7 tips for effectively managing email lists

Published by BtoB – May 14, 2012

List management isn’t sexy. Most people equate the activity with an annual dental cleaning: necessary, but not exactly fun. And yet a marketer’s list is one of the single most valuable things it has, ranking right up there with an unlimited budget and million-dollar ideas. And yet one expert says that marketers aren’t thinking about lists enough or are thinking about them in the wrong way.

“I think most marketers use the wrong dimensions when building their lists. That is, they acquire names based on demographics, but don’t consider things like past purchase history, [or] propensity to respond to different types of offers,” said Shar VanBoskirk, VP-principal analyst at Forrester Research. “[They consider] more attitude or behaviorally based dimensions to determine value of a name. Then they end up getting customers who are demographically attractive but don’t have any interest in responding to the types of marketing materials they are sending out.”

Marketers that want to improve all aspects of their email lists—from growing to managing to segmenting them—can follow these seven tips provided by market and industry leaders:

4) Use Web analytics to segment your lists. If you’re lucky enough to have an email list that has grown organically through site signups, you’ve got usable information right at your fingertips, said Andy Clark, VP-business development at email and marketing automation developer Right On Interactive. “It really helps when you can use site behavior to create and send content as opposed to just going by opens and clicks,” he said. “We find people interacting with the website are the ones who are looking to buy—the enlightened customers.” Clark suggested merging site behavior with information about where users are in the sales funnel. Are they new to your program? Have they purchased before? Once you know these things and what they are looking at, you can score that behavior and create a targeted, triggered campaign that has a higher likelihood of converting those prospects to buyers, he said.


This article is continued on BtoBonline.com.

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