4 Ways to Clean Up Your Email Database
With over 1.4 billion users of email, it's not surprising that businesses are using this channel for more communications. Email is relatively inexpensive and generates a high return on investment, with the Direct Marketing Association estimating a 43 to one return on every dollar spent on email marketing campaigns.
Retailers in particular use email to communicate with customers and prospects, from order confirmations to seasonal coupons to special targeted offers. Email has become a core part of retail operations, with email addresses collected everywhere from the point-of-sale to a call center to a website.
Unfortunately, email addresses are often riddled with errors. Just like any piece of contact data, email addresses are frequently mistyped during data entry. Staff members are concerned with reducing wait times and consumers online are often distracted. Furthermore, email is very dynamic — addresses can change frequently based on life events and employment.
Errors in email addresses hamper businesses, preventing them from communicating with a large percentage of their database. Retailers need to understand how inaccurate email addresses hurt their marketing efforts, as well as what steps they can take to clean their data and ultimately improving marketing results.
Every marketer worries about whether their message actually reaches the customer. They ensure that advertisements are targeted and direct mail reaches the correct physical address. With email, marketers do worry about having the correct address, but what they may not be aware of is where the email goes once it reaches the consumer's inbox.
Most retailers send a lot of email to customers and prospects. As with any large emailer, a retailer's domain has a ranking from the major internet service providers (ISP). ISPs hold each domain to a certain deliverability threshold, meaning that a certain percentage of the domain's emails must reach a valid and deliverable email address.
If too many emails bounce because of inaccurate data, future emails from that address may receive poor placement in consumers’ inboxes. This means that all future mailings, even to accurate email addresses, may be placed in the spam folder — or not delivered at all if the domain has been blacklisted. Accurate email addresses not only ensure that communications reach the intended individual, but they also impact all future deliverability.