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Even the most effective email marketing messages can be undercut by a low-quality list. With an ineffective list, marketers will wind up wasting a great deal of time and effort attempting to reach people who are unable or unwilling to pay attention the marketers’ messages.

Here are three tips that email marketers should consider implementing to improve the quality of their contact lists:

1. Remove bounces
One of the keys to achieving an effective email contact list is removing bounces quickly and thoroughly.  Plenty of marketers don’t make this a priority because of email’s low cost, relative to individual email addresses.  However, leaving emails on lists that continue to bounce, can have a variety of detrimental effects on the overall email program.

There are many reasons why an email address may no longer be active, leading to bounced back messages.  In the case of work based accounts beginning to bounce, the individuals may have left the company.  It’s also possible that a promotion or title change would lead to the deactivation of an old email account and the individual may simply not have updated their account with his or her new email address.

Whatever the reason an email becomes undeliverable, the marketer has nothing to gain by repeatedly messaging these accounts.  Email marketers should ensure that a given bounce is not due to a typo or other human error. Assuming this is not the case, it should be removed immediately. Email list cleansing tools can help to to ensure this is accomplished quickly and thoroughly.

2. Segment significantly
Segmentation is another key component of successful email list management. By segmenting lists based on a variety of relevant factors, then creating messages that specifically appeal to these segments, marketers can greatly improve the effectiveness of their email lists.

Marketers often have quite a bit of information the individuals in their email lists, including their name, physical address, level of past engagement, expectations of communications, prior sales, and other preferences.  Using that information, marketers can typically develop more relevant messaging strategies and content for each segment of their audience.

3. Address opt-outs
One of the most essential and basic aspects of maintaining a high-quality email list is honoring subscriber opt-out requests quickly. First and foremost, this practice is essential to achieving CAN-SPAM compliance and thereby avoiding fines or other sanctions. However, removing opt-outs promptly is also good for the marketer, as there is no reason to expend resources reaching out to individuals who have explicitly communicated their lack of interest.