Hey (Watch this Webinar on Email Subject Lines)
Even though email far from trendy in the digital world, it’s still the lifeblood of innumerable associations, nonprofits, and issue organizations. Keeping the flow of those messages pumping, then, is critical for the advocacy and fundraising functions of those groups.
The use of large email lists for mass communications, however, places any organization at the peril of being labeled a spammer by service providers. Companies that offer email mailboxes are under no obligation to deliver messages to users’ in boxes if they believe the sender is abusing the tool. Because of this voluntary policing aspect of email, groups that email large lists have to weed out inaccurate or shuttered addresses to avoid being labeled a spammer and having good messages and bad rendered undeliverable.
During a recent Salsa webinar, company vice president Christine Schaefer suggested that organizations aggressively segment their email lists to steer clear of spam filters and boost response rates. She suggested that they take out all email recipients who have taken no action with any message sent by a group for the last six months and place them in a separate one that sends out messages much less frequently.
Schaefer also advised webinar listeners to build email lists only through organic means like in person sign-ups at events or via online petitions, not through swapping lists with other organizations. Otherwise, groups put themselves at risk for acquiring a “spam transmitted disease” by relying on others to clean out bad emails and the corresponding spam traps they carry ahead of time.
This advice runs contrary to what others have written endorsing coordinated email swaps as a proven method for email list growth. I’d be curious what others think of the spam-related risk of email swapping – please use the comment section to weigh in.