List Building: Be Careful When Building Email Marketing Lists

A customer purchasing from your business has not necessarily given you permission to send them ongoing email communications. However, many businesses often carry out email list building based on implied consent. This is instead of actually getting a customer to explicitly say they are happy to receive your marketing. It is the easiest way to grow your email list that you can then market to. However, email subscribers should always be obtained with quality over quantity in mind.

Creating a Loyal Customer Base

Power of email marketing Follow the tips below to create a loyal customer base and to avoid your messages ending up in their spam folders:

Find out who your most loyal relationships are with

When clients start working with you, always acknowledge their support. The power of email marketing gives you the option of tracking specific client behavior to see how engaged a business partner is with you.

Are they early adapters of your new products and services? Do they actively promote your organization? How else do they interact with your company e.g. social media?

Knowing this means you can measure the progress of your automated marketing tools and if you are providing the right content.

Reward this loyalty

When you know who your loyal customers are, reward their behavior. Implement something like a points system that offers discounts or complimentary services for a certain amount of interaction with your social media profiles or website. You can also reward clients for providing you with referrals, sales leads or encouraging other business to check you out.

Ask for direct feedback

In addition to monitoring customers’ replies/interactions, ask them for their opinion on the products and/or services you offer. You can then can customize the promotions and content you offer them. This will inevitably increase customer engagement.

Provide personalized content

Show your customers you care about their needs by personalizing messages. Also, consider sending emails from an address that includes a first and last name. Don’t use a generic one like “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” e.g. [email protected]

Customer Consent

By not asking for a customer’s consent when trying to build your email marketing list, you risk the following consequences:

Negative Brand Impact

Negative brand impact on list building If you keep bombarding people with email newsletters when they have only ever made one purchase, what do you think that they will eventually think of you? Just because they signed up for a webinar or bought a pair of trainers, it does not always mean that they want a long term relationship with your business. It simply means that they wanted to purchase a pair of trainers or attend your webinar to learn something.

The more you email them, the more negative feelings about your brand could be fostered. These will only increase with each subsequent email.

Low Email Deliverability Rates

Low email deliverability impacts email marketing listsIf your emails don’t get much engagement, there is a possibility that it will lower your email deliverability rates. ISPs use a lack of engagement to judge whether your email is wanted or is spam. If you send someone ten emails that they then open, an ISP will know that that specific person wants to hear from you.

However, if you keep sending this person emails that they don’t open, this indicates that they consider your emails to either be spam or of low value to them. This lack of engagement can cause the ISP to stop delivering your emails to some inboxes.

Spam Complaints

Spam complaints damage email listsSome recipients will report email as spam rather than going through the unsubscribe process. They don’t usually consider the ramifications of this can have on a business. They simply don’t want to receive any emails from you. Reporting an email as spam seems like a quick fix in their eyes.

However, from your perspective, a spam complaint is a serious issue. If you end up with a number of recipients labeling your emails as spam, you could end up getting ‘blacklisted’ by ISPs and will no longer be in a position to send out email communications.

Important Questions for Your Email Marketing Checklist

Email marketing checklist

Your data list has been cleaned, you’ve created a fantastic email creative and you are ready to send out your campaign.

However, before you send anything, make sure you ask the following questions and add any additional points to your email marketing checklist.

Is your subject line responsive?

Test your subject line on a variety of devices, email clients and browsers to make sure that none of the email gets cut off in the various preview screens. Make the first few words the most powerful in order to drive higher clickthroughs.

For example, if you are running a special offer or a holiday promotion, you’ll want to make sure that recipients understand this right from the very beginning.

Have you considered a personal subject line?

According to a New Yes Lifecycle Marketing report, personalized subject lines boost open rates by 50%. That’s quite an increase! However, do keep in mind that if you’ve used first names in your subject lines before, they won’t be as effective a second time.

Analyze your data carefully and look at other information such as the customer’s last purchase or the geographical region they are located in.

Have you proofread your content?

We all make spelling mistakes from time to time. It seems that the most common words that people misspell are:

  • necessary
  • cooperation
  • acknowledgement
  • accommodate

Make sure that you use your spell checker and, if in doubt, get a colleague to proof your copy for spelling/grammatical mistakes. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful when looking at your copy, especially if you have been working on it for a long time and it becomes easy to glance over mistakes.

Do all the weblinks work?

Test all the links in your message to make sure that they are clickable and lead to the correct landing page. Doing this manually is often the best option, but you can also use tools like Litmus to automatically test every link for you. This can be very helpful if you are on a tight schedule.

Have you tested your email content?

A good habit to get in to is using multi-variate testing (A/B or A/X testing) to a small portion of your data list before sending it to everyone. Some things to test are frequency, call-to-action (placement, design, color etc.) and sender name (sending from the company vs sending from an individual).

Are you sending the email at the right time?

Even if you haven’t done a frequency test, as mentioned above, it is always wise to look through past data and discover which times your customers are most active.

For example, if you are sending to an international audience, segment your list so that they go out at the optimal times for those regions. Customize your send time in all instances to maximize your ROI.


So, what’s the answer when it comes to building an email list that is considered healthy and compliant? If you plan on sending an email to a customer or other recipient, make your intentions clear and give them options. Treat the person you are sending the email to like a human being, and not an anonymous email address. You will get far fewer complaints about your emails and will be able to tailor your communications accordingly.

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