The New Year presents an excellent opportunity for your business to scrub and segment your email marketing lists to maximize optimization and ensure compliance. Email marketing is still an extremely useful method of digital marketing, allowing businesses to reach some of the 3.9 billion people who use email every day. Last year, more than $350 million was spent on email marketing in the United States alone – these businesses saw a significant increase in email engagement, and when using segmented campaigns, saw increases in revenue of up to 760%.

With email marketing still playing such a vital role in the way businesses communicate with customers and generate new leads, you shouldn’t be wasting your efforts on an ineffective (or non-compliant) email list. Next year, focus on improving your business’s digital hygiene and improving regulatory compliance by scrubbing and segmenting your existing email lists.

Your subscribers must opt-in to ensure regulatory compliance

Nobody likes spam, and that includes your potential customers – alienating people by bombarding them with unwanted messages is the worst thing you can do. Even more important is that spam is strictly prohibited by the CAN-SPAM Act, which applies to commercial emails and includes unwanted emails with false or misleading headers, deceptive subject lines, and messages identified as ads. CAN-SPAM requires businesses to tell email recipients where they’re located, how to opt-out of receiving future emails, and honor these opt-out requests as soon as possible.

Violating the CAN-SPAM Act can result in financial penalties of up to $43,280 for every separate offense, making it critical that your email marketing campaigns are compliant. If there are recipients on your email list who have not yet opted in, they should be removed as soon as possible to ensure compliance.

The best way to ensure compliance is to embrace a double opt-in signup method for all email recipients. Double opt-in requires a recipient to fill out a signup form to receive your email marketing messages, and then to confirm this opt-in through an opt-in confirmation email. The advantage to using this method over the traditional single opt-in is that it guarantees that each and every email on your list is compliant with CAN-SPAM, and that each recipient is a valid, active email address.

Scrub your lists to maximize optimization

While you’re implementing double opt-ins, you’re going to want to breathe some new life into your email marketing lists by scrubbing it. This will mean removing recipients who have yet to opt in, as well as getting rid of email addresses whose messages are constantly bumped. Take note of which recipients are highly engaged, which are sometimes engaged, and which ones are completely unengaged.

If you continuously fail to capture the imagination of recipients, it might be wise to delete them from your list – if a user isn’t interested, they’re generally not worth keeping around. Before removing unengaged recipients from your list altogether, you should first come up with a strategy to re-engage them, be it through a nudge of sorts, or by offering some sort of special offer or promotion. If you’re working from an old email list, it’s recommended that you take your highly engaged recipients and begin building a new list of more engaged subscribers.

Segment email lists to increase engagement

In order to increase engagement, your business needs to focus on segmenting its email lists. Segmenting email lists presents an excellent opportunity to sort recipients into groups of similar (or like-minded) users. Criteria for segmentation might be users in a specific location, those who share similar interests in your products and services, past purchases, age group, or income. All demographics and behaviours can be segmented, allowing you to specifically target these recipients with messages which have been carefully tailored to better suit their needs and interests.

Segmented groups can be further segmented if you wish, allowing you to further refine your customers and create more accurate profiles of who they are and what they’re interested in. The more segmented your lists are, the better you’ll be able to engage them with custom messaging, and the more effective these messages will be at encouraging them to interact with your business.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your future email marketing campaigns, you need access to an intelligent cloud app like Zoho Campaigns. With Campaigns, your marketing team can easily see which emails have bounced, who has opted in and who hasn’t, and view the performance of each campaign you launch. Analytics lets your team take the guesswork out of their marketing efforts, and email marketing automation lets you automate workflows and autoresponders to make the lives of your employees a little easier. Add in the built-in segmenting features which allows you to quickly name each segment and add criteria to each, and you’ve got a tool that will transform the way you do email marketing.

Looking for more ways to optimize email marketing in 2021? Look no further than the digital marketing experts at ion8. Our all-in-one business consultancy features a full team of Zoho consultants, digital marketers, and design experts ready to take your campaigns to a whole new level. To find out more about how ion8 can transform the way your business does email marketing, contact us today.