Smaller contact lists

For a long while, email marketers demonstrated an almost unhealthy preoccupation with size.  Success was often illustrated in a sort of “my list is bigger than your list manner.  One of the best things about GDPR is that this is no longer a problem.  Nobody is bragging about the size of their list.  In fact, smaller contact lists might be better after all.

It’s not the size of the boat…

The best things come in small packages…

Insert size-based idiom here.

All jokes aside, the fact that lists are trimmer is no bad thing.  There are many benefits to operating with a smaller contact list.

It’s about your reputation

Running around with your large list on display has never done anything for your reputation.  In fact, it may have done more harm than good. 

Often a large list contains data of various levels of engagement.  With any luck, you do have your die-hard followers who look forward to one of your emails coming.  Or, at the very least, tolerate it entering their inbox.  But then what about the other data?

If you have been growing your list for quite some time, then you might find that there are people who simply haven’t engaged for a while.  But the internet is smart.  It will have noted their behaviour.  This can damage your sender reputation.

With spam filters and security software getting smarter, the last thing you need is your reputation getting tarnished.  This does untold damage to your deliverability.  It is better that this data isn’t part of your smaller contact list.

It’s easier to write content for

It doesn’t matter how great a writer you are, I am still yet to see an article that is written for everyone simultaneously.  Creating content for a diverse audience weakens your chances of success.  There will be varying amounts of caring about the content.  Smaller contact lists are more likely to be engaged.

You may get away with this once or twice, but eventually you will begin to alienate some of your recipients.  The more people receive irrelevant materials, the more deletions and unsubscribes your content will prompt.

Smaller lists are easier to manage

After a while, an email list can get rampant.  At this point, it is harder to adequately segment your list.  Usually a list has grown over-sized because the marketer hasn’t paid enough attention to the behaviour of their recipients.

While your list is small there are a few things you can do to make manage your contact list and make sure that the data is accurate and up to date.

Clean your smaller contact lists

Running your list through a list cleaning company such as Kickbox every so often is something I would heavily advise.  Particularly if you are a B2B company.

If someone has left a company, or closed their personal email address, you may not have realised.  In fact, if they hadn’t personally informed you, you may have continued to send them emails.  Whilst they are not responding, you could be damaging your reputation.

Remove subscribers based on engagement.

If you have been emailing someone every week for a year and they still haven’t opened one of your mailing; why would you still be sending them emails? Would you stand knocking at someone’s door for an entire year until they opened it?

If someone hasn’t opened an email after so much time, the chances are they aren’t going to suddenly have a change of heart. 

This could be damaging your sender’s reputation,

So get smaller contact lists

A smaller list is not a handicap after all.  In fact, if you are inbound marketing, then your emails should be targeted.  In that sense, you would have no need for such a large list.