ROI from email marketing has compelled businesses to get serious about email list management software. But finding a solution that saves time and improves email marketing initiatives is hard with so many options in the market.
A well-designed email list management platform can help you grow your email list, improve customer engagement and drive revenue. In this blog, we’ll share eight best list management software and some best practices to get the most out of an email list management tool.
What is List Management?
No one wants to waste time on a dead list of prospects that never opens or engages with an email. As a marketer, you want an active and ever-growing email list that you can target and nurture for conversions.
List management helps you leverage the power of email marketing by organizing information about your email subscribers. Look at email list management as the first step that helps you send personalized and targeted emails to improve your conversion rate.
Effective list management involves using email list management software and tools to keep an email list healthy, active, engaged and organized.
Why Should You Focus On Email List Management?
In a world full of push notifications, mass emails and digital distractions, personalization is the key to engagement and ROI.
Your email list has all kinds of people — engaged buyers, new subscribers, inactive users, etc. When you plan an email campaign for new users, you don’t want your loyal customers to feel left out.
Plus, marketing in 2022 is all about relevance, context, and personalization. List management helps you segment your email lists, stay relevant, and take the benefits of personalization.
According to a study, segmentation and personalization lead to a 720% increase in revenue.
In his famous Ted talk on happiness, Malcolm Gladwell illustrated the power of segmentation with an example of food companies. He shared how companies create different flavors or versions of the same product to suit consumers with unique taste palates, increasing sales and thereby, revenues.
Gladwell’s argument about different sauce flavors is the perfect analogy for focusing on email list management. Organizing your email lists will help you segment the subscribers and will help attract incremental revenue.
Research by Optimove also reveals that segmenting email lists can increase the customer lifetime value (CLV) by up to 1.5x.
Best Ways To Manage Email Lists
Organizing an email list isn’t rocket science, especially when you have technology at your disposal. If you’ve been asking how to manage an email list around, you should know that all modern email marketing platforms have advanced email list management capabilities.
You can use an email marketing tool to manage your subscribers, segment them into focused groups and add context to your email campaigns on autopilot.
Let’s look at the best email marketing systems to help you quickly and efficiently manage your contacts, leads, customers, and email database.
Sender is a powerful email & SMS marketing platform that lets you manage your email list with an advanced contact management system.
You can use Sender to create custom groups and audience segments per your email marketing strategy and goals. Audience segments can be used to run targeted campaigns, personalize your emails or automate your nurturing or lead scoring efforts.
An easy-to-use interface, multi-group tagging feature list management, and segmentation rules to automate segmentation based on specific actions or conditions make Sender a useful email marketing solution.
It also has advanced marketing automation features that help you automate recurring tasks and send personalized emails. For example, you can use Sender to set up dynamic drip marketing campaigns based on user behavior or when a lead moves further into the buyer’s cycle. Support for SMS campaigns is a cherry on top when thinking about an omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Advanced segmentation features based on pre-defined conditions, online behavior, demographics, etc.;
- Unlimited custom fields for customizing your list management efforts based on your business needs;
- Behavioral marketing features to analyze subscriber’s activity and create targeted campaigns;
- Automated filtration based on user behavior or engagement.
Pros & Cons
|Easy to set up and use||Limited signup form templates|
|Advanced behavioral marketing features||No landing page builder|
|Automated lead nurturing through email & SMS campaigns|
|Prompt and friendly support team|
Forever free plan with all features for up to 2500 subscribers. Paid plans start at $8 per month.
HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM and marketing platform is great for organizing your email lists. The professional CRM and marketing automation platform help you manage your email contacts, personalize campaigns, and support your email marketing strategy.
You can use HubSpot to target email subscribers based on the deal lifecycle, contact information, or other advanced segmentation conditions.
The advanced workflows allow you to create elaborate drip sequences and lead nurturing campaigns based on a condition, event, or deal stage. Other list management functionalities and features are suitable for large enterprise customers.
- Email list management connected to a central CRM system;
- Automated segmentation and grouping of contacts;
- Multiple options to create dynamic email list groups and segments;
- Two-way data sync between apps.
Pros & Cons
|Advanced CRM system for complete transparency of lead stages||Steep learning curve.|
|Conditional segmentation, and personalization features||Expensive.|
|Deep integration with all major marketing tools, and platforms||No A/B testing on the basic package.|
Starts at $45 per month for up to 1000 contacts.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing software that is pretty good at email list management.
With some interesting list segmentation options like conditional relationships, Mailchimp gives marketers the power to create advanced automation. You can use pre-built segments to personalize your upcoming email campaigns quickly.
