5 Ways to Use Suppression Lists to Improve Email Performance

Our friends at Unsubcentral

When it comes to email marketing, understanding the groups that make up your audience is key. Because your target audience is composed of countless unique individuals, email marketers must make use of list management strategies that can optimize their email campaign performances. In other words, for a successful email marketing campaign to work at its best, you need to properly target each group in your audience.

In doing so, you must fulfill each of your client’s current needs in their buyer’s journey. Not everybody will be looking for the same content at the same time, so being able to distinguish the needs of your audience at the right time can considerably change the effectiveness of each email you send. Email marketers should be aware of the most up-to-date ways to improve email performance,decrease unsubscribe rates, and reduce lead acquisition costs. This is where suppression lists come in.

What are Suppression Lists?

Suppression Lists are lists of user emails that have been suppressed from receiving some or all of your emails. These types of lists were created to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which requires email marketers to offer recipients a way to opt-out. In short, a suppression list is an internal list of your audience that includes all the email accounts that won’t receive emails or campaigns. However, suppression lists don’t always need to focus on the users that have unsubscribed from your brand. Suppression lists can be a reliable way to improve your email performance since they can work as a successful filter. Not everybody in your audience is the same and by using email suppression lists, you can take advantage of this.

How to Improve Your Email Performance with Suppression Lists

A suppression list can allow you to filter certain groups of emails from your content. This means you can target your audience with specialized content. You can save time and keep engagement rates high by making sure each person in your audience receives the emails they are interested in and don’t receive content that doesn’t pertain to them. Here are five ways you can use suppression lists to improve your email performance.

  1. Customer Retention

A loyal customer base might very well be the most reliable way to keep your ROI ratio healthy. Loyal customers are 14 times more likely to buy from you than a completely new one – increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can result in increased profits of up to 95%. By staying in constant communication with your current customers, they will get more familiar with your products and services, which will pique their interest and lead them to convert. As a whole, existing customers are one of the most important pillars of any brand, and since the returns are so considerable, it is in your best interests to keep marketing to them. It’s also more cost-effective since you already know their profile and have access to their email address.

However, keep in mind that your audience isn’t a homogenous group. Similar to leads and potential customers, your current customers all have different interests. Custom suppression lists will help you target each unique group in your funnel and provide them with content that they are interested in.

  1. Custom Segmentation of Suppression Lists

Suppression lists can be segmented into different lists for each group you are targeting. Getting an email to your audience is vital, but it is also important to make sure that your customers do not receive the wrong types of email content. For example, if you are offering a subscription service and start an aggressive campaign to get more subscribers, you would only want to send those emails to customers who are not yet subscribed. When these emails are sent to users who are already subscribed, you’ll be wasting their time and losing their trust.

In these types of cases, suppression lists can be used to make sure only the right part of your audience receives your campaign content. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of suppression lists you can create to improve your email performance.

  • Unengaged Suppression List: This list is designed to filter those who aren’t invested in your emails and haven’t been for a while. If you keep sending them the bulk of your emails, they are less likely to open them. In fact, they’ll likely only lose more interest. Through this suppression list, you can segment them away from your traditional marketing emails and make it so they only receive re-engagement emails to recover their interest.
  • Unqualified Lead Suppression List: Not all leads work out as we intended. It’s more than likely that a percentage of your registered emails do not fit the criteria of your potential clients or current customer base. Identifying these users and suppressing them is necessary to avoid wasting more time and effort on your end.
  • Lifecycle Suppression List: Not all of your clients are the same. Your email list can include potential leads, existing customers, or even brand ambassadors. The kind of content that is relevant for each group is completely different from each other. So you must take into consideration the lifecycle of your audience and segment any emails that are no longer relevant to a given group.
  • Geographic Suppression List: If your product or service is available in multiple countries, it is important to separate your email content based on their geographic locations. Product availability, income, and even languages vary from region to region. For example, if your Japanese client receives an email sent to commemorate the 4th of July, they likely will not be interested.
  • Persona Suppression List: Personas are a way to look at what you want to see from a client. These profiles should show you what kind of content you want each of these groups to receive. This means that you’ll want to filter unnecessary emails based on the expected interests of a group.
  1. Acquisition Marketing

There’s no denying that marketing to new customers is a bigger challenge than marketing to existing customers. As mentioned earlier, current customers are more likely to be invested in your business. This makes sense as someone who already knows your brand will likely buy from you again. However, the initial approach to gaining a customer is your main obstacle. Content for prospective customers tends to be far more aggressive than that of current customers, after all, it’s crucial to make sure new leads turn over to your brand.

