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11 Top Email List Management Software & Best Practices

Dec 18, 2023 - By Camilla Mackeviciute

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ROI from email marketing has compelled businesses to get serious about email list management. However, finding an email list management tool that saves time and improves email marketing initiatives takes a lot of work 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 the top email marketing tools and list management best practices to get the most out of an email list.

What is Email List Management? 

No one wants to waste time on a dead list of prospects that never open or engage with an email. As a marketer, you want an active and ever-growing email list to target and nurture for conversions. 

List management helps you leverage the power of email marketing by organizing information about your email subscribers. Look at list management as the first step that enables you to send personalized and targeted emails to improve your conversion rate. 

Effective list management involves using software and tools to keep an email list healthy, active, engaged, and organized. 

Why is Email List Management Crucial?  

In a world of push notifications, mass emails, and digital distractions, keeping a clean list is the key to engagement and ROI. If your emails aren’t hitting home, maybe it’s your list, not just your words. Here’s why list management is important: 

  • Better engagement. When subscribers are tired of standard digital noise, personalization always plays well. A well-managed email list lets you know your audience better, tailor your messages, and boost engagement and ROI; 
  • Deeper connection. Your list has fresh faces and old pals. Good list care makes sure everyone gets the right message. It’s like having different ice cream flavors for different types of customers —it’s just smart;
  • Helps avoid the spam folder. Poor list management can tarnish your sender’s reputation because your emails are irrelevant to your audience. This pushes your emails into spam or promotional tabs. When you manage your list well, segment your audience, and create personalized content, you can avoid this pitfall and get maximum returns; 
  • Boosts revenue. According to studies, segmentation and personalization can lead to a whopping 720% increase in revenue. You can only segment your list when you actively spend time and effort in understanding your audience and managing your list accordingly; 
  • Increases CLV. List management is not just a short-term game; it can increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) by up to 1.5x. 

Remember, proper email list management isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ feature; it’s a must-follow practice in a digitally-crowded world. Well-organized email lists increase relevance and attract incremental revenue.

Best Email List Management Software 

Picking software for managing your email list isn’t a tough job. You just need to ensure that your chosen solution has all the essential features. Ideally, email list management software should have advanced features like segmentation, custom field options, behavioral triggers, etc. 

Let’s look at the list of email management tools to help you quickly and efficiently manage your contacts, customers, and email database. 

#1. Sender — Best Solution for Email List Management 

Sender is a powerful email & SMS marketing platform that lets you manage your email list with an advanced contact management system. 

sender_dashboard

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 marketing automation solution. It also has advanced features that help you automate recurring tasks and send personalized emails using automation workflows. 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 considering an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Key Features

  • 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

Sender is one of the most powerful email marketing automation tools. It offers a free plan with no restrictions, so you can try it out without anything to lose. It has full-suite omnichannel automation capabilities and many advantages.

ProsCons 
Easy to set up and useLimited signup form templates 
Advanced behavioral marketing featuresNo landing page builder (yet)
Automated lead nurturing through email & SMS campaigns
Prompt and friendly support team

Pricing

Forever free plan with all features for up to 2,500 subscribers. Paid plans start at $15 per month. 


#2. Hubspot — Advanced Email List Management Service 

HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM and marketing platform is great for organizing your email lists. The professional CRM and marketing automation platform helps you manage your email contacts, personalize campaigns, and support your email marketing strategy. 

hubspot_dashboard

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. 

Key Features

  • 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

HubSpot is a popular email marketing tool with a free CRM plan and advanced nurturing capabilities, but it has a very expensive starter plan that’s unsuitable for a startup or small business. Other than that, here are some of the pros and cons of picking HubSpot as your email list management software:

ProsCons
Advanced CRM system for complete transparency of lead stagesSteep learning curve
Conditional segmentation and personalization featuresExpensive
Deep integration with all major marketing tools and platformsNo A/B testing on the basic package 

Pricing 

Starts at $45 per month for up to 1000 contacts. 


#3. MailChimp  — Simple Mailing List Software 

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing software that is good for managing email lists. 

mailchimp_dashboard

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 want to perform basic email marketing activities. 

Key Features

  • 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

MailChimp was one of the most popular email solutions, but they’ve become exploitative about their free plan users. They constantly raise their prices, eliminating all the reasons to try them out. Here are the pros and cons of picking MailChimp: 

ProsCons 
Quick and straightforward to set up and useLacks advanced automation features
Predictive personalization insights based on email list demographyNot great with managing email deliverability 
Behavioral targeting for email campaignsList-level contact management makes it hard to create advanced workflows for all subscribers. 