While Mailchimp is a popular tool, managing all your contacts from a single screen isn’t possible. Mailchimp organizes your email contacts on a list level, so you can’t get an overview of all your email subscribers from a single window. Compared to others on this list, Mailchimp also lacks advanced automation functionalities, making it more suitable for beginners who just want to perform basic email marketing activities.
- Supports multiple campaign types and personalization ideas;
- Combine conditional relationships for creating advanced list segments;
- Supports demographic and behavioral data for subscriber grouping.
Pros & Cons
|Quick and straightforward to set up and use||Lacks advanced automation features|
|Predictive personalization insights based on email list demography||Not great with managing email deliverability|
|Behavioral targeting for email campaigns||List-level contact management makes it hard to create advanced workflows for all subscribers.|
Starts at $14 per month for up to 500 contacts
Listserv is a unique mailing list software that allows you to manage your existing email lists, newsletter subscribers, marketing campaigns, and more.
Dedicated to community building, Listserv helps you engage and interact with your community members across email groups, forums, newsletters, and other channels.
This platform differs from others on this list as it focuses more on community list management than just standard campaigns. You can use it to create custom lists, segment users between different lists, and run personalized email campaigns or newsletters.
- Supports public or private email list creation;
- Moderator-based list management features to manage email subscriptions;
- Superlite and sublists for advanced categorization and overlapping subscribers.
Pros & Cons
|Exclusive features for businesses looking to build a community of users via newsletters, forums or blogs||Outdated/obsolete proposition for advanced campaigns|
|List creation and admin wizard for automation of list management activities||Limited templates and email design features on lower packages|
Starts at $2500 for a lifetime lite license.
Constant Contact is a simple and easy-to-use platform that has been on the market for 25 years.
The platform primarily focuses on email marketing beginners who want to leverage the power of email to grow their businesses. Despite its focus on simplicity, Constant Contact has some cool segmentation features based on user actions like open rates and clickthroughs. You can also segment based on custom tags, profile info, etc.
You can use the segmentation features to organize your mailing lists. But with the introduction of privacy-first features on iOS 15 that limit activity tracking, Constant Contact needs to reinvent itself on the segmentation front.
- Lead generation landing page builder;
- Segmentation based on last interaction, user activity, or tags;
- Automation features for lead nurturing, welcome emails, etc.
Pros & Cons
|Easy-to-use interface ideal for beginners and solopreneurs||Lack of advanced segmentation and grouping features|
|Massive library of customizable email templates for email marketing campaigns.||Clunky list management UI|
|Social media integration for omnichannel campaigns||Lack of reliable reporting features|
Starts at $9.99 per month for up to 500 contacts
Campaign Monitor is another email marketing solution with all the standard features needed to manage your email lists, run campaigns, and set up automation.
The email marketing service provider allows you to create hyper-targeted campaigns for deeper personalization through custom fields, segmentation features, and communication preferences. You can also view all interactions with a subscriber on a single screen, helping you optimize better for small segments. The visual journey creator also enables you to automate email campaign creation.
- Mature segmentation and personalization features like custom fields and automated journeys;
- A/B testing, template builders, and other features to improve campaign performance;
- Powerful analytics suite that allows you to track email campaign performance based on relevant metrics.
Pros & Cons
|Vast email template library.||Segmentation options can be limiting for advanced use cases and funnels.|
|Deep analytics and integrations.||No live chat or support.|
|Drag and drop interface.|
Starts at $9 per month for up to 500 contacts.
SendGrid is an amazing solution for marketers obsessed with email deliverability and advanced analytics. The email marketing solution supports deep integrations and has its API service for connecting different parts of your marketing stack easily.
However, when it comes to email list management features, SendGrid cannot stand its ground. It lacks critical segmentation and automation features like the ability to segment lists based on user activity or behavior. So, you can’t use it to create advanced email flows and personalization campaigns.
People use it and other tools to achieve this, but it isn’t a complete solution for someone looking to manage their email lists and leverage segmentation benefits.
- Pre-built autoresponder sequences;
- Excellent analytics features;
- Set up preference-based email campaigns.
Pros & Cons
|Detailed analytics dashboard to track campaign performance||Lack of basic options like behavioral segmentation for list management and personalization|
|Failproof email deliverability standards||Only basic autoresponders and automation available|
|Great onboarding experience||No live chat support for free plans|
Starts at $19.95 per month for up to 50,000 emails sent.
Moosend is the last email marketing platform on this list, but don’t consider it an afterthought. It’s a great solution for someone who wants to take advantage of campaign automation and advanced list management.
You can use Moosend to set up custom fields and create unique segments based on them. The platform also supports behavioral data capture, helping you with advanced auto-response sequences. So, you can use it to engage subscribers with the right content at the right time.
