In the dynamic world of digital marketing, strategies and priorities are perpetually evolving. Among these shifts, one emerging trend is particularly noteworthy - the growing emphasis on email list quality over sheer quantity. For the longest time, marketers prioritized amassing vast email lists, subscribing to the belief that a broader outreach translates directly into increased revenue. Nevertheless, this perception is being meticulously reevaluated as the landscape shifts towards a more nuanced balance of quality and quantity. This article dives into the reasons behind this sea change and explores the strategies businesses can implement to adapt and thrive in this new environment.
The Changing Tides: Why Marketers Are Now Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity
For years, email marketers operated under a common mantra, “The money is in the list,” where continual growth and more subscribers were assumed to inherently mean more revenue. Quantity was valued over quality – you wanted the biggest email addresses list possible, even if much of it was inactive or unengaged.
However, the tides are now changing. Increasingly, marketers are realizing that email list size does not automatically translate to email success. Low-quality lists with poor engagement can actively damage deliverability, open rates, and subscriber trust if not properly maintained.
Besides, the common adoption of solicited email subscription practice urges marketers to build a B2B email addresses list organically – and here are the 7 Best Techniques for you. No more paid or rented lists are allowed these days.
According to recent surveys from DMA, Econsultancy, and others, list quality and subscriber engagement are becoming higher priorities for B2B marketers than sheer list growth alone. 78% of marketers say improving engagement is one of their top email objectives for 2023. Furthermore, 63% say they would rather have a small, highly engaged email addresses list than a large, disengaged one.
What’s driving this major shift? In short, email saturation and rising standards. With the average office worker getting 120+ emails per day, list fatigue is setting in. Subscribers are increasingly selective about which emails they open and engage with. At the same time, metrics like open and click-through rates are becoming key performance indicators for marketers.
In response to these trends, marketers are focusing less on endless email addresses list growth and more on cultivating a discerning segment of truly engaged subscribers. It’s better to have a modest-sized list of subscribers that convert, than a huge list of inactive emails that go ignored. As a result, list quality is now trumping quantity in importance.
The Business Impact of Email Addresses List Quality
While marketers have traditionally focused on expanding list quantity, research demonstrates that the quality of an email list has a much bigger impact on key business metrics. High-quality, regularly engaged subscribers drive more revenue, foster loyalty, and add long-term value for companies.
According to a recent DMA study, engaged email subscribers have a conversion rate 4 times higher than non-engaged subscribers. They also have a transaction rate 7 times higher and a lifetime value that's 5 times larger. This massive difference illustrates why quality is now trumping quantity for subscriber lists.
Additional data from Epsilon found that engaged email subscribers have an average open rate of 50%, compared to just 5% for inactive subscribers. The click rate shows a similar 5x difference. When the majority of an email addresses list is filled with inactive profiles or spam traps instead of genuine, interested contacts, open and click rates inevitably suffer.
Beyond basic open-and-click metrics, quality subscribers drive more meaningful engagement. A Mailchimp study found subscribers who frequently open emails are 14x more likely to purchase compared to those who rarely open. If your email addresses list is built with quality contacts, who open emails regularly, they're ready to convert.
Higher loyalty is another byproduct of an engaged, high-quality list. Epsilon reported that engaged subscribers have a retention rate nearly 3 times better than non-engaged contacts. They're more likely to stick around for the long haul instead of ignoring emails or quickly unsubscribing.
When you factor in the higher response rates, activity levels, conversion value, and retention of engaged subscribers, it translates into dramatically higher customer lifetime value. Experian found active subscribers spend 2 to 4 times more over their lifetime than inactive or unengaged contacts.
The data confirms that while email addresses list size does matter, marketers should be far more concerned with bringing in quality subscribers who genuinely care about their brand and products.
That’s an essential reason why we recommend data enrichment as a way to identify customer pains and demands.
Targeting engaged contacts trumps inflating quantity with ineffective email addresses. A sizable list size doesn't help much if the majority of subscribers are inactive. For optimal business impact, continually monitor and improve list quality.
Signs of Poor Email List Quality
If your email marketing metrics are lackluster, the issue may not be email addresses list size but rather list quality. Several signals can indicate your subscriber list is plagued by poor quality and engagement.
One major red flag is a high hard bounce rate. Industry experts recommend keeping hard bounces under 5%, as higher rates signal issues like invalid or outdated addresses present in the email addresses list. Hard bounces occur when emails literally cannot be delivered due to bad addresses. If your hard bounce rate is above 10%, you likely have serious list hygiene issues.
Low open and click-through rates can also point to quality problems. Benchmarks vary by industry, but rates below 15% for opens and 2% for clicks often mean low subscriber interest and engagement. Note that Apple has made it harder to track open rates accurately.
Compare your email metrics to past performance as well. Sudden drops in open or click rates often correlate to email addresses list quality issues. If engagement was once high but now plummets, your list may have deteriorated.
For these reasons, marketers caution against focusing solely on list size. Massive email lists are worthless if recipient quality is poor. Prioritize not just quantity, but also subscriber engagement and interest in hearing from you. The right list size enables great metrics on the backend.
