Poor Data Quality Creating Challenges for Email Message Delivery
In addition, many don't employ confirmed opt-in or double opt-in methods for data collection. These methods are very valuable as they ensure only subscribers who provide accurate data and want to be sent marketing messages receive communications.
In order to start improving email database maintenance, retailers should employ four basic email hygiene techniques:
1. Acquire email addresses intelligently. It's very important to consider how email addresses are acquired before sending to individuals. Be sure your organization is using permission-based acquisition practices and is validating emails at the time of acquisition. Email validation ensures that all email addresses are valid and deliverable, which could explain why 66 percent of retailers are currently using some form of email validation.
2. Manage your email database. Marketers need to be certain that they manage the various types of subscribers within their database. These include inactive subscribers, opt-out requests and active nonresponders. Each email group requires different maintenance best practices, which vary based on your email marketing strategy and goals. However, proper management leads to better deliverability through improved sender reputation.
3. Manage bounce rates. Anytime a hard bounce occurs because the email address doesn't exist, the address should be removed from your email database. This will prevent the same bad email address from continually damaging your sender reputation.
4. Validate inactive emails prior to mailing. If you're not mailing to a segment of your database more than once a month, those addresses are also considered inactive and should be cleansed before mailing. Two percent of data goes bad each month, according to Return Path. Retailers should look to validate email addresses and remove any invalid addresses prior to mailing in order to ensure a lower bounce rate. Improving email deliverability starts with building a proper data quality strategy and validating email addresses. Retailers are continuing to make progress, but there's still more that can be done to improve email deliverability, and therefore customer service.