In the business of turning contacts into customers, more and more direct marketers are opting for experimentation with email campaigns, and for good reason: Some data show email-only campaigns can perform up to 95 times better in terms of ROI than direct mail-only campaigns. Yet, as companies add email marketing to their arsenals, they often discover they possess a large database of postal addresses with relatively few email addresses.
An email append service can match up postal addresses with valid email addresses, so you can rapidly build an email list from your customer files instead of renting a list, buying leads or trying other techniques that take longer and produce lower-quality results. But there is a wrong way to implement an email append solution to your direct marketing woes.
Here, we examine five “don’ts” of using an email append service.
- Don’t submit the names and addresses of prospects or customers with whom you don’t have a current business relationship. Only provide a list of customers who have a current relationship with your company. Sending emails to those who aren’t familiar with your company or have not interacted with it in a long time will lead to complaints, and response rates will not be as high as you had hoped, either.
- Don’t choose a service based simply on price. Are you willing to risk getting blacklisted or compromising your delivery rate by getting cheap data? Don’t waste your time working with a service that hasn’t invested the time and technology into cultivating a robust, valid list.
- Don’t attempt to append the names of those who have unsubscribed from your email list. Provide a separate list of opted-out subscribers only so your vendor can use it to suppress overlapping results and, for CAN-SPAM compliance, avoid mailing people who have already requested not to be emailed.
- Don’t send a permission request email that includes a sales pitch. An introductory email should be sent to matched customers requesting permission to receive email from you. The copy should highlight the benefits of being on your list, give hints on future content of interest to them and provide a clear and easy way for them to unsubscribe.
- Don’t treat appended emails the same. Appended customers are not accustomed to receiving your emails. Once they’re on your list, start them off slowly with custom welcome messages or offers that convince them of the value of being a subscriber. Append does not replace organic methods for list growth, but it should yield a good return on investment.