It may sound absurd or mythical to modern marketers, but the first marketing email generated $13 million in sales 😲

This email was not sent in the 2000s or in the 90s when email became popular.

It was sent in 1978 , when the number of email users was less than the population of Vatican City .

Digital Equipment Corp‘s Marketing Manager, Gary Thuerk, can be considered the first email marketer .

Sent emails using ARPANET to 100 email IDs promoting DEC products. That email blast helped Gary generate $13 million in sales.

No other story can better prove the power of email marketing 💁🏻‍♂️

Even in 2022, email marketing continues to be the marketing channel with the highest ROI.

Research shows that email marketing can yield a higher ROI than print media, SEO, and other paid marketing channels.

That’s enough fodder for anyone to drop everything and put all their chips into email marketing.

However, while it may seem like an amazing marketing channel, it still comes with its own unique challenges.

  • First, you need a proper email marketing strategy.
  • Second, there are a few key elements to have in place to get the best results.

It starts with managing your email list. 👏🏼

  • What is Email List Management? 💁🏻‍♀️
  • How To Increase Your Email Marketing ROI With List Management 🧐
  • Sign off 👋🏼


Important Disclosure: We are proud to be affiliated with some of the tools mentioned in this guide. When you click on an affiliate link and then make a purchase, we earn a small commission at no extra charge (no extra charge).

What is Email List Management? 💁🏻‍♀️

An email list is a fundamental necessity of any email marketing campaign. You can only run campaigns if you have people you can send emails to.

Email list management is an end-to-end process that involves building, validating, maintaining, and maintaining email lists by removing spam addresses and unsubscribing.

Email list management also includes related activities such as importing a contact list database from a CRM system into a spreadsheet.

In fact, the last step activities like setting up double opt-in and launching re-engagement campaigns are all part of email list management.

You need at least 100 healthy subscribers to launch your email campaign.

By comparison, e-commerce business mailing lists should be slightly more extensive (at least 500+).

The more subscribers you have, the more email deliverability you can achieve.

Ultimately, this leads to maximizing your email marketing RoI. So, you need to manage your email list.

How To Increase Your Email Marketing ROI With List Management 🧐

Email list management is not a single task and cannot be fully automated. It takes human intelligence, creativity, and a lot of planning.

You also need to make strategic decisions using as much data as possible .

Once you have all of this in place, the tactics mentioned below will help you maximize your email marketing RoI.

  1. Use segmentation for email personalization
  2. Clean up your email list to reduce soft bounces
  3. Remove invalid email addresses with hard bounces
  4. Don’t Buy Email Lists
  5. Track Engagement with Email Metrics.Let’s take a closer look at each tactic, what it means and how it works.

    Use list splits for email personalization 📝

    Simply put, list segmentation is a way marketers send targeted and personalized emails to their list of subscribers.

    Segmentation divides your target audience into groups that exhibit similar characteristics or behavioral characteristics.

    Segmentation can be done based on:

    1. Demographic characteristics
    2. psychological characteristics
    3. geography
    4. behavioral traits

    By understanding the specific characteristics and needs of users signing up for your email, you can create personalized email content that drives maximum engagement.

    Engagement emails can ultimately also help increase revenue.

    Neal Taparia, who runs Solitaire, explains:

    ” We started segmenting emails by player level. We emailed more challenging solitaire games to top players and easier games to new players. We found this to substantially increase engagement on our site. I did. ”

    Each site can have its own way to get to a segment, but the three most popular are:

    1. Page-level targeting
    2. lead magnet
    3. automation software

    Page-level targeting 🎯

    Page-level targeting aims to identify customers and their interests based on the landing pages of your website with which your customers interact the most.

    Their website activity gives you an idea of ​​the kind of problems they are facing and the plausible solutions your company can offer. Email can be used as a channel to distribute content that best meets the expectations of these users.

    Lead Magnet 🧲

    A lead magnet is downloadable content material from a website.

    For example, an eBook introducing a topic, a white paper explaining upcoming technologies, or a webinar hosted to educate prospects.

    By analyzing the lead magnets consumed by users, you can easily classify them into specific groups from which lead magnets were created.

    Automation software 💻

    Automation requires support from your email service provider. You will also need email marketing software that allows you to categorize your lists according to the rules you set up.

    According to the rules, the software classifies users as:

    • new subscriber
    • User-based on preference
    • interest-based subscribers
    • unsubscribe

    Not all marketing automation tools have email list segmentation. You should choose a service that offers list segmentation.

    Reduce soft bounce proactively 🙅🏼‍♂️

    Before understanding how to reduce soft bounce, let’s look at what soft bounce is.

    Email marketing has two stages before an email reaches the user.

    • The first step is when it goes through the recipient’s email server. Many factors come into play to pass this stage. Your domain IP reputation is one of them.
    • The second stage is when the email goes through the recipient’s email server but does not reach the user’s inbox.

    A soft bounce is a temporary issue and is often caused by:

    • Problems with the user’s inbox, such as insufficient storage
    • Bulk email file size that your inbox can’t handle
    • server failure
    • It has been classified as spam.

