What You Shouldn’t do With Mailing Lists

Email practices that will piss off all of your subscribers

Setting up a mailing list is a big responsibility. Your asking for personal information from people with the intent to be a positive force in their life and day-to-day. When people take this trust and destroy it, it raises the question of was this your intent? Or, is this a simple case of someone being over-eager to constantly reach people and pummel a message into their brains. Being misguided is certainly better than being outright malicious.

This may surprise a lot of people, especially those who are knew to maintaining an email list. There are rules to emails, official ones and unwritten common sense ones. Assuming your not an #emailgeek, I don’t expect you to know all of this. Here are a few really important ones.

You should care about your subscribers individually

In the old days you would make an email message and blast it to everyone in your email list and hope for the best. Nowadays, it’s a horrible tactic, out of touch with your audience, and can be costly in a number of ways.

This tactic would only work if your a newsletter and people are expecting the same content. If your trying to sell something you need to make sure your reaching the right people. You don’t want to send a “kids eat free” message every Thursday to people who don’t have children. This seems tone-deaf and will quickly annoy them.

Sending emails that aren’t opened will get costly

The senseless cost of sending out email that will underperform may not matter on smaller list but at increased send sizes that will add up. Sending thousands of emails knowing that only 5% are being opened is a waste of money. If at a larger scale that starts hitting millions, you can see how the cost will add up.

Beyond paying for uninterested subscribers and useless email sends, your email inboxing will start to take a hit. This is the ability for emails to arrive in inboxes, if you don’t monitor your performance closely your reputation will suffer from being marked as spam or displaying spammy behavior. People are quick to hit spam instead of unsubscribe, especially if you hide it or make it difficult. Sending large amounts of email are very suspect as well.

Being blacklisted is much worse than being unsubscribed from. Emails being labeled spam helps your domain get blacklisted. This blocks your email from being delivered to certain Email Service Providers (ESP) and impacts your inboxing numbers. If your emails aren’t making services like Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL that’s a whole chunk of audience your missing. Don’t forget that once you get blacklisted, it’s tough to get off.

Respect people’s space

Email is precious and personal. People have enough going on without your poorly thought out and constructed emails messing everything up. Take the time to create a plan and breakdown where all the subscribers should and could land in your email plans.

Nowadays, an email address is equal to giving out your phone number. People know they need to give it out but they are very wary. If you break that trust and start harassing them it reflects poorly on you and impacts their view of your brand. Email is about building brand recognition and trust and not turning people away.

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