Confirming email lists


Should email lists be regularly confirmed?

I know organisations who are cautious about moving to a new ESP (email service provider)  because they suspect that they will be asked to run an initial opt-in process for their list and they worry about losing subscribers.

But is that such a bad thing? Most lists have a long tail of subscribers who haven’t responded for a while and it may be time to retire them gracefully. Perhaps you read your stats enthusiastically and you know the characteristics of a subscriber life cycle.

As subscribers approach ‘old age’, you should give them a chance to positively opt-in once more and, if they don’t respond, then another, final chance.

After that, they are probably dead wood anyway. Don’t keep on your list just to be macho about your list size. Quality, not quantity!

So run a regular confirmation programme: what you lose in numbers, you gain in quality and realism. And waste less time in conserving subscribers who are unlikely to ever respond.

Email marketing is about interpreting figures, not massaging them.

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About Jeremy
Digital marketing leader, blogger and speaker. Married with three adult children. Likes activities and sport not affected by weather.

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