Emails remain a steadfast communication channel that has transcended its original purpose and found its best purpose in marketing.

Email marketing is widely used, cost-efficient and effective, when done right.

However, the journey an email takes from the sender to the recipient's inbox is riddled with a multitude of obstacles, the majority of which are directly affected by the sender's email list health. We'll hereby take a look at effective email list management practices, so read on!

What Is a Healthy Email List?

An email list is so much more than a mere compilation of email addresses: it represents a community of individuals who have willingly chosen to receive updates from your brand. Abusing this trust is a huge no-go!

In other words, the potency of this community relies on authenticity rather than its size. That's where segmentation steps in.

Segmentation Is Key to Engagement

Segmentation simply means that the emails you're sending are fine-tuned to the audience's preferences. Obviously, not all recipients have the same taste or are looking for an identical offer, so catering to their unique interests is paramount.

Segmentation empowers businesses to create content that engages the audience. To be efficient, marketers need to categorize subscribers based on demographics, purchase history, purchasing power and other factors.

Another notable benefit of segmentation is that it inspires trust and loyalty. When subscribers receive content that resonates with their requirements, they are likely to treat your brand as a valuable source.

Finally, segmentation impacts email metrics (open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates) and reduces unsubscribes. In the long run, the strategy will generate lifelong customer value and uphold lasting relationships with the audience.

Aligning SPF and DKIM

If the header is all Greek to you, it's high time you familiarize yourself with SPF and DKIM, the two critical technologies that affect email marketing campaigns.

Aligning SPF and DKIM for email deliverability is not optional; if you want your emails to keep reaching recipients' inboxes without fail, you shouldn't skip this step.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) helps prevent email spoofing. Specifically, it defines the IP addresses and domains that are authorized to send emails on behalf of a particular domain. Recipients' email servers regularly check the SPF record of the sender's domain to verify the sender's authenticity.

Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an encryption key associated with the sender's domain. DNSs make the keys publicly available so that recipients' email servers can check them.

Only when SPF and DKIM are aligned can emails safely reach recipients' inboxes and automatically result in higher delivery rates. For one thing, aligning SPF and DKIM minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam.

Knowing all this, how does one align SPF and DKIM?

Here's a quick checklist:

  1. Configure SPF records: publish a comprehensive SPF record that includes all authorized sending IP addresses and domains.
  2.  Implement DKIM signatures: Set up DKIM signatures for outgoing emails using encryption keys unique to your domain.
  3. Update DNS records: regularly review and update SPF and DKIM records so that they reflect any changes in your email infrastructure.
  4. Monitor email deliverability and track bounce rates, spam complaints, and engagement metrics to identify potential issues.
  5. Use authentication alignment tools provided by your email service provider to validate the SPF and DKIM alignment.

Effective Email List Management

Effective email list management goes without saying. Businesses that fail at this practice cannot hope to excel at email marketing or build lasting relations with subscribers.

Since segmentation was already described above, we'll move on to personalization. The practice portends providing the content recipients are looking forward to receiving, addressing subscribers by their name, and crafting personalized subject lines.

Emails should feature dynamic content, a concept that adapts based on the recipient's preferences and past behavior. It's a specific form of personalization that relies on data automation, which creates content based on specific triggers.

When an email is sent, the ESP analyzes the recipient's data and selects dynamic content elements to display, creating a personalized email experience for each recipient.

Setting Up Behavioral Triggers

If you haven't set up behavioral triggers before, it's high time you familiarize yourself with the practice. Here's a quick walkthrough to help you get started:

  • Choose the right ESP (not all ESPs offer this functionality)
  • Identify triggers relevant and meaningful to your goals (common ones include abandoned carts, website visits, product views and email opens)
  • Define automation workflows (most ESPs offer visual workflow builders)
  • Segment your list based on different behaviors
  • Create personalized content for each trigger
  • Set automation rules: (define when triggers should activate)
  • Test and optimize

If you manage to follow through all of these steps efficiently, you can be sure your email deliverability will skyrocket.

These tips may be just the tip of the iceberg but they're tremendously efficient at helping your brand meet its marketing goals.