Pricing

Starts at $14 per month for up to 500 contacts.  


#4. Listserv  — Dedicated Solution for Managing Email Lists

Listserv is a unique mailing list software that allows you to manage your existing email lists, newsletter subscribers, campaigns, and more.

litserv_dashboard

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 send personalized emails or newsletters.

Key Features

  • Supports public or private subscribers list creation;
  • Moderator-based list management features to manage email subscriptions;
  • Superlite and sublists for advanced categorization and overlapping subscribers. 

Pros & Cons

Listserv is primarily known for community-building features that help businesses engage and nurture their audience. Clunky UI and obsolete features have restricted the email list management solution from enjoying widespread adoption. Here are the pros and cons of choosing Listserv: 

ProsCons
Exclusive features for businesses looking to build a community of users via newsletters, forums, or blogsOutdated/obsolete propositions for advanced campaigns
List creation and admin wizard for automation of list management activities Limited templates and email design features on lower packages 

Pricing

Starts at $2500 for a lifetime lite license.  


#5. Brevo  – Refined Email List Management Software

Brevo is a comprehensive email list management and CRM platform that allows you to store unlimited contacts. It has all the features to keep your lists fresh, clean, and well-organized. Plus, it supports multiple channels like email, SMS, WhatsApp, etc., letting you create omnichannel campaigns.

brevo_dashboard_list_management

Brevo is a powerful solution with everything you need to create personalized campaigns. It automatically segments contacts based on behavior, interests, and other attributes, saving you a lot of time. Plus, the automation features let you run smart campaigns for welcoming a subscriber, following up on a lead, or nurturing your audience. 

Key Features

  • Automated segmentation based on different attributes; 
  • Sales platform for lead tracking; 
  • All essential email marketing features; 
  • Real-time chat tools, including Instagram and WhatsApp; 
  • Over 150 integrations with leading marketing, CRM, and digital tools. 

Pros & Cons

Brevo is a powerful omnichannel marketing tool, but before you pick it, here are some pros and cons to weigh in your decision: 

ProsCons
Extensive multi-channel capabilitiesSteep learning curve
Powerful personalization and segmentation featuresCostly for small businesses
Great email deliverabilityOverwhelming for first-time users looking for just email marketing and list management features. 

Pricing

  • Free plan is available but limited to sending 300 emails per day; 
  • Paid plan starts at $25 per month for sending up to 25,000 emails per month. 

#6. FluentCRM – Advanced Email List Management CRM for WordPress

FluentCRM is a marketing automation plugin specifically made for WordPress users. Due to the affordable pricing and WordPress-friendly nature, the plugin is the most popular in its category.

The primary benefit of using FluentCRM is that you’ll get a tool that automatically integrates most WordPress plugins. This means you can get your customer, lead, student, and membership data without facing any technicalities. 

Once the contacts are inside FluentCRM, you get a wide range of list management facilities, including lists and tags that allow you to segment your contacts based on product purchases, course enrollments, lifecycle stages, interests, etc.

You’ll also get an advanced filtering system that lets you use various conditions to filter and hyper-target contacts with your email marketing campaigns, sequences, and automation funnels.

Key Features

  • Ability to store, manage, and automate email marketing campaigns to unlimited contacts!
  • Advanced contact details, including purchase data, course progress, support activity
  • Ability to segment contacts based on any information available on WordPress
  • Automatic integration with 35+ WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce, Learndash, MemberPress,, BuddyBoss, etc.
  • Behavior-specific triggers to create email marketing automation funnels based on user activities

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Deeply integrated with WordPress and WordPress pluginsOnly for WordPress
Advanced filtering with data available on WP, FluentCRM, and WP plugins
Activity-based email automation features
Extremely affordable pricing options

Pricing

FluentCRM is dirt-cheap, with prices starting at just $129/year.


#7. Constant Contact — User-friendly Email List Software 

Constant Contact has been a simple and easy-to-use email marketing platform for 25 years. 

constant_contact_dashboard

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. 

Key Features

  • Lead generation landing page builder;
  • Segmentation based on last interaction, user activity, or tags;
  • Automation features for lead nurturing, welcome emails, etc. 

