A leading pet supply retailer turned to AtData for a reliable way to track down new email addresses for a large chunk of its loyalty club members and to update older and inactive addresses already in its database.
Whenever the client wants to send special offers and local store news to the 4.6 million people in its loyalty club, it chooses email first. Email is the primary method of communicating with members for the company, which has more than 300 stores across the United States. Half of those stores are franchises, making this client the largest franchise pet supply company in America.
The client’s customers can join the club at the cash register or online. They receive special offers, notices about events at their local stores, and birthday treats for their furry, feathered, finned, or scaly friends.
About 40 percent of the membership records in the client’s loyalty club database didn’t have email addresses, often because cashiers couldn’t collect email addresses during checkout.
At the same time, the company faced a growing deliverability problem resulting from out-of-date or invalid email addresses, which go bad when address owners change email addresses without updating senders or submit incorrectly formatted or typo-laden email addresses. The company faced a potential email marketing disaster zone. Low match rates, high customer complaints, and undeliverable addresses waste money and jeopardize a sender’s ability to reach the inbox.
“I had done email append in the past and ran into a lot of customer-service issues and upset people,” said the company’s Director of CRM & Analytics. “The process AtData used virtually eliminated all of that. These addresses were a lot sounder than the others, and I was much more confident with the results I got.”
AtData searches for matches in its proprietary database and from partner data sources. It then uses SafeToSend® (an email validation solution) before and after contacting new address owners with a branded permission message to confirm deliverability and invite the owner to opt in. A significant step in the process weeds out deliverable addresses that show up on unsubscribe, block, or do-not-email lists. Mailing to those addresses could trigger ISP blocks or blacklisting.
The company also updated its bouncing, inactive, and invalid addresses using the AtData five-step ECOA process. As a first step the process identifies and corrects typos, formatting, and syntax errors, and then flags dead email domains, and addresses on unsubscribe or block lists. As with email append, AtData’s ECOA finds potential update matches in its proprietary in-house change-pair database, as well as partner data sources and removes unsuitable addresses using SafeToSend® before contacting new addresses.
The company added 300,000 addresses to their database through the append process and 20,000 to 30,000 addresses from ECOA.
Much to management’s delight, the addresses they received have been very productive. The client knows that when they’re able to email customers that they spend about 25 percent more in stores. When they began to email these new addresses, they were able to see an immediate increase in sales.
The results far exceeded the client’s expectations and came without a major outcry from customers. The company had fewer than a dozen customers contact their customer service asking how their addresses were obtained, and they have not seen an increase in either out-opt or bounce rates.
“I appreciated the address quality and the validation steps AtData goes through. The whole process of uploading our lists and checking to see where we were on the status page make it really easy to do. As a result, we can communicate with more of our customers than ever before.” – Director of CRM & Analytics