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Cleaning House: How to Build Healthy Email Lists

Email marketing has become very technical over the years. The average marketer is busy crafting new content, analyzing performance data, and weighing the benefits of incorporating the latest social sharing button in their email campaigns. There is a lot to keep up with, but no matter how advanced or hectic it may get, we can never lose sight of the key aspects of permission-based marketing that brought us to the dance, especially the importance of maintaining a healthy mailing list, something we all learned in the early goings.

Without the proper attention, or with even casual provision, your list can easily spiral out of control. Once this happens, you are susceptible to wasting valuable effort and money on contacts who either can't receive your messages for whatever reason, or no longer wish to hear from you. Regular upkeep will ensure a clean and healthy list, allowing you to enjoy higher open rates and inbox delivery, as well as boost the return on your investment.

Opt-in email list management is something many marketers are struggling with, but that does not mean you have to be in the same boat. Keeping a healthy list is a relatively easy task when you know what action must be taken to achieve it.
Signing Up and Opting In

Maintaining a clean mailing list is a practice that starts at signup. Here is what you can do throughout the process to ensure you get off to a good start:

Make Signing Up Convenient and Concise - The signup form on your website or blog should be easy to spot, easy to use, and more importantly, easy to understand. Potential subscribers should not have to spend time wondering what exactly it is you’re requesting, or why you’re asking for it.
Confirm the Opt-in - How you design your signup form is crucial, particularly in regard to the opt-in option. Some marketers leave their opt-in boxes pre-checked as a way to make the process more convenient for the subscriber. But is best to leave this box empty. It may seem like a matter of preference, but when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of permission-based marketing, this is definitely one of the don’ts.
Double Up - The signup process is not done even after users have expressed their interest by signing up on your website. If you want to experience as few problems as possible, it is advisable to go one step further by exercising a double opt-in. After someone signs up, send a welcome email with a link that gives them the opportunity to confirm their subscription and make it official. Be sure to make this task as easy as the initial signup process.
Optimizing the signup process gives you the opportunity to keep your growing list happy. Engage new prospects from the very beginning and keep things simple.