Your marketing will generate the highest return on investment (ROI) when you take the time to build and maintain a healthy contact list. Gist has built-in tools to help you along the way. We also have certain requirements all Gist users must follow, and recommend some best practices that can help keep your contact list in good shape.

In this article, you'll learn about required and recommended best practices for contact list collection and maintenance.

Requirements for contacts list

As a marketing platform with millions of users all over the world, we have an obligation to maintain a reliable service. This means we have requirements for your contact list that you should be aware of in order to remain compliant with our Terms of Use.

Here are the most crucial requirements for your contacts.

Don't use a third-party list

Third-party lists of email addresses are prohibited under our Terms of Use. This includes purchased or rented lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources including public websites. Your contact list should be collected entirely by you.

Get Proper Permission

You can store different contact types in your Gist contacts, including contacts who haven't signed up to receive email marketing content. You're required to respect the permission levels for contacts on your contact list. Take a look at this article on contact types to help you determine which marketing materials to distribute to different contacts.

Recommendations for your contacts

Gist has some built-in tools to help keep your contact list clean, but you should exercise best practices for contact list collection and maintenance. Poor contact list maintenance can result in low engagement, abuse complaints, and compliance issues. Depending on the situation, these issues can force us to shut down your account.

In addition to our requirements, follow these recommendations to optimize the health of your contact list.

Use a master contact list

If you can, it's best to have one contact list that you organize with tags, groups, or segments, rather than maintain multiple contact lists in your account. Gist treats all the contact lists in your account separately, and billing is based on the total number of subscribed contacts across all your contact lists. If you have duplicate contacts across contact lists, having one contact list could save you money. One contact list is also easier to manage and keep clean.

Maintain Proper Permission

For subscribed contacts, permission can go stale if you don't actively engage with them. If you have subscribers you haven’t engaged with regularly, we recommend you email them outside of Gist to reconfirm their subscription. This will help reduce bounced emails and abuse complaints.

Re-engage or unsubscribe inactive contacts

We strongly recommend that you periodically re-engage inactive subscribed contacts to confirm their interest in your business or product. If your inactive subscribers don't respond to your re-engagement campaign, it's best to unsubscribe them.

Allow Contacts to Update Their Profiles

If you use Gist for email marketing, include an update profile link in your email campaigns so your recipients can update their personal information and subscription preferences. If you use interest groups, subscribers can change groups from their profile.

Consider your opt-in method

You have the option to use a single or double opt-in method for your email marketing. Double opt-in requires people to confirm their signup via email before they’re added to your contact list as subscribed contacts. Double opt-in can help ensure your subscribed contacts are interested in your business, and keeps invalid email addresses out of your contact list.