Email Marketing Course: #4 Contacts, Lists & List Management

Email Marketing

In this lesson, we will quickly talk about email marketing lists. We will talk about contacts, what elements make up an email list, cats & dogs and how to get contacts into your email list.

Then next week; in the next couple of lessons, we will cover more advanced email marketing concepts. We will talk about segmenting, tagging and grouping your email list. We very briefly mention those items same items further below but will cover them more extensively in the next lesson.

Next, we will talk automation and how to automate your email processes. Automation is simple once you get the hang of it. It’s important because, once created, it allows you to set up your email system to automatically nurture your customers while you sleep. You can set it and forget it, and still give your customers the valuable content that they desire.

Types of Contacts

Here are the various types of contacts for your email marketing system.

Subscribed – Someone who has opted in to receive your emails

Unsubscribed – Someone who originally subscribed but has since requested to not continue to receive your emails (or you have chosen to unsubscribe them) – you can still try and win them back another way but maybe, just maybe you didn’t want them to be a subscriber in the first place. We will talk more about this later in another lesson.

Non-subscribed – Someone who might have purchased from you through your online ecommerce and you have their contact information but they’ve never officially subscribed or opted in to your list. You can ask them at purchase time to include them in your list and therefore officially opt them in.

Cleaned – someone who has been removed from your list because you’ve tried to email to them but they’ve either hard bounced (bad email address) or soft bounced (server temporarily down, etc.).

Email address is the most important element of an email marketing system

In a previous lesson, we learned various ways to gather email addresses to your email list but what is an email list?

The email list is the most important element of an email marketing system. In an email marketing system, this is the place where you keep your contact information. You keep the contact information in a database or email list that, of course, always has to have at least an email address.

If you only have one element for a contact, it will always need to be an email address. Most of the time you will also want to collect other information, like the first name, last name and company name, especially if you’re in a business or b2b business but it isn’t necessary to have any of the other information. Again, all you need is the lowly email address to be able to communicate and nurture with an audience member.

With the email address, you begin your efforts to nurture your contact with your branding or content

With a contact’s email address (and other possible email database elements like; first name, last name and company name) you can begin to communicate and nurture the contact with your content marketing or branding.

Keep in mind, as you’re beginning to build a list, that each and every email address is a person. That person has wants and desires that may conflict with what you’re trying to accomplish with your nurturing. They may get frustrated with the content that you’re offering them and unsubscribe from your list. At that moment, you can’t continue to nurture that particular contact, unless they re-subscribe later. Try and deliver valuable content to keep them longer.

Don’t always be sad, but sometimes be glad, if someone unsubscribes from your list

When you first begin to dabble in email marketing, you feel a sort of sadness when someone unsubscribes from your list. It’s human nature that you might feel a sense of rejection or even to some extent betrayal. But don’t feel this way at all. And please don’t seek revenge for their unsubscribing in any way shape or form.

There’s a very valuable reason to be glad that the contact unsubscribed from your list and that’s because they might not be the best consumer or user of your content or brand marketing. You want to communicate and nurture to contacts that want your branding and content. They want to hear from you and expect you to give them information and quite possibly promotions for your product or service.

Also, sometimes it’s best that the disinterested contact unsubscribes from your list, because each subscriber has a per subscriber cost for most email marketing services. Don’t be afraid to let them go. It’s ok. Just go and get people that want and need you to nurture them with your stuff.

Decision on whether to have one or more email lists

The first thing to consider when creating a list, is do I need one list, two lists or multiple lists to contain all my contacts? The answer is normally only one list is needed and necessary. Most times, unless you have separate businesses that offer something completely unrelated, you should always keep all your contacts in just one email list.

The reason to only have one email list, is later you will begin to use the other powerful features of the email marketing software and use tags, segments and groups to further define your email list. Don’t worry we will talk about those items shortly. We will also cover those items more in depth in another lesson on better ways of targeting your list.

Cats and Dogs

So, let’s say you have a company that sells pet food to both cat owners and dog owners. You would only want to use one list. You don’t want one list for dogs and one list for cats because believe it or not those owners might have both dogs and cats living in the same household.

Remember the line from Ghost Busters, “Cats and dogs, living together”. Yes, it happens and often quite frequently.

In the case that you want to reach a potential customer with both a cat and a dog living in the same household, you can setup a group for dogs and a group for cats but all under the same list.

So, when it comes time to reach out to the dog owners, you can target just the dog owners with the same list that includes cats, and vice versa. But better yet, you can send out content to reach out to those with Cats and Dogs living together. Goldmine!

Also, if you feature cat food that is 100% organic, you can reach the customers that have a cat, by using the cat group, and that also have a tag for those cat owners who prefer 100% organic food. So, you’re better targeting a group of customers who want to be offered great deals on 100% organic cat food.

Importance of an up-to-date email list of happy contacts

It’s very important to have a clean, updated email list of contacts that want you to nurture to them with your amazing content and branding. One of the most important elements in keeping a list of happy email contacts is by setting up these groups, tags, and segments so that you can better target their needs, instead of talking to them about stuff they’re not even interested in.

Relevancy is key to keeping them happy. If you’re talking to dog owners but they only own a cat, that might be considered not providing relevant information. Right? So, by putting your contacts into groups and then tagging and segmenting them, you can provide just the right kind of content for your list.

Getting contact information into your database

The first most important point that I want to make is to know your audience. This is the best way to find exactly who would want to be fed your content. Understand your audience and what kind of content that they might be in to.

To add contacts to your list, you can add already subscribed contacts one-by-one, upload subscribed contacts from a file, copy and paste contacts from a spreadsheet, or use an integration to sync your list.

An email marketing form on your website or on a landing page is an effective way of adding email contacts to your list. You can also use popup or static forms at the top or bottom to catch someone’s attention to gather their email address on your site. You can even put forms on your social media platforms to gather contacts from those as well.

Summarizing email marketing lists

The email list is an ever-changing system that you will be adding and subtracting email addresses as time goes by. Remember, it’s not such a bad thing when somebody unsubscribes from your list. You will attempt, and get better at, adding email addresses to your system and thus grow your email list.

Keep in mind, that by growing your email list, each contact in the list is an important person that wants to receive your content to better their own lives. Feed them and nurture them with your branding and content marketing material. Make them happy!

Keep reading the Email Marketing Course and grow with knowledge from the experts

Need other reasons on why, when and how you need email marketing for your business; keep reading the email short course.

Believe me, it will begin to make sense as you read the information. Besides your website, it should be the first line of offense for your business when it comes to marketing.

I hope you enjoy the series!

The next lesson is coming soon. Please give me your comments on whether you like the series or not. Also, I want to know what information you want me to add or teach concerning Email Marketing. I really want to hear from you. If you have friends whose job it is to market a business, by all means forward or share it with them. They too can be an AdNation Sensation!


Thanks for reading and I will talk with you soon.

P.S. AdNation is skilled at both helping businesses learn email marketing and at showing how to better nurture your leads to become your customers. Call or email me with questions as soon as they come to mind! I’m here to help!


AdNation is a Marketing Systems Specialists firm. We specialize in Marketing Systems, including Website Design, Email Marketing, Content Creation, Lead Generation, CRM Systems & Analytics.

Go to Email Marketing: How to Guide & Course for more articles on this subject.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts



Blog Archives