Focus on list quality over list size
Growing your mailing list is important, but don’t do it at the expense of quality. While it may look impressive to have a large list, quality names should be your highest priority. Make sure your company has defined its target audience and focus your efforts on adding names that fit this target. You may not have a large number of names in your database, but careful targeting will mean you have a list of high-value prospects and customers that result in higher response rates and greater success.
With opt-ins, establish and build trust
An opt-in is a statement of faith from your subscriber. Respect that by asking only for the most necessary information at registration. If all you really need is a name and email address, ask only for that. If you need a bit more – say city or state if your product isn’t available everywhere or size of business for routing leads – ask for that as well. To keep from scaring prospects away, keep the request for data to a minimum. You can always use subsequent email campaigns to qualify and fill in more detailed information.
Respect recipients’ privacy
Respecting the privacy of your email recipients and subscribers is a good business practice and will also help you avoid legal and ethical problems. Include a short, simple email privacy statement within your opt-in form and link it to the full policy statement on your Website. Define your contact strategy, the format in which you’ll share content and if you can, give the subscriber options on format and frequency. Adhere to the policy and make sure that if you change it, you give your sub- scribers an opportunity to opt-in again.
Give recipients what they want and need
Your subscribers expect control. If you don’t give them what they want, they’ll go elsewhere. Let them decide the email format (text or HTML), contact frequency and content preferences, if they’d like to receive additional information beyond what they opted-in for. Then segment your lists to reflect those choices. It’s always more effective to contact someone on their schedule and under their terms and get a higher response rate than to try to force a schedule or terms on an unwilling recipient and risk their unsubscribe.