Best Ways to Use an Email List in 2020

By Tripp Stanford, Papercut Interactive

Email has been a primary marketing channel for brands for over 20 years. Email as a marketing channel is relatively free, personable and grants businesses the ability to keep their audiences updated with news and sales. If you’re just using your email list as a communication tool, you’re not doing enough with it. In 2020, there are multiple ways to use your email list to learn more about your audience and communicate with them.

Upload Your List to Facebook

In Facebook’s business manager, you have the ability to upload your email list as a custom audience. In doing so, you’re not giving away your customer’s private information, Facebook uses the data to match their user information with the emails you have on your list. The data is hashed on both ends, so it’s a secure and responsible process. 

By creating a custom audience on Facebook with your email list, you’ll be able to create ads that target them specifically. You can then communicate to them on the Facebook platform through intentional image and video ads. This gives you the opportunity to continue to build your relationship and communicate with them in a more sophisticated way.

The custom audience also gives you the ability to create a “lookalike audience” with the information Facebook has on your email list. When Facebook matches your emails with their user data, they have information on millions of data points. These points could be location data, brands they like/follow on Facebook and their demographic data. When you create a “lookalike audience,” Facebook utilizes all that information from your customers and finds other users who look just like them so you can target them, too.

Use the Data Append Tool by Experian

When you’re a small business, you probably know many of your customer’s names and general information on their demographics. Now it’s possible to upload a list of your emails to Experian and return more accurate information about your customer’s demographics.

Experian is one of the United States' main data aggregators and through thousands of private companies, has a curated database of civilian information. When you upload your email list with their data append tool, you’re also simply matching your information with their information. After a couple hours, you’ll be able to see a list of demographic information about your email list.

The types of information you can learn are listed below and can be found here.

  • Telecommunications
  • Digital Families
  • Household Profile
  • Household Insights
  • Buyer Propensity
  • Custom Selections
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Media
  • Nonprofit
  • Consumer View Basic
  • Travel, Leisure & Gaming
  • Political & Government
  • Catalog, Retail & eTail

Clean Up and Curate Your Email List

It's 2020, and it's time to improve your email newsletter strategy. If you’re still sending a monthly newsletter to the same, singular email list and have just watched your open rates and click through rates decline over the years, you are doing it wrong. Time to clean up and curate your email list to create focused audiences who all have a different relationship with your brand and products. 

You should break your newsletter into three separate segments relevant to their rates of engagement. The first is the audience that is unengaged. They haven’t clicked through or opened any campaigns in the last couple months. The second are customers who click here and there, but aren’t opening every email and clicking through often. The third are your brand advocates. They open almost all of your emails and click through extremely often. 

After you have segmented your list, you have the opportunity to market to them differently. You can design newsletters for your un-engaged audiences (audiences 1&2) to encourage them to become more engaged and start removing the ones that aren’t clicking from your newsletter audience. Email providers know how often your emails are getting opened and could potentially put your emails into spam folders if you’re not showing good rates of opens and clicks. It is always a good idea to remove emails from your audience that can harm the deliverability of the rest of your newsletters.

You should also treat your brand advocates extraordinarily well with your email newsletters. I suggest sending them a newsletter letting them know their importance and maybe even creating a discount program specifically for them. They're the ones who love your product or service so much and are hungry to hear anything new from your brand. They are also probably the most active customers sharing your business with their friends and family. Word of mouth is so important in today’s market; having your own team of brand ambassadors is priceless.

2020 is the perfect time to start utilizing your email list. If you have any questions or concerns about utilizing your email list properly, we can help you at Papercut Interactive. We’ve been building and designing email campaigns since 2001 and are more than happy to help design a strategy specific to your business.