While email marketing can produce tremendous returns, some care and attention is required to achieve the greatest results. Creating a successful email program depends on building and maintaining a high-quality email database, then having the discipline to maintain the database at its optimum level.
Here are 7 tips for building and maintaining a high-performing email database:
- Collect email address data using all of the best means possible-get more emails by using all online and offline touch points, enticements, and contacts.
- Validate data as it is being collected-by using email validation at the point of entry you keep bad addresses from entering your list and prevent the problems that can ensue.
- Don’t send email to addresses that bounce or flag your messages as spam-a high bounce or complaint rate will negatively affect your reputation, delivery rates, and marketing success. It is better to use an Email Service Provider (ESP) that specializes in email delivery than to attempt it on your own and have bounces accrue to your company’s account.
- Profile and segment subscribers by their behavior or demographics-by personalizing and targeting offers to the most appropriate prospects, your success rates will be greater. Take advantage of a demographic append to enrich your email database with a host of valuable information about your prospects and customers, such as geography, age, marital status, occupation, education, and a lot more.
- Segment inactive users and try to re-engage them-execute a targeted and compelling campaign to win the attention and interest of inactive users, and for those who continue to be unresponsive, consider removing them from your list.
- Use a preference center to let people choose product categories, promotion preferences, frequency of mailings, and more-especially for recipients who try to opt out. Empowering email recipients to customize the mail they receive will make them feel part of the process and cause them to welcome your emails rather than resent them.
- Replace dead email addresses by using an email change-of-address service (ECOA)-dead email addresses are worthless and are a drag on your marketing program’s success. You can replace a good percentage of undeliverable email addresses with deliverable ones through the simple process of employing an ECOA service.
With your email database, as with most valuable things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t fall behind in correcting or culling bad email addresses, refreshing stale relationships, and finding new email addresses to replace those you lose through natural attrition.
Follow the above tips and give your email database the care and attention it requires, you will see the positive results bloom before your eyes.