House List (Retention List)

Customer retention is vital to business success. Aside from increased profits from regular purchases of loyal customers, it also leads to lower marketing costs and a better brand reputation. One way to boost a customer retention program is by adding a house list to your marketing tools.

What is a house list (retention list)?

A house list (retention list) is a permission-based list used by businesses in direct marketing campaigns. It consists of names, addresses, and other contact information of existing and prospective customers. It is primarily used to send promotional messages to customers who have opted in for a messaging subscription.

While some lists can be purchased from third-party providers, a house list is typically compiled independently by a business for specific use in its marketing initiatives. Used optimally, it becomes a valuable tool for strengthening customer relationships and building brand loyalty.

Who needs a house list?

Regardless of industry or size, any business that offers products and services to consumers should have a house list (retention list). A robust list will be integral to the success of marketing campaigns.

How To Build and Maintain a House List (Retention List)

  • Get permission from customers.

Subscribers who have opted in on emails, SMS broadcasts, and other forms of promotional messages are unlikely to report them as spam. Reduce your unsubscribe rate and bounce rate by getting permission from your customers before including them in your database. This leads to higher conversion rates because customers only subscribe when they are interested in what you have to offer.

  • Re-confirm your customers.

Re-confirm subscriptions right after customers opt in and at least once every year. Use the re-confirmation process as an opportunity to welcome new customers and to thank existing ones for their continued patronage.

  • Include a sign-up form on your landing page.

It is important to have a sign-up form on your landing page. Make sure it is visible and has a compelling message that entices visitors to opt-in. Embed it on your site or incorporate it in your pop-up welcome message.

  • Make it easy for customers to opt in.

Don’t make your sign-up forms overly complicated with dozens of fields to fill up. Ditch lengthy processes and make it easy for your customers to opt-in. Just capture the right information and complete the process in one or two steps.

  • Go beyond email subscriptions.

While house lists are mainly used for email subscriptions, you can also build lists for SMS broadcasts, social media messaging, phone calls, or direct mails. Give your customers options on how they want to receive promotional messages from you. You can also select customers to request permission from in capturing postal addresses and phone numbers.

  • Gather email addresses when customers make a purchase.

Asking for email addresses upon checkout is one way to incorporate building a house list into the buyer’s journey. Customers can leave their email addresses or contact numbers to receive updates on their orders. Include tick boxes under the form field to enable them to subscribe easily to your newsletter and promotional campaigns.

  • Tap social media platforms.

A vast majority of consumers are active on social media. Leverage these channels to increase brand awareness and connect with engaged users. Include links to your sign-up forms or add an opt-in button to your profiles.

  • Maintain your house list.

Continually build your house list and support it with a retention strategy. Strengthen your list by using analytics and split tests to segment your audience and target the right people. Find the best touchpoints to engage customers and optimize those channels.

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.