6 Best Practices for Managing Large Email Lists so You Can Organise Like a Boss

Managing large email lists can prove to be quite the task. However, you needn’t worry. We’ve picked out six best practices that’ll help you streamline them like a boss.

Written by Matt Tomlinson
Enterprise marketing |   3 minute read

Managing and maintaining your email lists is a crucial part of successful email marketing campaigns. However, it often gets overlooked and can be seen as a low-priority task. 

But list maintenance is a necessary best practice for email marketing success. Here are six useful tips for managing large email lists.


  1. Send Welcome Emails

  2. Subscription Management

  3. Clean Up Your Lists

  4. Re-Engagement Campaigns

  5. Eliminate Unengaged Subscribers

  6. Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

1. Send Welcome Emails

One best practice that we recommend is sending welcome emails thanking your subscribers for signing up to your mailing list. It’s a good idea to ask your subscribers to add your email address to an approved senders list. That way your mail doesn’t land in their junk folder and they don’t miss any of your emails.

You should also include an outline of what they can expect now that they’ve signed up. Explain to them what content they can look forward to receiving and how often they’ll get updates from you. It’s best to send content out in a structured schedule so that your mailing list know what to expect and can easily follow your content.

Include any contact details that you feel are relevant should your subscribers have any issues.

Also, it’s good practice to inform them how they can adjust their preferences to what they receive, or if they want to opt-out altogether should they decide that they no longer want to subscribe to your mailing list.

2. Subscription Management

Offer your subscribers a chance to manage and tailor their subscription. Whether it’s changing the frequency of how many times they hear from you, or whether they want to customise the type of content that they want to see, having the choice to customise will bode well for your business.

As well as giving them the chance to reduce their subscription, also grant them the opportunity to opt out altogether. It's not just for the benefit of your subscriber, this is required for GDPR compliance.

3. Clean Up Your Lists

Statistics suggest that up to 25 percent of your email list will drop off each year. It’s common that people change jobs, get new email addresses or have more than one so it’s easy to see why such a resounding number of drop-offs happen each year.

This is why it’s important to always regulate your mailing list as these drop-offs will affect your open and bounce rates. Plus, it’ll leave your statistics and figures invalid.

If you’re constantly sending emails to the wrong addresses or invalid accounts, your sender reputation will be taking a hit each time you press the send button. The worse your sender reputation is, the more difficulties you’re going to face when trying to reach your contacts’ inboxes.

The solution? Organise regular purging to clear out any invalid, old or opted out email addresses to keep your lists clean and increase your sender score.

4. Re-Engagement Campaigns

Pick out any subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked through one of your emails from the last six months, or however long you decide to do your purge. Once you’ve picked out these subscribers, you should send them a targeted email addressing that you’ve noticed their recent disengagement.

All this email should really ask them is if they want to continue receiving your emails and offer them a chance to include themselves once again. This gives you the chance to win back subscribers but also gives you clarity on whether you need to get rid of them or not.

5. Eliminate Unengaged Subscribers

Unengaged subscribers are the contacts who still hold a valid email address within your database. However, they’re the ones who haven’t interacted with any of your emails for a set period of time.

Whilst they haven’t fully unsubscribed, they have emotionally. And because they're no longer interested in your emails, they simply ignore them. You should purge these subscribers from your list so that your reputation and reporting figures aren’t inaccurate.

6. Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

You have to give your subscribers an easy way of opting out. This isn’t just for the convenience of the user, GDPR requires you to offer them to opt out.

It’s also a matter of being reasonable with your subscribers. If you spam them too much with useless information, it’ll only infuriate them and they’ll be left annoyed at you.

Disclaimer: This is only general advice and is by no means legally binding regulatory information. If you’re wondering what you’re required to do in compliance with the regulations, contact your legal team for full advice.

Find Out How to Grow Your Business Effectively

Organising and managing your email lists is just one way in which you can streamline your business in order to improve efficiency and success.

But are there any other areas that can really improve your chances of doing well? Of course!

We’ve put together an all-in-one guide that shows you everything you need to know about running large scale campaigns effectively. Get your free copy below.

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