    The good news is that an email with a soft bounce can be delivered next time. However, it is necessary to reduce the soft bounce as much as possible to avoid wasting valuable time and effort.

    Here are some proven ways to reduce the soft bounce rate.

    Improve your sender reputation 🤝

    Maintaining a good sender reputation increases the chances of your email reaching your users’ inboxes.

    Send engaging content 🥰

    In email marketing, great content is the only way to keep your customers engaged and responsive. Without engagement, your email marketing efforts will fail in the long run.

    You can use HTML email templates or text-based emails. Regardless of format, your content can make a difference. 

    Find your spam trigger 👎🏽

    Every email client has its own set of spam triggers and filters. It could be a word or phrase that turns out to be malicious or part of an unsolicited email.

    These mails are sent to your spam folder by default.

    Make sure there are no spam triggers in your email copy. This can help prevent soft bounce.

    Remove email addresses with hard bounces 🤔

    Unlike soft bounces which are caused by temporary conditions, hard bounces are caused by permanent conditions.

    Permanent conditions can be invalid recipient addresses, invalid domain addresses, or unknown recipients. Therefore, it is necessary to filter out emails with hard bounces.

    Otherwise, you will skew your email deliverability and create the illusion that your email marketing is failing.

    You can prevent hard bounces in several ways:

    Make sure your email address is correct ✔️

    A hard bounce can be caused by something like a misspelling of an email domain. A common case is for users to spell ‘Gmail as ‘ gmal ‘ .

    Take a closer look at your email address filters for minor issues like this that can sometimes lead to hard bounces.

    Enable double opt-in 💌

    Double opt-in requires users to complete an additional step to confirm their subscription. It is usually sent along with the welcome email or as a separate email.

    It also verifies that the email address is valid and active.

    Organize your email list regularly 🧼

    Remove all addresses that caused a hard bounce.

    Please ensure that we have an updated list that is accurate and ensures maximum deliverability.

    Don’t buy an email list 👏🏼

    The RoI that email marketing offers is enticing enough to get you into the process.

    One of the common mistakes users make is buying email lists.

    There are countless vendors on the internet that sell email lists based on several parameters.

    However, we recommend using it to build your own email list and improve customer engagement and prospects.

    In fact, at least 30% of U.S. retail email list subscribers have actually purchased from the retailer whose email list they are subscribed to. So the odds of someone on your purchased email list buying from you are rather slim.

    Consider the money and time spent using a buy list as a sunk cost 🧊

    It can also do more damage, such as tarnishing your IP reputation or flagging your brand as spam.

    The point is that email marketing, or any form of marketing, cannot buy loyalty. It was built over a period of time.

    It’s like building a follower base on social media one day at a time. So there is no need to buy an email list.

    Track engagement with email metrics 📈

    As the eminent British economist, Ronald H. Coase once said, “torture your data long enough and it will confess anything.”

    Data can tell the story of your marketing performance. The facts may be staring you in the face.

    However, only data analysis can connect these points and provide a clear picture of what works, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be discarded.

    Most email marketing tools provide metrics and analytics reports as a standard feature. All you have to do is adjust it to suit your needs.

    Engagement in email marketing can be tracked in several ways 👇🏽

    Broadly speaking, there are three types of metrics you can track.

    1. Email deliverability
    2. Click Analysis
    3. conversion rate

    Email forward ability 📮

    Email deliverability measures the number of emails you send that actually reach your users’ inboxes.

    • Email delivery is when the server accepts delivery to the user.
    • Email deliverability is the point at which an email actually reaches a user’s inbox.

    According to the email app Mailbird, an email has a lifetime of about an hour after it arrives in a user’s inbox. Knowing which content can cross that threshold is critical to testing.

    Tracking email deliverability is the best way to measure your marketing efforts.

    Click Analytics 💻

    There are three questions that click analytics seeks to answer.

    • find relevant content through email ?
    • Which Title Gets the Maximum Publication Fee?
    • Which content blocks get the most engagement ?
    • What is the average CTR for each content block ?

    You can tailor your upcoming emails based on this data . Campaigns that give you the maximum RoI for your efforts .

    transition 😍

    For ecommerce businesses that send out promotional emails, conversion tracking should be the ultimate RoI metric . Indicates the number of users who received the email and actually made a purchase.

    How do these metrics relate to email list management?

    For these metrics to give you an accurate picture, you need to have a good email list.

    You can also improve your RoI by revising your list whenever an email drip is successful. These indicators support this.

    Sign off 👋🏼

    Gary’s first 100 emails on behalf of DEC were a novelty endeavor.

    It didn’t have all the advanced strategies that email marketing has today .

    Today’s email marketing has evolved by leaps and bounds. Some businesses have their own dedicated team for email marketing. It’s no longer a one person job.

    Whether you’re a large business with a dedicated team or a small business with one person in charge of email marketing, having a clean email marketing list is essential for success.

    It is the foundation on which your email marketing story is built.