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Should You Re-Confirm Your Email List?

Has your company been collecting emails for years, and you're only just now getting around to sending out an email newsletter? Do you have a list that's a hodge-podge of rented, purchased, opt-in, opt-out, and "prospects" that your sales team met at conferences and seminars?

You're probably going to get a ton of spam complaints when you send your first few email campaigns.

And if you get too many spam complaints, you'll notice all your emails getting blocked by major ISPs and spam filters.

You'll also notice dismal click and open rates.

Why waste money sending emails to a big, unresponsive list of people who don't want to hear from you?

Re-Confirm Everybody
One thing you could do is re-confirm your entire list. This means sending everyone an email that basically says,

"Okay, we don't want to send you email if you don't want to receive it, so we're asking you to click this link if you want to stay on our list. Otherwise, ignore this message, and you'll be removed from our list."

At MailChimp, we've recommended this approach just a handful of times to some of our users who were collecting emails responsibly, but their customer lists were ancient, and so they were getting way too many abuse complaints.

Each time, their lists dropped in size dramatically. About 30-50%. Of course, the upside is that open rates go up, and delivery costs and spam complaints go down.

Here's a case study from Direct Magazine on how the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society re-confirmed its email list, and it dropped in size by over 85%. Most marketers would never agree to such a drastic reduction, but it can be worth it if your spam complaints are very high. It's your reputation on the line.   


July 27, 2006 in Tips, Tricks, Best Practices | Permalink


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