Three steps to maintaining a clean email database

Experian Marketing Services is compiling data, trends and benchmarks to share with marketers in the 2012 Digital Marketer. Below is a sneak peek into just some of the data quality tips you can expect from this valuable report.

Successful delivery of an email to a specific consumer is just as important as the message being sent. Maintaining a clean email database improves deliverability rates and will ultimately increase overall conversion rates. Here are three simple steps that marketers can take to cleanse email address files:

  1. Remove bounced emails – Obviously it doesn’t make sense to send an email to the same inaccurate address over and over again. Removing known invalid emails from a list will not only reduce bounce rates, it will have an impact on the company’s reputation with the Internet Service Providers (ISP). Each email domain earns a reputation with the major ISPs, like Gmail™ and Hotmail. Emails sent from that domain receive placement in a consumer’s inbox based on the positive or negative nature of the sender’s reputation. If too many emails bounce, then an ISP may consider the sender a spammer and place emails in the spam or junk inbox, or even prevent delivery of the communication. Keeping the bounce rate low can improve or maintain a sender’s reputation.
  2. Cleanse email addresses – Most bounced emails are the result of syntax errors, like misspellings or typographical errors. Software tools can identify and correct invalid characters and change incorrectly typed domain names. These “cleans” can be done on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on email volume.
  3. Educate staff – It is important to train staff members on the importance of an accurate email address. If staff members understand where information is used and how inaccurate data affects the organization as whole, they may be more careful when collecting data in the future and reduce the number of careless errors made during entry.
    By removing inaccurate information, cleansing existing addresses and training staff, marketers can increase the number of usable email addresses in their existing database. Ultimately, more delivered emails means more opens and clicks, and of course, better marketing results.

Check back for weekly peeks into the 2012 Digital Marketer, to be released in March. Click here to pre-order the report, and follow the conversation on Twitter at #EMS2012.

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