A new year is the time many people make resolutions to make things better; in their health, in the world or for their business. As a new year is about to start, it’s time to take a fresh look at your email marketing lists and get them in shape for the vigors of your 2014 email marketing plan. Here are three resolutions to test out in the new year:

Resolution #1 – Remove bounces and unsubscribes 

One thing that comes of sending emails is that your lists will accumulate bounces and unsubscribes. There’s nothing wrong with having bounces or unsubs, people’s interests change over time, addresses are changed or no longer used, and this the natural outcome. You can leave these unmailable addresses in your list if you like, they aren’t going to be mailed to. But if you want to see an accurate count of mailable addresses on your list you’ll need to remove them. We have a quick way to do that, just follow these steps:

  • Click Lists up in the purple toolbar.
  • Then the Actions link that corresponds to your Master List.
  • Select Download Members.
  • Next, select Download Unsubscribes and/or Download Bounces, which will be the list of individuals you ultimately want to remove.
  • Download the .CSV version.

In this next set of steps, we’ll actually delete the addresses we just downloaded:

  • Click Lists again in the purple tool bar.
  • Then click Master List, then Mass Update.
  • Next click Browse and find the file you just saved.
  • Click Delete from Account.
  • Then Process File and Done.

Now your lists have been cleaned and only reflect mailable addresses. The contents of the lists won’t be changed, other than to remove the bad addresses.

Resolution #2 – Create new segments

2014 may be the year you find how useful segmenting your list can be. If you’re sending out blanket emails that try to say everything to everyone, or a newsletter once per month, try creating emails that appeal to specific interests of your readers. Your emails can also reference other services or products that are useful or interesting to them. Creating an email that has a message specific to your readers interests or actions they’ve taken in the past can keep them opening your emails in the future. You’re now thinking, how do I get the information on what people are interested in? Easy! Ask them at sign-up, pay attention to their purchases or check out the links they click on in your emails.  You can use the Segments tool in your account to create targeted lists using any data in your lists or from sent emails.

A winery, for example, could set-up lists based on a customer’s favorite kind of wine. A list of Merlot lovers and a list of Gewürztraminer lovers could be created and each list would receive a message that was specific to what they like. Plus, you can still send out a general info email, people will want to hear about your company and any offers you have, just because they like Merlot doesn’t mean they don’t also enjoy other wines!

Resolution #3 – Check out email stats

Every time you send out an email we give you stats – opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes and purchases if you have them. Take a look at how your readers are interacting with your emails, when they open, what links they click and for what articles/products. If you haven’t collected specific data on what your readers are interested in, you can at least create lists based on what they do with your email. Create a list of those who opened and/or clicked your email for people who are very interested in your business, and send them emails specific to that interest. Or create a list of non-responders – people who didn’t open or click- and see if you can get their interest with a different subject line, offer or time of send.

Clean up your data and create some new lists for your marketing in the new year, you could find your business invigorated with a new perspective on your lists!

What’s your favorite way to segment your lists? Let us know in the comments.

© 2013 – 2015, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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