Engagement > Volume: Growing a Healthy Email Database

by Tim D'Avis Second Street

Collect Opt-ins

Grow a healthy, engaged list through email opt-ins. Include an opt-in clearly on your website and on every promotion you do. When people sign up for your list, they should know what they’re going to be receiving and about how often they should expect the emails.

Use Opt-Ins to Improve the Quality of Your Database

Clean Up Old & Unknown Lists

We’ve all got that list of old emails of users who registered with you, but didn’t explicitly opt-in to your database. Send out two or three emails to catch their attention and see if they want to be in your database. If they don’t respond, remove them from your database. Remember, old and unused addresses hurt your database.

Re-engage Your Inactive Audience

Ask (and Answer) Questions

Just because I participated in a baseball quiz may not mean I’m interested in everything your company publishes about baseball.

Ask your audience questions to identify the topics that really matter to them. Not only does this make reader engagement a regular feature of your newsletter but also allows you to create custom content and calls-to-action in your emails.

Make sure users can reply to your email and that those replies go to a real person! This creates a sense of community, keeps people coming back, and can help improve your deliverability/ inbox placement.

Just because I participated in a baseball quiz may not mean I’m interested in everything your company publishes about baseball. Survey your audience and find out the topics that really matter to them, so you can be prepared with custom content and calls-to-action.

While following these steps is a great start, maintaining an engaged email database isn’t a “set it and forget it” project. You’ve got to strive for keeping your list updated and current all year-round.

When you first add a new user to your database, a welcome email is important to establish engagement with them right away. Your highest open rates will be on the first email you send to someone, so make that email count.

Welcome Emails Establish Your Relationship With Your Users

Additionally, come up with a strategy for sending out re-engagement emails throughout the year. It’s expected that some users in your database will stop engaging with you (it’s sad, but happens to everyone.) Put together an email, survey, or just a simple verification asking users if they want to keep receiving your emails.

Growing your email database should be one of your top priorities. But if all you’re doing is focusing on the size of your database, and ignoring the quality of the individual addresses, you’re missing the point.

Remember, when you’re sending emails to bad addresses, you’re actually harming your email program. Don’t build your email database on a shaky foundation. Create a manageable plan to build and grow a large, healthy database you can leverage for yourself and future advertising campaigns.

Get your copy of the 359 Ideas to Engage Your Audience Playbook.