For marketers, creating and sending emails comes with two goals:
- Get the email to land in your target audience’s inbox, and
- Get your target audience to act on your email (preferably in a positive manner and not ‘unsubscribe’)
In the beginning, the process was pretty straightforward: create an email, spell-check the email, send the email, and watch the results. Over the years as browser and ISP offerings have evolved, so has the process of email marketing automation.
There are tons of variables new you want to test and track now before you even send out your emails to your target audiences, such as spam scoring and multi-browser/ISP display. This is where incorporating seed emails and email marketing tools such as spam filtering testing and email previewing become requirements for any successful email marketing arsenal.
What Are Seed Emails and Seed Email Lists?
In a nutshell, an email seed list is a list of email addresses that you will send an email to before you send the email out to your intended target audience. This list allows you to test across various browsers, ISPs, and even device types. Basically, you’ll be able to see how your email will appear and interact with each of these before you make it live.
Traditionally, companies created email seed lists that were full of employee personal emails. As this practice has grown, it has expanded to test accounts which have been opened for the sole purpose of email marketing testing. While some companies opt to take on this task themselves, many chose instead to work with outside vendors that specialize in this field and handle the ongoing tasks of managing and maintaining the lists on their behalf (which is typically the more practical and economic course for most companies to follow).
What are the Benefits of Seed Emails?
The main benefits are that you’ll be able to fix any display and engagement issues before sending out your email or email campaign. You never want to send an email to potential or current customers that won’t display or that has broken links appearing. This is clearly just bad form. Too many emails like that and people will simply delete without opening or unsubscribe from your marketing emails entirely.
You’ll also be able to ensure what you’re sending will have little to no impact on your overall email reputation (lowering your chances of being marked as spam or ending up in spam folders instead of targeted inboxes). After you’ve put all that time and hard work into an email campaign, the last thing you want to discover is that your emails aren’t reaching the target audience because you’ve been blacklisted.
Get your 2018 Email Marketing Strategy kicked off with a bang! Check out our six-part series on email marketing, “Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing.” As your partners in email deliverability, we want to help you maximize your marketing dollars, grow your bottom line and strengthen your brand’s reputation in the coming year.