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Businesses that don't use email marketing today could be missing out like never before. Consider the fact that Americans spend an average of 143 minutes each day checking email. There is enormous marketing potential in an email address.
Take advantage of this opportunity by building a reliable, healthy email list. Otherwise, not only will you reduce your ROI, but your emails may end up in your spam folder or not arrive at all.
So what should you focus on to make a list that is healthy and thriving? Let's look at some of the most important steps.
Related: 4 Ways To Prevent Your Emails From Landing In Spam
1. Get people to confirm that they want to be added to your email list
Building a healthy email list means that your subscribers signed up on purpose. To ensure this, ask everyone to confirm that they have subscribed to your emails. The double opt-in method is the most effective.
How does it work? After you have entered your email address in your registration form, an automated email will be sent immediately. It contains a unique link to check the person's email address and confirm that they consent to receiving your emails. Once they click the link, they will be added to the list.
Providing this simple action will result in a more engaged audience. It ensures that nobody adds anyone without their permission: your new subscriber actually wants to hear from you.
Without a double opt-in, you will inevitably get people tagging you as spam. Remember, spam complaints are one of the worst things that can damage your sender reputation. For all they know, if a lot of people hit the spam button, your operation is illegitimate.
So, set up this subscription verification process if you haven't already. This should be easy to do in your email service provider dashboard.
Related: "Email Abuse": What They Are And How It Affects Your Email Marketing
2. Use ReCAPTCHA to reach real people
Spambots are computer programs that can add a large number of e-mail addresses (often forged) to mailing lists. You could keep a healthy list and receive a deluge of subscriptions, often followed by spam complaints, unsubscriptions, or bounces. That's because a bot has signed up.
Obviously, a healthy, thriving list is made up of human subscribers, not bots. One of the best ways to be true to reality is to use ReCAPTCHA. Are you familiar with these simple tests that are used to weed out bots by testing human intelligence? ReCAPTCHA is Google's proprietary CAPTCHA, and you can install it pretty easily.
It adds an extra layer of protection against fake and risky email addresses. However, it is often not enough to prevent malicious logins. So if you want more security, consider email validation.
3. Use an email validation API to keep bad data off your list
Email registration forms are a great way to give users an easy way to get started receiving your newsletters. However, if you are not careful, registration forms are also gateways for inaccurate data.
First, some people can accidentally make a typo while trying to subscribe. You can also register with a less good address. When they want to access protected content without revealing their real email address, users often use a temporary address. There have even been cases where competitors sabotaged a list by entering incorrect or invalid addresses.
In addition, some of the people who sign up for your email may be ordinary complainers. You think you're getting a great lead, but instead you get someone who may be labeling your email as spam.
These are issues you can't prevent in real time, but an email validation API will. Once you've set up double opt-in and ReCAPTCHA, adding this software to your forms will keep your list healthy longer.
A reputable email validation service should have an API that you can connect to your sign up form to block malicious email. In most cases, if an address is entered incorrectly, the API will notify the person that they made a mistake. Keeping these invalid addresses off your list will prevent bounces, spam complaints and keep you off blacklists.
Bonus Tip: Check your entire list in bulk on a regular basis
Email validation is critical to having a successful email list, but even the good contacts on your list can go bad. People change their email addresses for a variety of reasons, especially workplace addresses. So confirm your email list several times a year. There is no value in sending email if it is undeliverable. It only harms your deliverability and the sender's reputation.
Of course, it's easy to get attached to numbers. It's just normal to have an extensive list or to compare your list with others. But subscriber count doesn't always mean good engagement or high ROI. What would you choose between a large, unhealthy list and a smaller but healthy list of interested subscribers?
The focus is on an activated, valid email list of people who really want to get in touch with you.
Similar: Why Email Marketing Is Better Than Social Media For Your Business