The Importance Of Maintaining Your Email Marketing Subscriber List


March 12, 2021

Kate Dodd

Kate Dodd EVP, Marketing

Email marketing continues to grow at a rapid pace, but you’ll only be as successful as the strength of your subscriber list. In recent months, the global pandemic has thrown email marketers for a loop, as mass layoffs and furloughs have resulted in deactivated email accounts. How will this impact your business moving forward? Here are a few steps to ensure a healthy subscriber list.

An article in MediaPost notes that email lists tend to decay by 2.1% a month. People switching email addresses, leaving one job for another, invalid email addresses, or simply clicking unsubscribe can all contribute to this deterioration – and that’s normal. However, companies would be wise to inspect their email delivery reports on a regular basis to note any obscure delivery failures.

The coronavirus has had quite a negative effect on some email subscriber lists. Corporate email addresses might be shut down while personal email accounts such as Gmail continue to thrive. It really isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, email open rates have been up week after week throughout lockdown. With everyone at home glued to their phones, marketers have found a way to reach their audiences with offers for the goods and services they provide. Just look at all the “e-commerce is overloaded” news items we’ve seen lately. People are still shopping, and that likely stemmed from some sort of marketing.

If your contact at a company has been laid off in recent months, it’s worth reaching out to the company to see if there is a new contact that can continue to receive your emails. This also provides a great opportunity to re-introduce your company and its offerings to a fresh set of eyes that could be willing to further their business relationship with you.

A few more things to consider:

  • Include a link to “update my contact info” in your emails so that a subscriber is not completely lost should they only wish to change the email address they have on file with you.
  • Include a survey on your unsubscribe page to find out why readers no longer wish to receive your emails. Options such as “I’m not in the industry any more,” “Emails are sent too frequently,” and “Content is not relevant to me” can all provide some insight into unsubscribes.
  • Ask partnering companies to send updated lists of their staff so that new hires/former employees are accounted for or removed, respectively.
  • Make sure your brand’s subscribe link is visible on your website and posted about on social media.
  • When collecting information during an online transaction, include a “subscribe me to future offers” suggestion so that you can continue the business relationship.

It’s important to note that email subscriber lists are not solely responsible for the success of your email marketing campaigns. What about the content of your emails? Is it timely, relevant, and laid out in a clean manner that can be read on a variety of devices? Are the emails brief, or wading into “endless walls of text” territory? How about your subject lines? It’s possible that your emails are headed straight to the junk folder based on how you’re constructing them. In that case, you might need to diagnose the subject line issue and refine your content.

Maintaining your subscriber lists on a regular basis helps ensure that you’re marketing to the correct audience. Subscribers come and go. If they don’t return, don’t feel too bad – even if they did maintain the business relationship, they were unlikely to result in future conversions anyway. Ensuring that your subscriber list is up-to-date is only one of the important steps to take in the email marketing staircase.

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