Building Up And Maintaining A Loyal List Of Email Subscribers

May 02, 2014

Starting to collect email addresses to use for marketing can seem like a daunting task if you are starting from scratch. You can begin your list by adding the email addresses of everyone who has ever contacted you, or perhaps go through all the business cards you’ve collected adding all the email addresses. If you’re really desperate to get a list of people to email you might even be tempted to buy contact details from an untrusted source. I don’t think that any of these approaches are going to give you loyal subscribers.

What do I mean by loyal subscribers?

These are contacts who are going to open, read and perhaps even click on the links in the emails you send to them. They are not going to unsubscribe from your list and certainly not report your email as spam. Getting spam reports is something to avoid as it can cause you problems with your reputation as a sender.

It might sound obvious, but the best way to get loyal subscribers is to get them to explicitly opt-in to receiving your emails. Yes, this is likely to result in fewer subscribers, but this is a situation where quality over quantity is going to matter. The most loyal subscribers can be found by using a double opt-in procedure. This is where a confirmation email is sent to the subscriber and they must click a link to confirm that they really do want to be added to the list. There is a risk of losing some subscribers if they do not realise that they need to click this link. However, if it’s made clear to them what is happening they should really appreciate the gesture.

How to keep your subscribers loyal

Set your subscribers expectations right from the start. Tell them how often you expect to email them and then avoid changing the rules after they’ve opted in. When you send your newsletters, write content that is interesting and relevant to your subscribers. They will be much less likely to unsubscribe if what they read is beneficial to them.

Maintaining the email list

You should routinely check your mailing list and remove any subscribers that do not open your emails. These could be outdated email addresses that are no longer valid, therefore there is no point sending to them. However, they could be a spam trap. A spam trap is an email address that’s set up as a honey pot to attract and analyse spam. Many large ISPs use them to find and blacklist spammers. Sending an email to a spam trap address can lead to you being blacklisted meaning further emails to that ISP will not be delivered.

A “clean” mailing list is one that contains no spam traps and only has subscribers who have explicitly opted in. You can only get this by starting from scratch. The easiest way to begin capturing sign ups is with a simple form on you website. I can help with this, what are you waiting for?