For developing enterprises in today’s economy, the digital world offers a substantial opportunity for success. This is, in large part, down to the effectiveness of email marketing in particular.
Email marketing can be an enormous boon to young companies. It offers a highly efficient way for businesses to reach out to target consumers with key brand messages, enabling them to establish all-important customer relationships than can help to drive sustained success. However, in order to do this, brands must have the trust of both subscribers and, crucially, the mailbox providers who act as go-betweens. Of course, we’re talking about deliverability.
To effectively build strong customer relationships, increase brand awareness and drive revenue, you must ensure that your mail arrives in subscriber inboxes on a consistent basis. This is what email is all about, and it hinges on your email hygiene.
What is email hygiene?
Email hygiene is a set of practices by which email marketers maintain their subscriber lists. It is a central part of how email marketers optimize their campaigns and a crucial cog in a permission-based email marketing approach. As such, email hygiene can be considered one of the core aspects of modern email marketing.
Chiefly, the concept is linked with email list scrubbing, the systematic removal of email addresses from mailing lists. However, there are a variety of different principles and activities which contribute to email hygiene.
Why is email hygiene essential to effective email marketing?
The importance of email hygiene lies in its connection to email deliverability, the ability to have your emails arrive in a recipient’s inbox as intended.
Your deliverability is a result of a sender score given by mailbox providers based on your prior sending habits and metrics. This score takes positive metrics like open rate into account, as well as negative ones, such as bounce rate and report rate. The lower your score, the less chance you have of reaching your subscribers’ inboxes.
Email hygiene is intrinsically linked with deliverability because it has a direct impact on the metrics used to determine your sender score.
For instance, when user addresses become invalid, they can be turned into spam traps. Sending mail to these traps will result in bounces, which lower your sender score and deliverability. By the same token, when disengaged users cease to interact with your mail, your key performance metrics suffer, and this has an equally detrimental effect.
To achieve genuine success in email marketing, you need high deliverability, and to do that, you must have clean email lists. This is why email hygiene is so critical.
Email hygiene best practices
As has been touched upon, regular email scrubbing is a core aspect of good email hygiene. However, there are a number of other best practices that can help you to keep your email lists in good condition, including the following:
- Use a permission-based sign-up method
In modern email marketing, a permission-based approach is the route to success. Rather than buying lists, you should always seek to grow your lists organically by getting users’ permission before adding them. In particular, a double opt-in is an excellent way to go.
Double opt-ins require users to click a prompt on a confirmation email before they are added to your lists. This is helpful because it ensures that they are interested in communicating with your brand, which will reflect well on engagement metrics and deliverability.
In addition, it will also prevent invalid email addresses with typos from reaching your lists. Since such addresses frequently lead to spam traps, this also plays a role in improving your deliverability.
- Let subscribers determine their own interaction level
It might be your instinct to keep hold of subscribers once you’ve got them, but it’s better in the long term to allow them to apply their own preferences. Users who do not want your messages will not read them, and if they receive too many or cannot unsubscribe easily, then they could report you as spam.
To avoid this, provide an obvious and intuitive unsubscribe button, along with an option to reduce the frequency of the emails they receive. This will yield better engagement and reduce the risk of reports.
- Use segmentation
Email lists always degrade to some extent. This can be because users lose interest in your message, or because they simply stop using the email address that they signed up with. Either way, having such addresses on your list is potentially damaging to your deliverability.
To support your email list scrubbing, it’s a good idea to use segmentation, and email-sending solutions make this easy. By breaking subscribers down into groups using engagement metrics, you can recognize when leads are turning bad and remove them before they begin to affect your email marketing strategy.
To achieve success in email marketing, you need high deliverability to ensure that your subscribers always see your key brand messages. That means keeping your email lists as clean as possible at all times. Through regular list scrubbing and the application of email hygiene best practices, you will be able to reach subscriber inboxes consistently to generate all-important conversions for your business.
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