Does size really matter? It does, but not in the way you think.
When it comes to your email list, bigger is not necessarily better. You may have hundreds of thousands of subscribers on your file, but if a large portion aren’t opening, reading and clicking on your emails, where’s the value in that email address for your business?
“Finders-keepers” seems to be a common email marketing mantra for growing an email file. Once subscribers have opted in, the assumption is that they will want to receive email from you forever. As long as they don’t opt out, you might as well keep sending, despite what the growing number of inert non-responders on your file may be telling you.
That’s why it’s refreshing to see what happens when marketing mavericks buck trends, challenge preconceived notions about file size as it relates to data quality and scrub the heck out of their lists. We were delighted to see Ken Magill’s article for DIRECT about how CBSSports.com recently completed an across the board re-subscribe effort of their email lists.
According to the article, subscribers had a deadline for responding to an email series of opt-in requests or were removed from the file. CBSSports.com bravely wielded the ax and chopped the dead wood. While the size of their lists shrunk considerably, their response rates actually increased (and presumably, complaint rates declined significantly as remaining subscribers actively requested continued email). We commend CBSSports.com for being rebels…with a cause!
Of course, you might not be ready to undertake a full re-permission effort for your file. But there are a few baby step strategies you can employ that will have similar effects and help improve the quality of your email file and the subscriber experience, as well as boost response rates. Here’s how:
For some people, bigger will always be better. But smart marketers know that when it comes to your email list, value will always trump volume.