Smaller Can Be Better: 3 Reasons to Keep your Email List Small

April 19, 2011 | Email lists

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When our clients start their email marketing program, they always want to know how to grow their email list and increase the number of people they send emails to. Obviously, having a growing list is great, and having a plan for increasing numbers is very important.

But don’t just add emails to your list with abandon.

In an effort to increase their mailing list some companies use less than ideal tactics to get more email lists. There are several reasons why we cautious against this.

1. Don’t get marked as a spammer. This one is certainly the most critical. If you are adding names to your e-newsletter list without expressed consent, you may be breaking the Anti Spam laws. Many people have a way to tell their ISP if they believe your email is spam. It may be as easy as pushing a “mark as spam” right their in their email program. If your web host receives a lot of complaints that you are sending what others consider spam, you’re entire email network can be shut down. That means you’ll have trouble even with internal emailing. Your domain name can remain “flagged” for a long time.

2. Figure out the true cost of email marketing. While email marketing is a very effective and low-cost marketing tool, it’s not free. So to be sending to more recipients than you need to is probably costing y0u something. Wouldn’t it be better to have a smaller list but a list with a better open or click-through rate?

3. Your most engaged readers are the most valuable. Most people are not blatantly flaunting the law, it’s just that they are being too aggressive with adding recipients to their email list. So, while your recipients may not mark your email as spam, they will not exactly be engaged either.

Our suggestion? Keep your email list filled with recipients who want to hear from you. These readers will be:

  • open to receiving your email
  • less likely to unsubscribe
  • more likely to read your email
  • more likely to interact with the content (ie click, read, call, share, print etc.)

It’s easy to put on your blinders and feel that any email recipient is better than none. But this is probably not true.