Protect Your Gold
If you don’t already know that email marketing is one of – if not the most- efficient ways to market, particularly when combined with direct mail, you’re living under a rock.
Unfortunately, oftentimes most of the discussion of list quality is about physical addresses. I think the reason why is because it’s easy to draw a correlation between bad mailing data and our bank account. If you have a garbage mail file and spend money to send mail pieces to it, when that returned mail comes back there’s a VERY direct line from that mail piece’s postage to the bank account. That hurts. Sometimes badly.
Let’s start with the perspective that your email list is the marketing weapon in your arsenal that has the absolute highest ROI of all. It’s that important.
Now consider a major difference between email marketing and direct mail marketing:
Email is different. You have a reputation as a sender, and that reputation impacts your overall deliverability. To put this in perspective, if the number of bad email addresses you send to goes over a certain threshold, the ISPs (internet service providers) will start throttling the number of emails they even attempt to deliver for you. And the more you send to bad addresses, the more you get throttled, until you eventually get blacklisted, and they just stop delivering your mail completely.
So how do we make sure the list we use is clean? It starts with the understanding that accuracy is critical. Make sure that the addresses are typed correctly. Read them back as they’re being input to be sure they’re right.
The real problem with doing something like this, is that many email programs and providers do a quick check to make sure you’re attempting to deliver to a valid address by checking for the presence of an “@” and “.”, which all emails have. Including the cute example above.
You also want to make sure things are spelled correctly. Some common misspellings of domains that we see are “yaho.com” “gmial.com” “sgbglobal.com” “comast.com”, among many others. Those (and literally thousands of others) are all going to bounce and create reputation problems for the senders. We have to get it right.
Recycled traps are email addresses that at some point were legitimate addresses but were for some reason abandoned and reclaimed by the provider. The provider monitors who sends emails to those addresses. Here’s the important part: they NEVER open any of the emails or engage in any way with the senders. They watch those senders over time, and if they keep receiving emails from them, their reputation takes a hit. Enough hits, and they stop accepting any emails from the sender at all.
So, while it’s really easy to see how bad physical addresses impacts the bank account, email accuracy is no less important. Arguably, maybe more so because trouble with email deliverability not only impacts the specific bad emails and the dollars they could represent but can and WILL impact your opportunities and dollars from GOOD email prospects as well.
Talk again soon.