Email Marketing Basics – Cleaning Your List

Recently the Blizzard office has moved to Constant Contact as our Email Marketing service of choice.  They have a great platform, easy to use features, and the ability for clients and project managers and experts to collaborate on all blasts to send more solid messages to subscribers.
With these great features comes a few frustrations.  We have run into a few instances of lists being a bit “dirty” and ending up with a few too many spam reports according to Constant Contact’s rules.
Constant Contact has a loose rule of around 1 per 100 email addresses in any particular send, we have seen lists closed down for less than that.  Constant Contact has pretty standard spam rules, and whether you’re working with them or MailChimp, VerticalResponse, or iContact, you’ll probably have the same issues if you’re working with an old list or one you’re not sure about the origin of.
If your list is flagged as spam, these companies require you to show proof of subscription for a percentage of the list.  Every person I’ve talked to at Constant Contact has given a different percentage, so if this does happen, you’re going to hope you get someone in a good mood on the phone when you call for your list review.
We have been struggling with a way to clean up these lists BEFORE we load them into Constant Contact, and with trial and error we’ve come up with a pretty successful way to ensure our lists are clean and less likely to raise red flags with your Email Marketing provider.
Step 1:
Make sure the subscriber list is as updated as it can be in the CURRENT email marketing program and also in Constant Contact
Step 2:
Draft a blast in the CURRENT program thanking them for participating and asking them to reconfirm their desire to receive messaging from the client.  Ask them to “click here to Update subscription” or “Click here to Unsubscribe” within that email with big easy to read buttons.  Anyone who wants to update their subscription will be taken to Constant Contact to do so, where we’ve already uploaded their information and they just need to update and/or confirm it.
Anyone who wishes to unsubscribe will do so within the CURRENT email marketing program that doesn’t have as strict rules when it comes to spam reporting.
Step 3:
Once we have a satisfactory open rate, the list of unsubscribers can be exported from the CURRENT email marketing program and then applied against the list in Constant Contact.  Anyone who wishes to stay will have already updated their information in Constant Contact.
I imagine we’ll get an open rate of around 20 to 30%.  That 20-30% could make or break our list when it comes to our first send with Constant Contact.

Recently the Blizzard office has partnered with Constant Contact as our Email Marketing service of choice.  They have a great platform, easy to use features, and the ability for clients, project managers and experts to collaborate on all blasts to send frequent, solid messages to subscribers.

With these great features comes a few frustrations.  We have run into a few instances of lists being a bit “dirty” and ending up with a few too many spam reports according to Constant Contact’s rules.

Constant Contact has a loose rule of around 1 per 100 email addresses in any particular send, we have seen lists closed down for less than that.  Constant Contact has pretty standard spam rules, and whether you’re working with them, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, or iContact, you’ll probably have the same issues if you’re working with an old list or one you’re not sure about the origin of.

If your list is flagged as spam, these companies require you to show proof of subscription for a percentage of the list. Every person I’ve talked to at Constant Contact has given a different percentage, so if this does happen, you’re going to hope you get someone in a good mood on the phone when you call for your list review.

We have been looking for a solution to clean up these lists BEFORE we load them into Constant Contact, and with trial and error we’ve come up with a pretty successful way to ensure our lists are clean and less likely to raise red flags with your email marketing provider.

Step 1:

  • Make sure the subscriber list is as updated as it can be in the CURRENT email marketing program and also in Constant Contact.

Step 2:

  • Draft a blast in the CURRENT program thanking them for participating and asking them to reconfirm their desire to receive messaging from the client.  Ask them to “Click Here to Update Subscription” or “Click Here to Unsubscribe” within that email with big easy to read buttons.  Anyone who wants to update their subscription will be taken to Constant Contact to do so, where we’ve already uploaded their information and they just need to update and/or confirm it.
  • Anyone who wishes to unsubscribe will do so within the CURRENT email marketing program that doesn’t have as strict rules when it comes to spam reporting.

Step 3:

  • Once we have a satisfactory open rate, the list of unsubscribers can be exported from the CURRENT email marketing program and then applied against the list in Constant Contact.  Anyone who wishes to stay will have already updated their information in Constant Contact.

I imagine we’ll get an open rate of around 20 to 30%.  That 20-30% could make or break our list when it comes to our first send with Constant Contact.  When the line between good and bad is blurry, we need all the help we can get to make sure we’re doing things to help our marketing, not hinder it.

Benefits to Having a Clean Email Marketing List

  1. You’re only marketing to those who WANT to hear from you, and not wasting time on those who don’t.
  2. You can ask for more information as you clean your list, such as city and state, family or romance, etc.  This tactic can help you segment your list.  A segmented list lets you speak to your potential and past guests on a more personal level.  For example, you can send specials and packages designed for drive-to or fly-to guests based on where they live.
  3. You wont get in trouble with the email marketing programs – which wastes a lot of time trying to FIX, instead of spending that time making money.

Learn More about Email Marketing!

Register for Blizzard’s Webinars designed to help you build better blasts, and send the right person the right message.

register_onlinesmEmail Marketing Basics: Designing Blasts that Convert
Tuesday, June 1st, 11 AM MDT
Learn tips and techniques to simplify your email marketing design and increase your click-throughs and conversion rates.
Sponsored by Mouse On House

register_onlinesm
Email Marketing Basics: Segmentation and Targeting Your Email Lists
Tuesday, June 8th, 11 AM MDT
Learn how to segment and target your email lists for better conversion rates.

Need help getting your email marketing program off the ground?  Blizzard has a new plan that’s designed just for you.  Call or email our team today for more information!

10 replies
  1. Austin Colbin
    Austin Colbin says:

    Email marketing is an effective tool to internet marketing. It like sales talking directly to your customers, you’re asking for their suggestions and comments just like the traditional one.

  2. Austin Colbin
    Austin Colbin says:

    Email marketing is an effective tool to internet marketing. It like sales talking directly to your customers, you’re asking for their suggestions and comments just like the traditional one.

  3. Chris Chong
    Chris Chong says:

    The main benefit of keeping your email list clean is that ISPs sometimes turn abandoned email boxes into spam traps and then penalize anyone who sends newsletters or commercial emails by flagging the sending domain.

    Bottom line is that if your email list is crappy it will start to affect the delivery rate of your entire campaign, which causes problems down the road.

    Plus it costs money to send to all those bad addresses, might as well dump people if you can identify that they never open or read your emails.

  4. Chris Chong
    Chris Chong says:

    The main benefit of keeping your email list clean is that ISPs sometimes turn abandoned email boxes into spam traps and then penalize anyone who sends newsletters or commercial emails by flagging the sending domain.

    Bottom line is that if your email list is crappy it will start to affect the delivery rate of your entire campaign, which causes problems down the road.

    Plus it costs money to send to all those bad addresses, might as well dump people if you can identify that they never open or read your emails.

  5. Marnelle Graham
    Marnelle Graham says:

    Email marketing is similar to SEO. You just have to purchase your tool to do the stuffs. I didn’t think that I have to clean up my lists for it. Thanks for the tips.

  6. Marnelle Graham
    Marnelle Graham says:

    Email marketing is similar to SEO. You just have to purchase your tool to do the stuffs. I didn’t think that I have to clean up my lists for it. Thanks for the tips.

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