5 Ways to Reinvigorate your Database

make the most of your email list

Email is one of the best ways to reach people of any digital medium out there, but if the people on your subscriber list aren’t opening your emails or clicking through them, it may be time to do a little spring cleaning with your database and spruce it up.

Here are five great ways to reinvigorate your database and breathe a breath of fresh air into your email marketing efforts.

Clean out your database

Just like you would a closet, cleaning a database is the best way to keep your leads healthy and make sure you’re not wasting your time marketing to people who don’t care to hear from you any more. In addition to seeing your bounce and unsubscribe rates rise, you could also get into trouble with the law if too many people mark your emails as spam.

Go through your database and start segmenting it off by age of email addresses, or how long email addresses have been your database. If you prefer, you can also divide your list by your last point of contact with the person. Your marketing automation tool should be able to help you do this.

Now go through and start looking for email address and contacts to take out of your database. Pay careful attention to email addresses that are several years old and have had little contact. Like bread, email addresses do go stale over time as people get new addresses and get rid of old ones.

Some email addresses may be hard to judge. For example, you might have an old email address that was actively opening emails up until a few months ago. Do you save it or get rid of it? For now, save it and others like it. You’ll come back to these addresses later.

Build an opt-in method

If you built your old email list by buying addresses or acquiring them without the receiver’s permission, then your database is going to be weak. An email sent without permission is usually considered spam by most receivers, and it’s invasive. If a subscriber didn’t ask for your emails, do you really think they’ll be happy that your emails are rudely popping into their inboxes without being invited?  Most likely not.

Instead, you will need to build your email list the old-fashioned way by getting people to sign up for your emailing list. You can do this by creating an opt-in form for your website that encourages readers to sign up. This method is not as easy or as quick as buying an email list, but you can be sure that the people on this list actually want to receive your emails.

To get people to sign up for your emails, you first have to create high-quality, useful content – a blog, regular videos or infographics – that your various buyer personas will find relevant and helpful. Then you can ask them to subscribe for regular updates using one of two methods:

  • Ask: This is the polite way of getting users to subscribe. Create an opt-in form for the left or right side of the page and make sure it follows the user as he or she scrolls down the page. If the content is good, users will more than likely sign up for emails.
  • Gate: Some of your content is too good to give away for free. Before a user can access gated content, they will need to sign-up for regular emails from your first. This method is best for content that is slightly more difficult to produce, such as an ebook or a webinar.

Using a good combination of these two will help you grow an organic email list of loyal subscribers who will be happy to receive emails from you.


Start a re-engagement campaign

This option can be done for any database that has a handful of subscribers who aren’t responding to emails from you. Give them one last chance to make a connection with you before you take them out of your database by creating a re-engagement campaign.

Put your best email-crafting skills to the test and send out one last email to everyone left on your subscriber list and ask them if they want to continue receiving emails from you. Offer subscribers the chance to remain on your list and continue to receive regular updates from you. Make it clear that if no response is given to the email, then the address will be automatically taken off the subscriber list.

When crafting the email, think like the subscriber. What would make a subscriber want to stay on your emailing list? Focus your email content around the benefits of staying on the subscriber list, and show receivers what’s in it for them.

If you previously bought or rented an emailing list, this option is great for finding out who is truly interested and who is not. It will also help you decide on any email addresses that you weren’t sure about.

Survey inactive users

Within your database, there are probably a lot of receivers who open your emails, read them and don’t click through. This is perhaps not ideal, but reading the email is better than deleting it altogether. Why not ask these subscribers what they want to see.

Send out a survey email and get the opinions of your subscribers to see what they want. To further entice them, you might offer a little incentive to make them want to click through, such as an ebook or an invitation to a webinar. Offer your gated content or a small discount on a service or product.

Clean out your database again

After your new email campaign has been going for a month or so, it’s time to revisit your database once more to see who is active and who still isn’t responding. No matter how good your content and emails are, there will still be people who have no interest in receiving your emails. That’s okay; let them go.

Go through your database once more and segment it similarly as before. Look at the email addresses you doubted earlier but thought they might return. If there’s still no response, then you should feel confident getting rid of that contact. They’re obviously not interested. Do this regularly and your emailing list will always feel fresh.

A worn out database is no good to your company, and it could be costing you. According to Convince and Convert, 44 percent of email subscribers have made at least one purchase based on what was sent in a promotional email.

Even if you have to build your email list from the ground up, the benefits will far outweigh the time and energy is may take to get the job done.

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