There is a pervasive urban myth in email marketing that continues to haunt program managers and hamper results: the bigger the list, the better the results. A large list with a substantial growth rate is hard for marketing VPs to resist, which leads to pressure on the email team to push bigger numbers quarter on quarter. The list-size metric is simple to measure, easy to reference, and tempting to revere as an indicator of success. Unfortunately, an obsessive focus on a large list can have some major consequences for email program performance.
Brands with a fixation on list size and reach tend to be reluctant to do anything that negatively impacts the size of their contactable audience. This includes important list hygiene tactics like trimming out disengaged subscribers with prolonged patterns of inactivity. Brands that avoid culling inactives often experience a host of problems including increased bounce rates, the prevalence of recycled spam traps, inflated complaint rates, and accompanying deliverability problems.
The rest of this post can be read on Target Marketing.