Pros & Cons

Constant Contact is a robust solution with a user-friendly interface suitable for beginners. But if you are looking for advanced segmentation, it’s better to look for Constant Contact alternatives. Here is a list of pros and cons: 

ProsCons
Easy-to-use interface ideal for beginners and solopreneursLack 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 campaignsLack of reliable reporting features 

Pricing

Starts at $9.99 per month for up to 500 contacts. 


#8. Campaign Monitor — Powerful List Management Software 

Campaign Monitor is another email marketing solution with all the standard features needed to manage your email lists, run campaigns, and set up automation.

campaign_monitor_dashboard

The email 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. 

Key Features

  • 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 tracks email campaign performance based on relevant metrics.

Pros & Cons

Many businesses use Campaign Monitor for its strong analytics capabilities. But considering it doesn’t offer live chat support, it can be pretty daunting for most business owners looking to manage an email list. Here’s a list of pros and cons: 

ProsCons
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. Limited customization options 

Pricing

Starts at $9 per month for up to 500 contacts. 


#9. SendGrid — Solution for Email Lists Management 

SendGrid is an amazing solution for marketers obsessed with email deliverability and advanced analytics. The email marketing solution supports deep integrations and has an API service for connecting different parts of your marketing stack easily. 

sendgrid_dashboard

However, when it comes to email list management features, SendGrid cannot stand its ground. It lacks critical segmentation and automation features like segmenting 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. 

Key Features

  • Pre-built autoresponder sequences;
  • Excellent analytics features;
  • Set up preference-based email campaigns. 

Pros & Cons

SendGrid is a great solution for anyone serious about email deliverability, but when it comes to email list management, it might not be your best bet. Here’s a brief list of pros and cons: 

ProsCons
Detailed analytics dashboard to track campaign performanceLack of basic options like behavioral segmentation for list management and personalization 
Failproof email deliverability standards Only basic autoresponders and automation are available
Great onboarding experienceNo live chat support for free plans

Pricing

Starts at $19.95 per month for up to 50,000 emails sent. 


#10. ZeroBounce— Advanced List Management Software 

ZeroBounce is a specialized email list management software with powerful email validation capabilities. It ensures that every email on your list is legitimate and primed for engagement. 

zerobounce_dashboard

With a focus on accuracy, speed, and security, this email verification tool is a must-have for anyone committed to maximizing the ROI of their email campaigns.

What sets ZeroBounce apart is its 99% accurate email validation, along with AI-driven scoring and Email Finder functionalities. 

If you’re ever worried about typos, fake accounts, or emails that mark you as spam, ZeroBounce is your perfect companion. It cleans up your list, boosting your sender reputation and, ultimately, your email campaign success.

Key Features

  • 99% accurate email validation; 
  • AI-driven email scoring; 
  • Real-time email verification API; 
  • Bulk email list verifier; 
  • Email finder for sourcing valid contacts for B2B marketing. 

Pros & Cons

ZeroBounce provides advanced email list management, but consider the pros and cons before diving in.

ProsCons
Exceptional email validation accuracyLimited to email validation-related functionalities only
Bulk and real-time verification optionsNot an all-in-one marketing solution
Helps boost your sender’s reputationRequires technical knowledge of API integration

Pricing

The first 100 email verifications are free every month. Beyond that, ZeroBounce offers a tier-based payment system that starts at $15 per month for 2000 email validation credits. 


#11. Paperform — Form Builder & Email List Management Service

PaperForm is primarily an online form builder solution but has great list management options to help you manage your contact list. You can use the tool to build engaging landing pages and newsletter signup forms to grow your email lists. 

paperform_dashboard

Paperform lets you personalize your forms using images, videos, and more. You can set conditional logic to present different form fields, questions, pages, etc., according to the user journey. 

The best part about using PaperForm is its endless integration options with all major email marketing software to help you update your list and run campaigns on autopilot. So, now you don’t need to switch between multiple platforms. 

Key Features

  • Extensive form template library; 
  • Conditional form logic and flows for personalizing experiences; 
  • Deep analytics dashboard; 
  • Integrations with all major email marketing, CRM, and list management solutions. 

Pros & Cons

PaperForm is a form builder tool that can manage email lists thanks to its integrations with all marketing suites. But it has its shortcomings, as listed below:

ProsCons
Full-package signup form and survey builderDepends on third-party integrations for list management and email campaigns
Deep analytics and conditional personalization featuresSteep pricing model with not-so-generous limits on starter plans. 

