The Manifest Matters: Why List Building is Key for Email Performance

The Manifest Matters: Why List Building is Key for Email Performance

Just like the manifest on a ship or the guest list for the Met Gala — your email list matters.

Who’s on the list, and what they’re receiving because they’re on the list are both important considerations when it comes to loading shipping containers or building an email list on behalf of your business. 

And just like the guestlist for the Met Gala, your email lists are key for maintaining your email reputation and status.

Let’s dig in.

Protect Your Reputation 

Having a good email list protects you from being blacklisted, from being sent right to SPAM, and from being negatively impacted by new tech changes.

Companies like Apple continue to push privacy features at the expense of being able to track people. Governments are also taking a stand (think EU legislation, California Consumer Privacy Act, etc.) to enhance the privacy and ability to not be tracked.

Apple’s iOS changes — stay tuned for more on that — will now require email users to opt-in to being tracked for opening and reading an email. Marketers will need to rethink key performance indicators (KPIs) for email marketing.

So what does this mean for your list?

To send email content that’s more relevant to their shopping experience, you should gather as much information as possible from your past, current and future customers and leads.

In order to protect your own sender reputation, you do not want to purchase email lists simply to firehose more people with your message.

Keep It Secure

If you don’t own your audience, it could be taken away from you.

For example, unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, you do not own Facebook. So, platform changes can affect your social media campaigns when the platform makes policy changes outside of your control.

But, building up your own relevant, maintained, email database is within your control.

Emails will continue to become more valuable because getting an email address guarantees you have some information about that person. 

With the right practices, you can use email to connect with leads and convert them to customers.

It’s All About Longevity

Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort.

Joe Pulizzi – Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Email marketing isn’t going away. Of course, people change their email addresses when they get married or change jobs, but it’s something that can be updated and continued to be used.

In more technical terms, emails last longer than a cookie on a website. Google says it isn’t going to support the cookie-substitutes many are proposing across the industry, but Google has said it will provide support for first-party relationships — ones where you have a direct connection with your customers.

This article from Liana Technologies states that while we wait for new solutions and to see what the changes are actually going to be, it’s smart to focus on the actions you can already perform on your own such as:

  • Start leveraging first-party data
  • Build your own audience and customer database
  • Keep your contact list clean (clean lists mean better open and click-through rates)
  • Plan strategies to make the most of your contact database

So, let’s talk about building your audience and keeping those lists “clean” by removing old, unused contacts and gathering fresh, updated information.

How To Build Your List

First things first — your team should be gathering email addresses from all customers and leads. As this information changes with your existing contacts, your system should be updated. 

Once you’ve got that information within your CRM, it’s time to start building your lists. You can utilize your CRM directly, or build lists within your email marketing tools like HubSpot or SharpSpring.

The key to building a list is to determine the goal of your email campaign and, from there, decide what criteria are relevant to that message.

For example, if you’re promoting a new lease offer on RAM 1500 trucks, you’ll want to sort your database by unsold leads that have indicated an interest in trucks or by past truck purchasers within your database.

To keep a good sender reputation and ensure high deliverability, every single person in your database should not receive every one of your emails. 

Once your list has been built and your email sent, it’s time to analyze your results.

Not sure what to look for? Check out these benchmarks for automotive email marketing and see how your email stacks up.

Updating your database to remove hard bounces and unsubscribes is a way to keep your list healthy and increase your engagement with recipients.

Action From Your Agency

If your agency can’t help you send a specific message to qualified people, the only thing they’re helping you with is cluttering people’s inboxes with information that’s not relevant to them and hurting your sender reputation.

Also, to reiterate from earlier, a reputable agency isn’t going to send emails to addresses that have been purchased (aka acquired illegally), as this will also hurt your sender reputation.

If you’re unsure what to ask your agency about email, take a look at some email best practices and questions to ask.

Learn More About Email Marketing

Sending the right message to the right audience is key when it comes to email marketing. As things in the email industry change with tracking and benchmarks for engagement, that takeaway will remain constant.

Want to see how your email marketing strategy stacks up? Talk to us!

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