When it comes to business-to-business email marketing for lead generation, marketers have a lot of touch points to consider. Is the content relevant? Is the subject line compelling? Is the call to action benefits-focused and positioned correctly on the page? Is the landing page designed to convert? What follow up procedures are in place after the lead is captured?
Before considering all of the above (however important and relevant these points are) marketers need to focus on their list. Because, let’s face it, you can send the most beautifully crafted email in existence, but if it is not reaching the right people, bouncing or reaching “dead” email boxes the exercise is completely wasted.
As has been mentioned in previous blog posts to hit your mark you have to aim at the target. Is your list segmented? Does it represent prospects who fit the attributes of your best customer? Is the list clean?
Think of your list as a living thing which needs to be nurtured in order to thrive. As you acquire new names via sales calls, inbound marketing, trade shows or referrals, add them to your list. After each outbound campaign, adjust it based on opt-outs, bounced email addresses or phone numbers, those who show interest, and those who make it all the way to customer. If your list is not up to date, your credibility takes a hit.
In her B2B Online blog post, “How can I keep my email list clean?” Georgia Christian, editor of Mail Blaze, states, “You’d be forgiven for believing that the size of your email list carries more weight than the quality of the email addresses it contains. Truth is, sending messages to inactive or invalid email addresses causes nightmarish problems for your sender reputation.”
She goes on to pinpoint four simple ways to keep your list clean:
- Honor unsubscribe requests
- Address hard and soft bounces immediately
- Check the list manually
- Make use of validation
Keeping your list clean and targeted will not only help get your messaging in the hands of the right people and maintain your sender reputation, it will also help you will all those items mentioned at the beginning of this post. It is much easier to write relevant content and compelling calls to action when you know who you are talking to.