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9 tips for building an effective email marketing list

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Sept. 12, 2014
When it comes to building an email marketing list, there is no secret formula. But there are steps you can take to increase your opt-in rates and decrease the number of Unsubscribes. What are those steps? Dozens of email marketing pros share their top nine tips for how to build a successful email marketing list.

8. Optimize your emails for mobile viewing. "Include responsive design into your email content to allow for proper viewing as 61 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices," says Nahatis. "Case studies show that responsive design in emails can increase open rates by 15 to 17 percent and click-through rates by 21 to 24 percent." Moreover, "up to 80 percent of consumers will delete emails that don't render properly when they open them, and 18 percent will actually unsubscribe."

8. Don't inundate people with emails; rather, give them options. "Inundating contacts on your list will leave a bad taste in the recipients' mouths, causing a negative association with your brand," says Steve Clark, vice president and director of Account Services, Garfield Group, an integrated marketing agency. So what's considered "inundating" customers with emails? "It [typically] means sending more than a couple of emails per week, especially during the first two weeks after opt-in," he says. To find the right frequency, "gather analytics to help determine which emails are garnering positive and negative results. [Then adjust] the frequency up or down."

"Brands who email aggressively risk aggravating their subscribers," says Shawn Myers, vice president of marketing, StrongView, a provider of a cross-channel marketing platform used by enterprises. "Actions as simple as giving customers control over frequency can go a long way toward preventing the dreaded unsubscribe. [So] offer the option to opt down or even pause marketing in addition to a full opt out," he suggests. "With these simple practices, organizations can better understand their audience's needs and deliver emails that drive engagement and revenue."

9. Test your email delivery strategy. "Email delivery times, days and promotional windows should all be tested," states Shneyder. "If you routinely send email on Tuesdays, how do you know that Wednesday isn't a better day? Did you test it or just assume it was the day to send out that 20 percent promotion because your competition does the same thing?" If the latter, test to make sure your theory is correct — by tracking open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes. And if it isn't, change your strategy.


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