List Building & Retention

Do You Know Why You’re Building an Email List?

Minute read
Do You Know Why You’re Building an Email List?

Serious question.

Success is more than a number. It’s an outcome. An increase in list size isn’t an end-goal; 1,000 inactive contacts are worth less to your cause than one engaged supporter! Your aim should be to name the purpose of your list-building strategy in terms of how it drives your organization’s mission. This will help you move beyond vanity metrics. Choose measures of success that force you to combine both quantity and quality. Define why you want to grow your audience and set goals accordingly. This will keep your strategy on track.

Weak list building objectives

  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase list size

Strong list building objectives

  • Educate more people with effective content
  • Build your active donor base
  • Increase the volume of online actions

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More than just a ‘nice idea’

If you struggle to move past ‘size’ as your list building goal, then you may succumb to attracting quantity over quality. This helps precisely no-one. You’ll also have a hard time purging inactive addresses from your email list. This is a big deal. If you don’t clean your list regularly, then your deliverability and your engagement will suffer. By contrast, the right list building objective will naturally favor clean lists over dirty ones. So put the right measures in place from the start. Resist the pressure to report the growth of your list size if you can help it. Report outcomes.

From: A beginner’s guide to list building

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Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

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