- Segmentation features based on demographic info or behavior;
- Unlimited grouping based on custom parameters;
- Landing page builder, form builder, and automation workflows.
Pros & Cons
|Real-time analytics||Hard-to-use interface|
|Supports transactional emails and sequences||Limited template design options|
|Interesting automation features||Confusing and complex workflows|
Starts at $9 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
4 Best Email List Management Practices
You’ll find plenty of online guidelines for managing your email lists. But not every article will clarify what to do with your growing email list. Don’t worry.
Here are four definitive ways to keep your email list healthy and stay relevant for your customers:
Always Segment Your Contact List
Throwing darts blindly won’t help you hit the bulls-eye. The same applies to email marketing. Shooting emails without personalization will drive your target audience away.
So, all your focus should always be on being relatable, relevant, and contextual in your emails. This will help you look helpful, increase customer engagement rates, and gain the trust of your target audience.
The best way to do that is to segment your email list based on demographic, behavioral, or custom criteria. Segmentation helps you personalize your marketing efforts based on the stage of a customer in the buyer’s journey.
For eCommerce, retail, and even B2B, personalization offers significant ROI benefits, as 80% of the consumers are likely to buy from a business that understands them and personalizes their offering. It helps prevent a generic approach which is a turn-off for prospective buyers.
Segmentation based on online behavior helped Anthropologie automate abandoned cart emails, a great way to increase sales.
Image Source: Anthropologie
Reengage Inactive Subscribers
Inactive subscribers in your email list shouldn’t be written off immediately. Instead, inactivity is a great reason to reach out to your subscribers.
You should always set up behavior-based automated sequences for people who haven’t engaged with your emails for some time. Use this as an opportunity to remind them how valuable they are.
You can even float an exclusive offer for them to make them interested in you once again. Or create emotional ‘miss you emails’ to prompt them to come back.
Filter Contact By Tags
Tags are a great way to organize an email list. You can use them to reference contacts within a large list and personalize an email campaign.
Email management software helps you use dynamic personalization tags within emails. The most common example of tag-based personalization is using a subscriber’s first name to personalize the subject line.
Tag-based personalization adds warmth and a personal touch to your email campaigns — something every subscriber wants when subscribing to your newsletter. For example, see the below email by Sephora.
Image source: Sephora
Notice how they’ve addressed the recipient by the first name. The dynamic name tag made this happy birthday email look like a personal greeting rather than an automated message.
Maintain A Clean Contact List
Keeping your email list clean should be your motto as an email marketer. Not only will it save you time and reduce your load, but it will improve your marketing effectiveness by:
- Keeping you closer to your actual target audience — People who aren’t interested in you can impact your email marketing strategy, making your personalization efforts go in vain.
- Improving your campaigns— Creating content for a dead list will burn you out faster. But appreciation & engagement from a small but engaged list will help gather necessary insights to improve your positioning further.
- Reducing the cost of operations — Maintaining a large list comes at a price. Paying for a large number of unengaged subscribers can hurt your business finances.
So, every six months or so, make it a habit to shoot an email to subscribers who haven’t engaged even once. A simple automated email to inform them about inactivity (and excluding them from future communications) will speed up the process.
Managing Editor sends the following last-call email to subscribers who haven’t opened an email in the last six months. This helps them maintain a clean list of engaged subscribers without spending hours every week.
Image Source: Managing Editor
Notice the casual tone and language with a subtle nudge to stay subscribed. While the subscriber is informed of their inactivity (and subscription status), the question prompts the person to reengage with Managing Editor.
Why Buying An Email List Does Not Work?
Email marketing has evolved a lot since the early days of the internet. You can no longer buy an email list, run campaigns and hope for success primarily because we’re living in a world that respects consent and privacy more than anything.
Data privacy laws like GDPR make it illegal for you to have the explicit consent of a user before sending them an email. Failing to do so can lead to heavy penalties. Plus, almost all modern email list management software requires you to have an email list with double opt-ins.
Not having the consent of the email owner will land your email in the spam folder, harming your email deliverability. Advertising via email is one of the biggest spam contributors accounting for 36% of all spam messages.
Your company can even get banned by ISP and email marketing providers if your campaigns are repeatedly flagged as spam. So, if you want to avail the actual benefits of email marketing, follow an inbound strategy to attract subscribers to your email list with explicit consent.
Now that you know how to organize an email list, start working on it now. Remember, creating, managing, and growing an email list isn’t as hard as it seems with the right email marketing software.
- Ensure that the software you choose has advanced segmentation features.
- Leverage segmentation to keep your list clean and personalize your marketing campaigns.
- Implement email marketing best practices to increase ROI from your email marketing campaigns.