Your email design and content has been edited to perfection and optimized for conversions. But have you given your email list the same TLC?
Invalid email addresses can flag your IP address. Disengaged subscribers can make your emails undeliverable. Email content and design requires constant testing and optimization over time—but keeping your email list clean and current is pretty straightforward.
Here's how you can get your house in order and make sure your expertly executed emails are reaching all of their intended inboxes.
Common Sources of Invalid Email Addresses
Gated content like health risk assessments, guides, seminar registrations, etc. are a double-edged sword. Marketing automation and meeting our website visitors where they are has had a positive effect on lead generation and increasing patient encounters.
However, humans are fallible, and they sometimes make typos. Misspelled emails and the ever-famous firstname.lastname@example.org are inboxes to which your emails cannot be delivered. A bounce or two is OK, but if you collect a bunch of invalid email addresses and send them your newsletter month over month, your IP address may not be as trusted as it once was and your email will be marked as spam.
Invalid v.s. Inactive Email Addresses
Invalid emails are email addresses to which any IP address would not be able to deliver. These are your hard bounces, and they should be removed from your list after each campaign.
Inactive email addresses are inboxes that are deliverable, but the subscriber has not engaged with your emails for a long period of time. Here are four proven methods for preventing and managing inactive email addresses.
Tips for Engaging Subscribers
1. Opting-in is the only in.
Subscriber opt-in isn't just best practice, it's the law. If a customer does not consent to communication from you, it is spam. To take things a step further—and eliminate any invalid email addresses—you can have new subscribers double opt-in so they can be doubly sure to receive communications from you.
2. Let your subscribers know what to expect.
Once they've opted in, employ some email automation to send them a quick message to confirm the list(s) they've subscribed to and what to expect. Will they receive an email this week? Later this month? This is especially important with monthly emails. If someone signs up and doesn't hear from you again until three weeks later, they may forget what they signed up for and become an inactive subscriber.
3. Test and learn.
As your subscriber list grows, their preferences will become more specific. Test different email formats or topics to see which perform best. Survey your subscribers to see which topics they would like to see covered. Soliciting your subscribers for feedback will create a more engaged list and give you inspiration for future topics.
4. Know when to say goodbye.
Interests change. Priorities shift. It's not you; it's their busy inbox. Sometimes your email is not a priority for some subscribers, and that is OK. For the sake of your email deliverability, it is best to say goodbye. Bi-annual win back campaigns are a great way to gauge subscriber interests and gently break up with those who aren't as interested in your emails as they once were.
Is your email marketing working for you? Download our guide to email lead nurturing to find out.