Pricing

Starts at $20/month for unlimited signup forms and 1000 submissions per month. 

9 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 some ways to keep your email list healthy and stay relevant for your customers: 

Choose the Right Email Marketing Software

When you’re focusing on list management and quality, picking the right email marketing is the most important decision. Get it wrong, and you’ll waste time and money. 

But how do you pick the right software? Start with jotting down what you can’t do without. Is it a simple setup? Customization options? Or maybe it’s about growing easily and staying on the right side of the rules? Make sure the software you choose ticks all the boxes. Here are some questions you must ask yourself: 

  • What’s my budget?
  • How tech-savvy am I?
  • What features are non-negotiable?

Your next step is diving into trials and demos. Don’t skip this part. This is where you’ll see if the tool fits your workflow. You should pick the solution that offers a generous trial, helping you dip your beak into non-negotiable features. 

While testing, you should notice if the solution has a clean UI, doesn’t have any hidden cost, has great customer support, and advanced automation/list segmentation features. 

Remember, what’s perfect for others may not hit the mark for you. Take a beat, run some tests, and make a smart pick.

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. 

abandoned_cart_email_example
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 return. 

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. 

sephora_insider_email
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 email 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. 

last_call_email
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. 

Remove Invalid Email Addresses

A bloated email list does you no good. Invalid or sleepy email addresses pull down your good name and mess up your email marketing game. Plus, it can bring down your sender’s reputation and lead to your emails being marked as spam. 

So, you should clean your list and remove invalid email addresses at least once a quarter. It’s about ditching the bad apples, not just the ones that bounce back but also those that just sit there – the ones who never engaged with your content. Here’s how you can make it easier: 

  • Identify. Use your email marketing platform’s analytics to spot the culprits; 
  • Isolate. Move these emails to a separate list. Give them one last chance with a re-engagement campaign; 
  • Eliminate. No response? It’s time to say goodbye.

Doing regular clean-ups not only boosts your deliverability but also gives you more accurate data to work with. 

Validate Your Email List Periodically 

When building and growing an email list, you can’t just celebrate easy wins. In fact, you need to be very cautious about the health of your email list. 

It’s a good practice to check your list for invalid email addresses occasionally. Periodically validating your email list helps eliminate inactive inboxes, increasing your sender reputation (and ultimately evading spam filters). 

Removing inactive subscribers and validating your email lists also help you improve your email metrics. Because it means nothing to play blind with no one, inactive emails serve no purpose other than hurting your deliverability to people who want to hear from you. 

Personalize Frequency Options 

Email list-building efforts require a deep understanding of your audience. And as a marketer, you will know that not everyone will appreciate you sending emails daily. Some look for monthly offers, while others need instant updates. So, segmenting your email list based on their frequency preferences is better. 

Add a custom field in your signup or popup form, ask them in the welcome email, and segment them accordingly. This will create a sense of belonging and better personalization in the minds of your consumers, helping you create a better relationship. 

Consider Verifying New Contacts With Double Opt-in

Are new names popping up on your list daily? Awesome! But are they all the real deal? Here’s where double opt-in helps. 

What’s double opt-in? It’s a two-step verification process. First, the new subscribers sign up. Second, they confirm via email. Simple, yet powerful.

But why should you verify using double opt-in?

  1. Quality over quantity. A list full of engaged subscribers beats a larger, disinterested list any day; 
  2. Avoid spam folders. Emailing inactive, non-engaged email addresses can tarnish your sender’s reputation; 
  3. Gives you legal safety. It’s an added layer of consent, keeping you on the right side of laws like GDPR.

Most email platforms allow you to enable double opt-ins for new email subscribers. You can enable it while creating a form, usually under settings. 

Sure, the sign-ups might come slow, and the list grows at a snail’s pace, but those on board are keen (and likely your future customers). It’s about growing a solid list, not just a long one.

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 live 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 solutions require 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 benefits of email marketing, follow an inbound strategy to attract subscribers to your email list with explicit consent. 

Key Takeaways

Now that you know how to organize an email list, start working on it. Remember, creating, managing, and growing an email list isn’t as hard as it seems with the right email marketing solution. 

  • Ensure that the software you choose has advanced segmentation features. 
  • Leverage segmentation to keep your list clean and personalize your marketing campaigns. 
  • Implement list management best practices to increase ROI from your email marketing campaigns. 

Looking for a great tool to create email newsletters? Check out these articles, where we list the best plugins and software for building newsletters:

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