Having a well-managed list is a critical component to making the most of your marketing strategy. However, building and maintaining a list can be challenging if the right strategies aren’t employed. In order to optimize your marketing, it helps to know how to best put these strategies into play.
But first--what happens if your list isn’t well managed? Unfortunately, you open yourself up to the consequences of regulatory legislation, more specifically, the CAN-SPAM Act. So, now that we’ve gotten the unpleasant part out of the way, let’s discuss how you can avoid it.
Putting Together A List
There’s a difference between just having a large list of contacts, and having a good list of contacts--although the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Regardless of the size of the list, you have to be sure it is vetted regularly, to ensure you don’t have any unqualified leads. If they aren’t at least qualified to receive what you have to offer, your list is going to be ineffective, your marketing will go ignored, and you’ll ultimately waste your money.
However, if you do your best to find contacts that will have a genuine interest in your service, you will increase your chance of successfully converting them from leads, into clients. An easy way to collect qualified leads is to include opt-in forms on your website. After all, the fact that they’re visiting your site in the first place implies that they are already at least a little interested in your services.
Offering freebies, blog update announcements, interest cards at live events, social media marketing, and more can help you to direct attention to content on your site that, in turn, leads to a landing page with the forms to collect credentials from interested prospects.
But What Happens If Your List Needs to Change?
You have to clean it up.
Your list is unfortunately subject to a lot of considerable changes, between people switching jobs, a business moving or failing, or leadership losing interest or finding a different solution. This is just another reason why you have to regularly vet your contact lists
In order to avoid these changes from negatively impacting your marketing efforts and costing you extra money to launch them, you need to take a few steps:
- Remove duplicates - duplicates not only complicate your marketing list, they can also lead to wasted money and, in some cases, being blacklisted due to inadvertent spam
- Remove junk - some people will provide a throwaway email account to receive benefits and never check it again, clogging up your list. Scanning through and removing the obvious ones ( and similar addresses) will allow you to save time and money in the long run by not wasting your email marketing messages on an inbox that is never checked.
- Remove inactives - this is in the same vein as removing junk, just in reference to removing email accounts or addresses that are no longer maintained, either because the employee no longer works for the company, or the company has gone under. Just like a throwaway email account, inactive addresses will only cost you money in the long run.
So, what if your list has gone stale, and is filled with outdated contact information and junk? Good news--a stale list, or one with a lot of inactive or spammy accounts, doesn’t necessarily need to be completely abandoned. You may still be able to remedy the issues with the stale list.
First, you’ll need to vet your contacts. This can be accomplished by using Google or LinkedIn, or even making cold calls if necessary. Remove any defunct or disinterested parties, and see what you have left. If your list is still diminished in size, try enacting some more list building activities as a means of recruiting new contacts.
Once you’ve repaired your list, it is just as important to use it effectively. Check out some of our other blogs for more advice to help you market more effectively--and as always, for more help with your marketing efforts, reach out to us!