One of the most common questions that I receive is about old email lists.
Can I use the list?
Can I send a targeted email to the old email list?
How can I revive the list?
If you have an old email list you can revive these subscribers to ensure that they want to be part of your list and that they are interested in receiving communications from you. This will then recover your old email list to become a quality improved list with engaged subscribers. If you have purchased the list, these subscribers have NOT subscribed and this is then NOT a quality list. A list is only as good as the engagement received plus you don’t want to be wasting your time emailing subscribers that are NOT interested in your niche. The best way to maximise ROI (return on investment) is to work with and communicate to those highly-targeted subscribers on a current email list.
While it’s good to have a long list, it’s only really going to be useful if the subscribers on that list are genuinely interested in your niche and likely to be interested in your future products or services. If your subscribers haven’t heard from you in a while they probably can’t remember why or how they ended up subscribing to your email list. If you send an email campaign to this list once in a blue moon, this could lead to the subscriber marking your email as spam which will then have a detrimental impact on your overall list or could shut down your account.
Have you considered the following to see if the list is really worth reviving?
- Have they changed their email address? Over the course of a year or two, many people change jobs, move email providers, retire and ultimately their email addresses change. This means that many of the email addresses on that old email list may not be valid anymore. It is important to consider that a large amount of the email addresses on that old email list may not be contactable anymore and therefore your bounce rate could be quite large. A large bounce rate can also cause difficulties and have a major impact on your marketing.
- Have the list permissions expired? Permissions do have an expiry date, and many of the addresses on that old list may be past their expiration dates. Sending unsolicited messages to those old addresses could cause real problems for your business.
- Do the subscribers on your list remember who you are? You yourself probably receive quite a few emails each day from companies sending bulk emails. Do you remember where or when you subscribed to the email list? Your contact list is the same, they are being bombarded with material and may not remember who you are. We like to think that we stand out from the rest and there are ways that you can do this but there is a lot of traffic in the email marketing world.
Best steps to revive an old email list
If you do still think that your old email list has legs and your subscribers do want to engage with you, here are some of the best practise steps in reviving your old email list and yes it is time consuming too.
- Sort your old email list: You can sort your old email list by segmenting the list. You can begin by sorting via the date and whether the subscriber is over 12 months old, by name, location or other aspect that you want to target with your new campaign. Take out the email addresses over 12 months old and any risky or uncertain looking email addresses on your list. Removing the most uncertain email addresses will reduce bounce rates and spam complaints. The remaining contacts can then be targeted with the following steps.
- Create another email address but keep it similar to your current email address. You can use a free account such as gmail or outlook. If you are currently sending emails using ie: email@example.com, perhaps create an account that is similar such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Keeping it similar to your current email address will keep it in line with your branding and recognition. Although you have sorted your list, you may still get quite a few bounce backs or spam complaints and by creating a separate account, this will protect your current email address from being blacklisted.
- Send re-verification or confirmation email to your old email list. Add value in this email, mention that you haven’t been in touch in a while and remind them of why you are contacting them and how you know them. Send them an incentive to resubscribe to your email list with a call to action ie click link to get their freebie. Also have an easy opt-out as well.
- Contact the old email list by phone or letter. This can be quite time consuming but it is always good customer service to touch base personally with your contacts especially for any emails that have bounced back. If you have obtained the contacts in the past by quality measures, you should have a contact phone number. As online marketers we quite often forget to pick up the phone and call our contacts. When you contact your list, use the same process by reminding them of the relationship, offer them a freebie and ask for their new or current email address to send some information.
We hope that these tips give you some best practise ideas on how to revive your old email list and to engage with your old contacts. Tell us about your success with your old email list below. We look forward to hearing from you.