What Marketers Should Demand From an E-Mail List

Working with many e-mail list brokers and mailers, we field many questions about the deliverability of a particular file. In this age of declining open and click-through rates, marketers are researching their test lists more thoroughly.

Of course, there are many questions you should ask anyone you plan on renting an e-mail list from. But what are they?

One thing you should understand is the opt-in /opt-out policies of the list owner. Knowing that you are targeting a quality subscriber file can make a big difference on the return of your investment and your results.

It’s also helpful to know the projected bounce rate, since you can then anticipate the actual delivery rate of your campaign. For example, we add an additional percentage of names where possible to cover those projected bounce rates, and deliver the desired quantity for each order.

List orders in this space often have several specific selections associated with each blast, usually within a highly defined universe. The combination of targeted selects and proper research can make a strong impact on the success of your e-mail campaign, translating to more click-throughs and an overall better response.

But even if you rent the ultimate list, how your e-mail reads and looks will determine if you will get a good return on your investment.

The overall creative composition of your promotion should have an immediate call to action, with clear and concise messaging. The best thought here – use all your resources for advice on improvements. Work in partnership with your list broker, and the e-mail list manager, to deliver the best possible results.

As vital as the list, we also get many questions about improving your spam scoring. Filtering is becoming more of an issue these days, as more and more e-mails are being filtered and bounced, due to bad copy, or the underlying coding. Becoming more proactive in reducing this number can help.

Some examples of this would include the subject lines – They should be a “teaser” of the content to come. Always be to the point, and keep your e-mail copy simple. Avoid obvious traps like the wording free, click here, $, or the use all caps.

Have your copy checked for spam scoring, as the coding behind your copy could affect the performance of you campaign. Another good tip is to make sure the overall copy file size is around 40K, as anything much larger than this can trigger filtering and swell your bounce rate.

Using a comprehensive approach of list research, correctly targeting your audience and, just as important, making sure you understand that your copy needs research as well will help your e-marketing campaign.

Turker Hassan is the interactive department manager at Danbury, CT-based list firm Statlistics.

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