Marketing Tips: Your Mailing List

Marketing tip: when you’re putting together a campaign for your mailing list, its important to practice whats known in the biz as “list hygiene”. Go through your subscribers and prune your list. Many dancers think the more the better. However as in life, what you really want is quality over quantity. What’s that mean? Here are a few hints:
  1. Mail services charge per-user
    Companies like Mailchimp or Constant Contact have free entry-level tiers, but at some point you will probably edge into paid territory. You don’t want to throw money at email accounts that are abandoned or which belong to people who will never be your customer.
    Some addresses might be school accounts, work accounts etc. People do move on.  Try to get in touch if you’re on the fence about a certain contact, but don’t be afraid of the delete button. . (Hint: male names with “69,” “007” or “dangermouse” attached at the end can be deleted quite safely without research. )
  2. Engagement affects whether you go to spam
    Oh, ENGAGEMENT, you buzzword darling of the 21st century. What do you mean in thi case? Well, how users interact with your past  announcements will affect how they see future mailings from you. This is controlled by the email service your clients use.
    For example, every person on your mailing list with a gmail account will click, read, delete et cetera. Gmail itself knows how its users are behaving. If most of your newsletters get a “meh” reaction. Gmail then considers your emails to have a higher chance of being spam.
  3. OMG that’s kind of awful! I promise I’m not spam!
    Dont worry hon. I’ll help. So, going back to this engagement thing. You want to identify the people who interact with your material and target them. The kind of behavior you’re looking for are:

    • Recent signups. People who are newer additions to your list are more likely to actively click, share and make purchases from your mailings
    • Recent customers. People who have already bought something from you are very likely to buy something else from you int he future.
    • Recent readers. You can look inside your mailing service stats to see who’s opening your emails. Also, in Mailchimp, each user will have 1 to 5 stars beside their name that indicates their activity level.Be aware that if you’re not emailing regularly (I have definitely been guilty of this in the past) you might get marked as spam if you suddenly start blitxing away. Especially around Christmas – filters can be sensitive then.
  4. Set up a publishing schedule and stick to it.
    t does not have to be frequent, but it should be steady. Once a month is fine. Heck, once a season is fine for some businesses.
  5. Give them an out
    Some users have a habit of marking anything they’re not interested as spam instead of unsubscribing. Or sometimes they signed up a long time ago and forgot. Making your unsubscribe button prominent can help a tiny bit with that issue.
  6. Cure your impostor syndrome
    You’re going to get a lot of fake signup attempts. There are automated doodahs that just run around the web making fake signups. Its obnoxious and sometimes a security hazard. You can do some things to prevent this, including verification, reCAPTCHA, and Akismet
  7. Regarding duplication
    Gmail accounts with a period in them render the same as without. “” and will always be the same account. This can be useful for filtering your inbox, but many spammers will misuse this feature and try to make multiple accounts by adding periods and switching the placement.
  8. No one clicks a boring link
    This one is easy. I see a lot of mailing where the links are really long ugly URLs, and therearen’t any pictures. When I send out a mailing, people are 5 times more likely to click a pretty graphic saying 10%sale than a sentence which says the same thing.

    daily-abs-michelle - Copy

    This graphic generated lots of clicks. Everyone likes a pretty lady, even other pretty ladies!

    If you don’t know Photoshop, that’s fine. a text link is better than nothing. But name your page well, so the link is something like and not
    Yuck! Keep it short.

Because engagement is calculated as the percentage of people who do stuff with your message, when you prune your list, you will automatically increase engagement when you lose the dead weight.