking at email click data and develop reactivation win-back emails as well as a list hygiene plan.

Until next time,
David

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Daniels

For more than 20 years, David has been an industry proponent. Direct Magazine said David is "one of the most influential experts in email marketing, if not the most influential." Co-author of "Email Marketing An Hour A Day," David has held senior level positions at Forrester and JupiterResearch, Apple, Anthropologie, MacWarehouse, Proteam, and retailers that dotted the early days of CompuServe. David advises many industry organizations including the OTA, DMA, eec, and has been a contributor to the Weekend Today Show on NBC. Learn more about connected marketing and download free research with registration here. Follow David on Twitter @emaildaniels and learn more at www.relevancygroup.com.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...