If you’re like most people, you probably subscribe to more email lists than you realize. There are good reasons for this. If you care about a product, service, or organization, one of the best ways to stay informed and take advantage of promotions is to subscribe to their email newsletter. They’re free to sign-up and have a lot of benefits.

From a marketing standpoint, there are many pluses. According to Hubspot, email marketing has the highest ROI, an estimated $42 per dollar spent. It’s the most personal and cost-effective way to reach your patrons and supporters. Before you decide to take on the world of email campaigns, there are three considerations to help you start and grow a healthy, productive email list. Let’s explore them one by one.

Before you start your email list, are you committed?

Having an email newsletter is a commitment. If you’re going to start an email list, you should commit to the best planning and using your most creative abilities. What the world does not need is just another newsletter.

If you’re going to do it, do it right! There is a time investment. A good newsletter should be sent at regular intervals. If it’s been months since anyone has heard from you, you may get marked as spam. That’s going to cause you big problems we’ll get into later.  So, you have to commit to getting your email newsletters out there in a timely fashion.

Also, are you prepared to write interesting and useful emails? It’s not just writing the newsletter itself, but there’s proofreading, choosing and resizing images, formatting the text and making the emails pleasing to the eye. You also have to learn about spam regulations and the right protocols to stay legal.

If you aren’t committed, chances are your email marketing will fizzle out. It is, after all, a lot of work. It takes time to grow your list. So, it’s best that you plan and make the decision whether you want to undertake it. Remember that the rewards are substantial, but nothing worthwhile comes without thought and effort.

Pay attention to the quality of the email addresses on your list

Having a lot of email addresses on your list is the goal, so you should do whatever it takes to have a mammoth list, right? Contrary to what you may think, having a huge list of subscribers doesn’t always translate into having a successful email newsletter. What matters, even more, is having a list of active subscribers that engage with your emails.

Some people get into the “more is better” mindset and even buy lists of email addresses. This is a bad idea, not only is it illegal, but likely to send your spam complaints soaring. After all, that’s what you’re doing, spamming. So, any subscriber should be there because they have chosen to. It’s much better to grow your list naturally.

Over time, any list is going to decline in quality. There are a variety of bad email addresses that can spoil it.

Invalid addresses

The fact of the matter is that some people change their email for a number of reasons. They use a work or school address and move or decide to use a different email provider. You don’t want invalid emails in your list because they’re going to bounce.

Temporary addresses

Then, there are some people who sign up using temporary email addresses with no intention of being a real subscriber. The problem with these types of addresses is that they self-destruct – and bounce!

Spam traps

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers set up certain email addresses and spread them around the internet where spammers hang out. The intention is to lure them in and block them. Unfortunately, these spam traps end up harming even legitimate emailers.

Abuse emails

These are malicious people who mark your emails as spam and hurt your deliverability. Needless to say, you don’t want them on your list.

Role-based email addresses

Email addresses like “info@,” “mail@” or “admin@.” These have little marketing value and with so many people checking them, you run the risk of someone thinking your email is spam and marking it as such. Plus, what are the chances of converting when using such addresses?

Catch-all email addresses

These are set up when organizations want to receive every email sent to their domain, even to addresses that don’t exist. The server will “catch” all the emails addressed to that domain. The problem is these catch-all mailboxes are frequently neglected and fill quickly and are highly likely to bounce.

An email validator helps you keep a healthy list

Fortunately, there is a very real solution for keeping your list in good shape. Using an email validator you can separate the bad from the good.

If you collect new subscribers on your website, you can start building a healthy list from the beginning by using an email validation API. The API will check any email address a person signs up within real-time. That way you keep off undesirable email addresses off from the get-go.

Also, if you already have a list, you can verify it in bulk by uploading it to a reputable email validation company’s platform. By following these best practices, you’ll minimize spam complaints, bounces, and the risk of tarnishing your sender reputation. Moreover, you’ll be on the right path to reaping great benefits from your email newsletter.

Your email newsletter should fill a need

If you’re a stand-up comic, maybe you use your list to tell jokes, as comedian Jackie Martling does. If you’re running an athleticwear store, maybe you’re keeping customers aware of the great seasonal deals you offer. If your newsletter doesn’t offer people something special, why do it?

So, be committed, careful, and unique – then there’s nothing to hold you back. Dive in, be creative, and have fun with the process. Create something of value and your readers, in turn, will value you!