5 Email List Management Tasks for a Rainy Day
It’s winter, which means there will be days when the weather will make it difficult to get to the job or do it. Snow days are a great opportunity to catch up on administrative tasks, and few yield greater returns than email list management.
Email has the highest return on investment of any digital marketing channel in the United States, according to Data Marketing & Analytics (DMA), a division of the Association of National Advertisers. When paired with social media for construction contractors, it is one of the most cost-effective and easy-to-use marketing channels available to small businesses.
If you are an independent home services contractor, your customer email list is also probably one of the few business assets you own, outside of real estate, that can hold or increase in value. Moreover, it’s been shown time and again that one of the most profitable ways to grow profits and the value of a business is to sell more to existing customers.
If you ever plan to sell your business, a large and well-maintained email list can help you get top dollar.
Without further ado, here are five email list management tasks for that next snowy or rainy day.
Create a webform
One of the most popular email list management tasks is to create a form on your website where people can sign up for a newsletter, a free estimate, a discount, a PDF guide or some other incentive in exchange for providing their contact information. Thirty percent of marketers use a ten percent off discount in their first welcome email, according to DMA. Make sure to ask those who register to add you to the safe sender list in their email client so your emails don’t get sent to their spam folders.
Scrub your list
Remove addresses with high bounce rates and those that have not opened your emails in six months. Many of these are simply no longer in use because people have changed jobs or service providers, which is why even well-managed email lists can lose 25 percent of their subscribers a year. Such routine list “hygiene” will save you money because email service providers charge according to how many emails you send.
Create market segments
Create separate lists for customers and prospects, then start breaking those down into segments that correspond with the services you offer. For instance, if you are a handyman, you might want to create lists for customers who have hired you to:
- Pressure clean vinyl siding.
- Clean gutters.
- Build or repair decks.
- Trim trees.
Or you could create separate lists of customers by season — customers who typically use your services during spring, summer, fall or winter work. Sending promotional emails to such lists is a very efficient way to stimulate demand for your services. Click-through rates for email campaigns sent to segmented lists using Mailchimp were twice as high as for campaigns sent to non-segmented lists on the platform, according to the company. Mailchimp’s “Effects of List Segmentation on Email Marketing Stats” report shows that you can increase open rates and unique opens just through segmenting by signup date and subscriber activity or by engagement. Obviously, the more data you collect from your customers via your webform or taking notes on each job, the more granular your segmentation can be. That data is very valuable and could help you fetch a higher price should you sell your business.
Weed out unengaged subscribers
Subscribers who have not opened or clicked through on an email in months can be worse than opt outs because they lower your email conversion rate and sender reputation. But before removing them from your list, you might want to send them a special email asking if they want to continue receiving your emails. These “re-engagement campaigns” typically say something along these lines: “Hey, we noticed you’ve not opened or clicked through on one of our emails in a long time, so we are reaching out to see if you want to continue your subscription. If so, please opt back in here. If not, you don’t need to do anything, and we will remove you from our list.”
Review the law
Before undertaking any of the email list management tasks above, make sure you are up to speed with the CAN-SPAM Act, which regulates commercial email messages and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. “Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $41,484, so non-compliance can be costly,” notes the FTC’s compliance guide for business. “But following the law isn’t complicated.”
If you send emails to residents of California, be sure to review how the California Consumer Privacy Act could affect email marketing. The law, which was enacted in 2018, is expected to phase in beginning in 2020.
If you are an email novice, don’t sweat it. Your email service provider should offer online tutorials and glossaries. If it doesn’t, you may want to spend your next snow day shopping for a new one that better suits your needs.