Having high bounce rates or too many spam complaints means your emails could land in the spam folder, where your audience won't see them. This reduces your chances of getting replies and creating new growth opportunities. The best way to avoid landing in spam is to keep your email list healthy and reach the right audience.
In this article, you’ll find 7 ways to keep your email list healthy as it grows and to avoid the spam folder.
(scroll till the end to get your Perfect Email List checklist 🔥)
How does your email list affect where your emails land?
An unhealthy email list means you could be sending emails to invalid addresses. In that case, your emails won't delivered, which could trigger email providers and ruin your sender reputation.
On the other hand, sending emails to valid addresses ensures your emails are delivered and keeps your bounce rates low. You'll be reaching out to the right people and reduce the risk of spam complaints. In the long run, this saves your sender reputation and lands your emails in your audience’s inbox.
Here’s the difference your email list can make in your email performance & deliverability 👇
7 ways to avoid the spam folder as your email list grows
Here are 7 ways to keep your email list healthy and deliverability high as your email list grows!
1. Define your target audience & keep updating it
If you target the wrong audience, they won't find your emails relevant and could mark them as spam. This lowers your chances of getting replies and ruins your sender reputation. Instead, you should send emails to a targeted audience who is most likely to benefit from your offer.
By sending emails to a targeted audience, you can:
→ increase your deliverability score
→ keep your emails away from spam
→ get more replies! 🎉
The best way to do this is to define your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). As your offer evolves, you can update your ICP to ensure you always reach the right audience.
Here are 3 quick steps to define your Ideal Customer Profile:
Step 1: Make a list of your potential audience
While listing your audience, include people from your audience who:
- open, read, and reply to your emails actively
- are most likely to benefit & gain value from your emails
If you don’t have an audience already, include people who:
- follow social media pages or communities around your topics
- talk about your topics on forums like Reddit or Quora
You should always target an audience that will find your emails valuable to avoid getting spam complaints or being blocked.
Step 2: Research their common attributes & build a persona
Once you have your list of potential audience, find the attributes common to them. For this, you could use LinkedIn or other social media and communities where they are present online.
For example, if you send cold emails to a B2B audience, here's what their common attributes could look like:
These attributes make up your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), which you can use to create audience personas. Personas help you find relevant common points to build rapport with your audience.
Step 3: Segment your audience
Segmenting your audience personas allows you to write highly personalized emails. This way, you can solve specific pain points of your audience segments and build trust with them.
For example, if you’re sending cold emails to a B2B audience, here’s what your segments could look like:
You can use this guide to find the right audience for your outreach and build a healthy email list.
2. Verify your email list before sending emails
Sending emails to invalid addresses means your emails could not get delivered, or land in spam traps. This increases your bounce rate and the chances of your emails landing in spam.
So, to protect your deliverability, you should always verify your email list and remove email addresses that are undeliverable from your email list. This way, you reach the right audience and increase your chances of landing in their inboxes.
Here are 3 tips to remember while verifying your email list:
- ensure that your audience’s email domain is active, not expired
- remove any duplicate email addresses from your list
- use reliable tools like Debounce or Bouncer to verify your email list quality 👇
3. Clean your email list regularly
Your audience’s email addresses might change over time or become inactive. So it’s important to keep your email list up-to-date and remove invalid addresses regularly.
Here are 3 ways to keep your email list clean:
- unsubscribe all contacts who mark your emails as spam
- refine your email list every time you update your ICP
- remove any invalid email addresses (they could be misspelled, expired, or no-reply) 👇
4. Add an unsubscribe button
An unsubscribe button makes it easy for the uninterested audience to opt out of your emails. This way, they’re less likely to mark your emails as spam. You can then remove them from your email list and prevent getting spam complaints.
An opt-out option is important no matter the type of emails you send: cold emails, newsletters, transactional emails, etc.
Here are 3 ways you can use the unsubscribe button to your advantage:
- take feedback from people who unsubscribe to improve your email content and targeting
- offer your audience some options to receive fewer emails, less often
- avoid losing touch by sharing other resources or newsletters that they can access 👇
PS: You can subscribe to lemwarm’s newsletter to get expert deliverability tips directly in your inbox every Tuesday 🙌
5. Segment your email list
Dividing your email list into smaller groups based on common points like their job roles, pain points, etc. helps you send them more targeted emails. This increases your chances of getting replies and convert them to paying customers! You’ll also see which segments get higher bounce rates or spam complaints.
You can use this information to clean your email list and keep it healthy!
For example, imagine you’re selling a project management tool to businesses, i.e., B2B sales. Here are 3 segment examples you could use 👇
6. Don’t buy your email lists
You could reach a large audience with email lists you buy online, but it does more harm than good. Email addresses on these lists can be invalid or spam traps. Such an audience won’t open or reply to your emails. This reduces your engagement and ruins your email sender reputation.
Instead, grow your email list organically to build a relationship with your audience and increase your chances of landing in their inbox and getting replies.
Here are 2 simple tips you can use to grow your email list organically:
Tip #1. Use social media to find email addresses
Your audience might add their email address to their LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram profile.
For example, many people on LinkedIn, especially those working in Marketing, Growth, or Sales, include their email addresses on their profiles so people can contact them quickly. 👇
Looking for effective ways to look for your audience’s email address? Here’s a complete guide to help you find them for FREE!
Tip #2. Use lead magnets
Lead magnets are a great way of sharing value with your audience in exchange for their email addresses. You could use formats like eBooks, free trials, checklists, etc.
For maximum engagement, use your lead magnets to:
- solve a specific problem your audience is facing
- offer actionable value to your audience
- share checklists, frameworks, or steps to get a result
Check out the example of our Email Deliverability eBook, for a step-by-step checklist for everything you need to boost your email deliverability & avoid the spam folder 👇
7. Monitor your email deliverability
Use a warm-up and deliverability booster like lemwarm to monitor your email deliverability. This helps you identify and fix any deliverability issues related to your email list (high bounce rates, for example) in time.
Here are 3 things you should check to monitor your email deliverability:
- the technical setup of your email domain
- email metrics (spam complaint rates, bounce rates, etc.)
- your deliverability score (should be > 90) 👇
What can you do next with your email list?
By reaching out to the right audience and valid addresses, you’re likelier to land in the inbox, get replies and create new growth opportunities!
But to do this, you should also focus on your email content & overall deliverability.
Here’s what you should do once you’ve got your email list ready:
- write high-quality emails that touch your audience’s pain points
- get an email outreach tool to personalize emails at scale
- use a warm-up & deliverability booster to avoid landing in spam
Looking for a simple way to apply all these tips and avoid the spam folder?
Get the “8 Steps to The Perfect Email List” checklist here 👇