Spring [email] Cleaning: The Benefits of Cleaning Up Your Distribution Lists

Spring kicked off last month, and many of us have been busy cleaning out closets, reorganizing office files and generally getting things in order. What is it about this time of year that has us itching to clean up and reorganize? It’s as if we come out of the fog of winter and see our homes and offices for the first time in months and think, “What a mess!”

Well, I wonder if you would have the same reaction if you really took a look at your email distribution list. Would you find it riddled with emails that have been marked as errors?

As you scroll through, you may find several contacts you know switched jobs months ago (maybe even years ago). It might even shock you to find a few important contacts for whom you have incorrect email addresses – and therefore, discover they’ve never once received one of your insightful, practical and downright enjoyable e-newsletters. *gasp*

And, when was the last time you added new clients/customers to your distribution list? There’s possibly a whole group of people who are missing out on the opportunity to glean greater insight from you and learn more about your company or product on a regular basis.

Besides ensuring the right people are receiving your creative content, there are a number of benefits to digging in and cleaning up your email distribution lists!

  1. Improving your bounce, open and click-through rates: Just by cleaning up erroneous emails, you will significantly improve your bounce rates. And, by correcting emails of contacts for whom you had incorrect emails or who have changed jobs, you increase the number of people who are likely to open – and click through – your emails.
  2. Reconnecting with former clients or customers: Before automatically changing the email address for someone who has changed jobs, it’s appropriate – and a good relationship- building measure – to send them a personal email and get permission to change their email address in your system. This also allows the opportunity to touch base, see how things are going in the new job, and possibly opens the door to a new business relationship or sale.
  3. Growing your business: Earlier, I mentioned adding new clients to your email distribution lists, but what about adding prospects you’ve been in touch with lately? Once again, it’s important to ask permission before adding their email addresses, but honestly, this presents yet another opportunity to touch base with them. Simply send a message that says, “Hi, friend! We are preparing our monthly e-newsletter, in which we share industry insights from our experts, and I thought of how you might enjoy the content. Would you like for me to include you on our next distribution?”
  4. Knowing your audience: It’s important to be knowledgeable about who’s receiving your content. I would even suggest that you tag them by categories that make sense to your business (clients, former clients, vendors, family/friends, etc.) so that when you pull insights, you can easily sort results for open and click rates to see which groups are engaging with the content.

Above all, by maintaining an accurate and relevant email distribution list, you preserve a direct line of communication to people who support your business – those who are truly interested in your company and want to hear from you!