Still, this kind of aggressive marketing can be incredibly taxing on your established client base if prospective emails are sent to them. This is why you need suppression lists that are able to target both groups separately. By creating custom suppression lists that separate your prospects from your clientele, you can create content specifically for your potential customers and send it solely to them. That way your business will be able to reach new customers without alienating or bothering your existing customers. In other words, it’s optimization on every front.

  1. Non-Responders

After a while, certain contacts in your list will simply become inactive. Some clients will lose interest with time, and others may have never been invested in email subscriptions. One way or another, you will need to suppress these contacts to avoid spending more time and money on them. While having a wide list of contacts can be a good thing, it’s also important to keep in mind that non-responders can affect your metrics and your earnings. A non-responder is functionally a fake statistic, they add to the total number of clients you plan to reach but will never provide a sale. This means that you’ll have a harder time reaching the goals you originally set forth. On top of that, since this group of individuals doesn’t interact with your content, they will negatively affect key metrics like the number of opened emails and clicks.

Continuing to market to non-responders is like trying to market to people outside your target market. By cutting your losses and refocusing on your real audience, you will improve your email performance and campaigns. Once in a while, it may be a good idea to send re-engagement emails to this list, just in case they are still interested in your brand.

  1. Opt-Outs

At the end of the day, suppression lists were made so customers and partners can willingly unsubscribe from your content. Every email subscriber has the right to unsubscribe from marketing campaigns, and all businesses need to abide by this regulation. However, in some circumstances, some of these opt-out addresses can go past the automatic filters and end up receiving your emails. This is a major concern because it goes against the CAN-SPAM Act, which can result in large fines for your business.

The law isn’t something you should leave to chance, which is why businesses should create a suppression list specifically for those who have unsubscribed from your content. An Unsubscribed Suppression List allows you to completely block any communication towards the users who opt-out of your content. It is essentially a safety net that allows your email operations to run smoothly. If for some reason an unsubscribed user doesn’t get properly eliminated from your lists, the user will still not receive any future content because they are on your unsubscribed suppression list. This protects your business from legal issues and the penalties that come with it.

Key Takeaways

Regardless of the nature of your business, suppression lists are crucial to the success of your email campaign performance and compliance. With so many types of customer profiles, your business needs to better filter content to properly target each group. By creating suppression lists, you will be able to focus on the right customers and drive more successful marketing campaigns in the long run.

Businesses that want to improve their email marketing campaigns must start creating suppression lists not only to boost sales and optimize each email campaign but also to ensure their brand stays compliant with the law.  

This article was written by our dear friends and partners at Unsubcentral 

Founded in 2003, Unsubcentral is the global industry leader in marketing compliance management.  UnsubCentral solutions ensure companies comply with the marketing compliance laws and data privacy requirements by allowing them to securely manage opt-out lists across the enterprise, partners, and various third parties.  Our web-based platform provides clients a “Compliance Command Center” that enables complete automation, monitoring, and on-demand secure distribution of their do-not-contact data and opt-out requests.  UnsubCentral also serves as a centralized opt-out system of record, so that all opt-out requests are captured and tracked, regardless of what campaign or what channel they originated from.  UnsubCentral’s client list includes Fortune 500 advertisers, agencies, and CPA networks.

UnsubCentral provides protection from do-not-contact data abuse with unparalleled security, tracking, and monitoring.  The easy management of data across multiple commercial channels as well as seamless integration with the industry’s top email service providers, affiliate networks, and third-party mailers gives total control over who can access suppression files.

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