When might it be more effective not to email someone?

You should hopefully be familiar with the concept of list segmentation and the reasoning behind it. Sending tailored campaigns to specific subsets of your subscribers will allow you to create more persuasive emails. But sometimes there are people within those segments who, while otherwise suitable targets for a campaign, are for some reason not the ideal recipients of a campaign. Suppressing those recipients for a campaign, without carving them off into a whole other segment, can allow you to more effectively target them at a later date.

There will always be people who never open any of your emails. They may have changed email addresses, changed jobs, moved to a cabin in the woods, or decided they no longer have any use for your product. You can try sending re-engagement campaigns to these people, but suppress them for your regular emails. Not only will they skew your metrics, it will make it easier for your re-engagement campaign to stick out in their inboxes if they haven’t received anything from you in a while.

Sometimes you’re promoting a product that is not relevant to all of your email subscribers. If you’re offering a premium package costing tens of thousands of dollars that only really benefits large companies, sending campaigns promoting that package to small businesses or freelancers will make that package or those campaigns appear less persuasive or appealing than might really be the case.

Different subscribers will be at different points in their association with your company. Don’t send the same campaigns to loyal long-time customers and first-time prospects who are yet to make a purchase. If you are marketing an upgrade package that allows experienced power users to optimise their processes, suppress new prospects. If you are offering a free hands-on demo to prospects in order to entice them into buying, suppress long-time users who are already familiar with the product.

Suppressing recipients from different geographic regions will allow you to ensure that recipients only get emails that are relevant to them. You may also want to suppress by language, so that English-speakers don’t receive campaigns in Spanish or vice-versa.

You may also find that you have a highly-engaged segment of recipients who never seem to buy anything. They may like your product but not have the budget, be involved in academic research into your industry, or be on the outs with their procurement manager. But just because they’re not buying doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable. Try testing new email concepts, or creating specific campaigns which ask them to share rather than buy.

You should always keep a list of email addresses that have unsubscribed from your service and be sure to suppress them for any campaigns going out, in order to make certain that you’re not sending to people who don’t want to receive emails from your company. This is not only a good business practice; it is the law in several countries, as well as part of all reputable email service providers’ terms of use.


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