5 Essential Strategies for Email Addresses List Quality Hygiene
Maintaining the quality hygiene of your email subscriber list is crucial for maximizing engagement and revenue from your marketing campaigns. Here are some best practices for ongoing list cleansing and maintenance.
1. Regularly Remove Inactive Subscribers
One of the best ways to improve your email addresses list health is to routinely purge inactive subscribers who have not opened or clicked in extended periods, such as 6-12 months. This process eliminates dead weight and allows you to focus on truly engaged audiences. Studies show inactive email addresses can account for over 30% of many email lists. Tying subscriber removals to hard engagement metrics ensures you are not arbitrarily cutting your list but surgically extracting poor performers.
2. Update Bounced and Invalid Email Addresses
High bounce rates are a telltale sign of list decay. Set up real-time monitoring of hard and soft email bounces and immediately remove or update these addresses. A good practice is to send re-confirmation emails requiring subscribers to actively opt back in if their address is invalid. This filters our readers who are no longer interested or active.
3. Make Unsubscribing Easy
Not allowing an email recipient to easily unsubscribe if they are no longer interested leads to disengaged audiences and potential complaints. Streamline and simplify the unsubscribe process for readers and immediately honor all opt-out requests. Though email addresses list size may temporarily decline, your open and click rates will benefit from removing disinterested subscribers.
4. Send Re-Engagement Campaigns
For subscribers who have shown a past interest but gone dormant, send win-back campaigns to re-engage them. Use special offers, re-introduction sequences, or reader surveys to pull these recipients back in. This gives you a second chance at reactivation before removing them. Evaluate campaign metrics to determine re-engaged subscribers versus those to purge.
5. Invest in List Management Technology
Robust email list management platforms provide crucial tools for hygiene like automated bounce processing, inactive subscriber removal, and list segmentation. The costs of these technologies pay dividends by maintaining quality. Calculate the potential expense of unchecked email addresses list decay versus return on high-tech solutions.
Overall, dedicating resources to quality list hygiene reduces wasted marketing spend and allows you to focus on your best customers. The cleanliness of your list is just as important as the size in driving results.
Continually Improving Quality Through Content Personalization
While proper list hygiene and optimization both ensure initial email addresses list quality and help boost it over time, the real key to maintaining and nurturing engagement among subscribers is through highly relevant, tailored, and personalized content. Sending generic emails often leads to lackluster open and click rates, even among previously active contacts. However, personalizing email content to match subscriber interests and preferences boosts engagement dramatically.
Personalized promotional emails have been found to deliver transaction rates 6x higher compared to generic campaigns. Dynamic content also lifts email revenue per subscriber by 15% or more. Multiple strategies can be employed for continuous quality improvement through personalization:
- Segment your email addresses list based on demographics, interests, past engagement, and other attributes. Develop content tailored to the needs of each group.
- Use behavioral data and CRM insights to trigger event-based "journey" emails when subscribers take actions like abandoning your product or not returning recently.
- Test dynamic content blocks to insert personalized product recommendations, special offers, and other relevant information within emails.
- Continually refine your email editorial calendar and send cadence based on when different segments are most responsive. Avoid "overmailing" disengaged contacts.
- Leverage A/B testing to optimize content, offers, subject lines, and other email elements for each subscriber group over time.
As mentioned in our playbook on setting a scalable outbound engine, it is generally worth putting a reply rate first among other KPIs.
For example, Netflix increased new subscriber conversions by 75% after implementing personalized email streams. Similarly, retail brand Carter's saw a 21% revenue increase through segmented campaigns. B2B marketers have a lot to learn from B2C.
As quality improves, marketers gain more subscriber insights to further optimize personalization. This virtuous cycle continually improves both open rates and conversions. Ultimately, the goal is to transform email addresses lists from sheer numerical databases to living, breathing assets that actively contribute to brand vitality.
In conclusion, the evolving landscape of digital marketing necessitates a necessary shift from focusing solely on the size of an email list to an emphasis on its quality. An engaged, high-quality list not only drives metrics such as open rates, click rates, and conversions but also fuels brand loyalty and longer-term audience engagement. By implementing strategic practices like email addresses list quality hygiene, data-driven segmentation, and contoured personalization, marketers can transform their email lists from a sheer numerical database to a powerful asset that breathes life into their brand. The growing body of evidence is clear: in the race for email marketing success, quality triumphs over quantity.
Why Primer for Your Outbound Efforts?
Primer provides sales and marketing teams with a full-fledged data orchestration platform to scale their email outreach efforts:
- Discover and reach ICP-fit audiences. Just set proper filters and Primer will automatically source high-intent audiences from 10+ B2B data providers and merge it into a single targeted list.
- Segment audience and personalize emails. You can segment existing CRM customer databases by appending missing firmographic and behavioral attributes. These insights will tip you on how to tailor personalized email templates.
- Sync and export audiences multi-channel. Primer allows you to push custom audiences to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, CRMs and CSV files.
With Primer-powered personalization, you can achieve up to 90% cold email open rate and a nearly 20% spike in reply rate. Make a high-performing and profitable pipeline out of your email outreach – test a live Primer demo now to learn exactly how it works.