Strive for e-mail list growth, but don't sacrifice quality

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When it comes to e-mail marketing, the quality and management of your list are essential. Ultimately, this means sending topic specific e-mails of high relevance to a portion of your list, instead of sending mass e-mails that may not be pertinent to all.

Next time you turn to e-mail to help you meet your short-term sales goals, be sure to consider your long-term goals, including the health of your company's valuable house list.

Building large lists of poorly qualified recipients and constantly sending them e-mails might undermine your list's long-term value.

List growth requirements may lead to purchasing poor quality addresses, appending to existing customer profiles or even ignoring hard bounces. Pure sales targets might also lead to over-mailing without regard to subscriber attrition.

The following are a few tips to protect the integrity of your e-mail address list:

Maintain the quality of your list of recipients instead of simply building a large list. If your company's strategy is defined by “the more e-mails, the better” you are likely irritating and possibly losing customers.

Understand the value of every address on your list. Know what a solid prospect or a long-term customer is worth to your company.

Carefully measure success. Is it more important to send out extra e-mails to help boost sales figures? If so, those extra e-mails may be increasing your complaint and opt-out rates. According to studies, irrelevance and excessive frequency are the leading causes of subscribers opting out.

Provide incentives when managing lists based on both positive and negative metrics. For example, include requirements for low complaint, opt-out and bounce rates, as well as for list growth and sales.

Ultimately, be cognizant of how careless list management can affect your sales goals and ultimately your bottom line.

Derek Harding is CEO of Innovyx. He can be reached at

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