Email Marketing Maintenance: A 7-Step Checklist


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Like your car, house, and every aspect of your business, your email marketing requires maintenance. If you let things slip, your efforts will likely go to waste. Here’s how to avoid that.

Email marketing can help you boost business revenue, but like any marketing initiative, it requires some effort. While some things can be duplicated and reused many times, others may need a revamp or a quick tune-up.

Let’s take a look at the routine email marketing maintenance that will ensure good results and keep problems at bay.

Annual email marketing maintenance

If you want to take your email marketing to the next level, it’s good to set an annual reminder in your calendar to assess and potentially change a few things. Don’t get complacent. Do get creative and consider how to make next year even better.

Revamp your sign-up forms

Some marketers overlook their sign-up forms. They may stick one on the contact page and never give it a second thought. Really carefully consider their placement. If your emails are good, why would you only have one place in the world where people can sign up?

“Plan more sign-up forms and be sure to reach people across multiple platforms—link to your email newsletter on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.” said Brian Minick, Chief Operating Officer at ZeroBounce.

The email expert added, “You can also mention the sign-up forms just about anywhere. Tell people they can sign up for free if you appear on a podcast or webinar.” When someone places an order, you can also ask permission to add them to your list.

Update your free content offers

Many companies create free content offers to incentivize subscriptions. Anyone who signs up for your newsletter receives a free e-book, audio/video download, infographic, guide, or white paper. If you haven’t done this, it’s a good idea that works for virtually every industry.

However, this isn’t a one-and-done. Sometimes, your freebies need an update. Other times, they should be scrapped and redone. Take a close look. Is the information relevant? Maybe it just needs tweaking.

Reconsider overall design and structure

Your branding needs to feel familiar but fresh to your audience. Nearly every company modernizes or does a little email marketing design makeover.

So try a different font or border color. Also, ask if maybe it’s time to go with more text-only emails. You can even mix things up. It may help to get someone with a good eye or a design background to advise how your emails could enjoy some modification.

Quarterly email marketing maintenance

Whether it’s seasonally or every other month, you must check a few critical areas to ensure you aren’t wasting your time or frustrating your subscribers. Your quarterly or bimonthly email maintenance is even more pressing.

Scrub your entire email list

Email lists are more like grapes than wine because they have a shelf life. People don’t keep the same email address forever. Sometimes, they change employers or decide to ditch Yahoo in favor of ProtonMail.

The problem occurs when you don’t root out those expired email addresses, which will always happen. Whether your list is small or giant, not giving your email list a periodic scrub will result in email deliverability problems.

The solution is to find the best email validation service around and clean your entire list. You should validate your list no less than quarterly. If you have a larger database, you may need to clean it as often as monthly.

Check template copy and links

Most marketers reuse an email template in order to save time. This is a good strategy, but links can change (especially third-party links) and without you knowing it, the copy can mysteriously become corrupted. Because you see the same text and template all the time, you may not notice.

Speaking from personal experience, a template copy my team duplicated semi-weekly somehow said “Thank you for your supports” instead of “support”. It was embarrassing when I realized this was undetected for several weeks. Your subscribers notice things like this. You don’t want to project a negative image. That’s why examining your copy and clicking on the links is so important.

Email marketing maintenance you can automate

There are components of marketing that could keep you busy every day, but thankfully, you can easily automate them. They keep your email marketing infrastructure running smoothly even when you’re asleep.

Let’s look at some email marketing maintenance that you can (pretty much) “set and forget.”

Install an email validation API

We mentioned that you should be scrubbing your email list regularly. However, all your email sign-ul forms could be a source of bad contacts finding their way onto your list.

The answer? Connect an email validation API to all forms. If someone tries to enter a low-quality or invalid email address, it will prompt the potential subscriber to enter another one. It also stops them if they make a typo. Not having this safeguard will allow inferior data to pollute your email database.

Enable double opt-in

Anyone who signs up to get your emails should demonstrate a little effort to show that they really want to subscribe and are a real person, not a bot. It’s simple to set up double opt-in. Once configured, anyone who enters their email address will receive an automatic email confirmation with a unique link. The would-be subscriber must click the link to get added to your list.

Thus, you’ll keep people who aren’t really that interested in your emails from signing up. You’ll also prevent someone from signing up other people who they think might be interested. After all, you’re going for the quality of subscribers, not quantity.

Make lists and schedule tasks

When you carefully arrange all of the working parts of your email marketing, you reduce the headaches that come with troubleshooting and hiccups. It’s better to work slowly and steadily when you create your templates. Ensure you’ve checked every sign-up form to be sure your real-time email checkers are connected to every single one.

You may think that getting relaxed with things like periodic email validation won’t matter too much in the long run. It’s like saying that you don’t have enough time to take your car for a tune-up. Then you’re on the side of the road calling for roadside assistance. In the long run, which option takes more time?

You’ve got a variety of tasks you’ll need to do at regular intervals. This is where scheduling and making lists can come in handy. You won’t miss any regularly scheduled maintenance. That way, you can service your customers, and they won’t start missing your emails.

Liviu Tanase
Liviu Tanase is the founder and CEO of email validation, deliverability, and email finding company ZeroBounce. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded five companies and has participated in three exits creating quadruple-digit returns. Liviu writes about digital marketing and technology, focusing on email communication. His goal is to help make email marketing work for your business.


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