Email marketing

Steps to creating an organized email list

Marissa Petteruti, March 2nd 2022
Steps to Create an Organized Email List

All marketers understand that there are numerous benefits to email marketing.

The statistics prove that email marketing allows you to interact with your customers and build personalized relationships with them.

What can sometimes become difficult is, as you scale your email marketing channel, is you continue to provide personalized experiences to your customers.

Odds are, if you have a mature email channel then your email list will be growing at a fast rate and that means, if it is not regularly ‘cleaned’ your deliverability rates begin to be negatively impacted.

There are specific list growth best practices  that you should be following to scale the channel, but the thing is, the faster your list grows, the easier it is for your contacts to become disorganized. When you add a number of different lists and segments to the mix, things can get out of hand quickly. This will lower your email deliverability rate and can cause your emails to go in the dreaded spam folder.

That is why you should periodically clean your customer list to make sure your email list stays neat and tidy.

1. Periodically Clean Your Email List

The new privacy rules for digital marketing have radically changed the way email performs and it is important to maintain email hygiene, now more than ever before.

Every six months or so, you should create a segment of subscribers who haven’t opened one of your emails within six months of signing up and haven’t made a purchase.

Frequently emailing subscribers who aren’t opening your emails increases your risk of being marked as spam, since some email clients, like Gmail, learn to filter emails into the spam folder based on whether or not an individual typically opens emails from this sender.

These inactive subscribers should be removed from your active mailing list and given special attention. If you keep sending them emails they aren’t opening, you risk having them unsubscribe altogether. Try using a win-back flow to re-engage these subscribers.

Your email list is constantly in a state of flux — people subscribe and unsubscribe every day (if you’re marketing properly, one happens more frequently than the other). Plus, not all the email addresses you accrue are going to be valid, and the larger your email list overall, the more invalid email addresses you’ll have.

2. Remove Suppressed Subscribers from Your Segments

Suppressed subscribers are subscribers who have unsubscribed or hard bounced, usually because their email address is invalid. In all of the segments you send to, you should have a condition that removes suppressed contacts.

While platforms like Klaviyo won’t send to suppressed contacts to minimize your risk of spam complaints, removing suppressed subscribers from your segments will give you a more accurate headcount of who’s getting your emails.

3. Use Folders to Keep Your Lists and Segments Organized

Organizing segments and sub-segments into folders based on their purpose will help you keep them straight.

For example, you may have your master newsletter list, a main newsletter segment that excludes your suppressed subscribers, a daily newsletter segment based on your subscribers’ preferences, and so on. You can easily have upwards of five segments for the same purpose, so keep them organized using folders.

As you become more sophisticated in your email marketing strategy, you’ll start to accumulate a large number of lists and segments. Some may be one-off segments that you only sent one campaign to, but odds are you reuse the same few segments frequently.

Make email list building a well thought out strategy

A healthy email list requires a little bit of maintenance.

Take some time to clean and organize your contacts, list, and segments, make sure you’re not sending to people who aren’t interested or don’t want to receive your emails, since this will increase the chances of these people unsubscribing (or worse, marking you as spam).

Discover strategies that help build huge email lists that scaled their brands email marketing channel.

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Marissa Petteruti
Marissa Petteruti
Marissa Petteruti is the manager of Klaviyo's Academy team. She leads the creation of content that helps customers learn how to get the most of out Klaviyo. Prior to joining Klaviyo's Academy team, Marissa was the first member of Klaviyo's marketing team. She joined the company shortly after graduating from Brown University. In her free time, you can find Marissa experimenting to find the world’s greatest penne alla vodka recipe.