3 Things You Should Never Do With Your Email Database
Email marketing has grown tremendously over the years to become one of the top online marketing tools for small businesses. The relationship it creates with existing and potential clients makes it an excellent solution for driving sales. But with email marketing’s great power comes great responsibility.
In a study conducted by ExactTarget, 77.7 percent of the clients interviewed preferred permission-based marketing communication via email. To enhance the quality of the emails that you send out to your prospects and customers, you need to be careful on how you manage your email database. Here are three deadly database sins you should avoid as an email marketer – these mistakes can destroy your reputation and kill your email marketing campaign.
1. Purchase an Email List
You may be tempted by the easy out of buying email lists to reenergize or kick start an email marketing campaign. Just say no! Email service providers take the purchasing of lists very seriously and you’ll find that your campaigns will be heavily penalized. Below are some ramifications of using a purchased list:
- You will be locked out of your email marketing software
Reputable email marketing vendors prefer opt-in email lists for marketing campaigns only. This means that using a rented or purchased list can get you locked out of their email marketing software, leaving you no other choice than to use a non-reputable email service provider and get poor email deliverability.
- Purchased lists are low quality
Just the mere fact that an email list is up for sale means that many other people have accessed it and the email addresses have already been spammed. Any credible email list will be highly guarded by the business owner instead of being up for sale.
- The email recipients do not know your business
Email lists offered for sale are often scraped from other websites, meaning the recipients in the lists opted in to another business and not yours. This creates a relational gap with the recipients and they’re very likely to label your emails as spam.
2. Fail to Scrub Your Database
Your email database hygiene is critical for your marketing campaigns. Without accurate, clean and complete data, your automated campaigns, ROI reports and CRM integrations will be in vain. An unscrubbed database can lead to the following:
- Duplicate email addresses
Having duplicate email addresses in your database means that the recipient will receive two separate emails containing the same message. This shows your inefficiency and negligence which harms your reputation and outbound prospecting success.
- Emailing to role account addresses
A disorganized email database may include role account addresses such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Often the recipients on these addresses are not individual people but rather computers or departments.
- Bounced emails
Not all emails in your database may be successfully delivered; some of them bounce either temporarily or permanently. In either case, you need to clean your database so as to filter out the addresses that result in bounced emails. This will make your email marketing campaign more targeted and will prevent your URL from being blocked by anti-spam software.
3. Send the Same Email to Everyone
Failure to segment your email recipients into target groups can cause your campaign to be ineffective and outdated. A study done by Marketing Sherpa revealed that segmenting your emails can significantly increase your clickthrough rate by about 50 percent. Sending customers an one-size-fits-all email blast can result in negative reactions to the impersonal nature of the communication. Some of the ways in which you can segment your database include:
- Geographical location
When customer location has a significant influence on the way purchase decisions are made, geographical segmentation can be excellent choice. This type of segmentation can also be used to zone prospects based on times differences.
Men and women speak different languages when it comes to buying decisions. Segmenting your email database based on gender can work well in instances where you have a wide range of products that are gender specific.
Using prospects’ interests to segment your email list can enable you to create personalized email messages that will achieve a greater click-through rate and generate qualified leads. If, for example, you run a car dealership and automotive shop, your contacts who just bought a vehicle are probably not looking for a new one right away, nor are they going to need it serviced soon. So sending them messages about new inventory or service discounts could annoy them and harm your ability to continue to market to them.
When you build a database of opted-in contacts, regularly scrub the list and properly segment your campaigns, you’ll be on your way to email marketing all-star status.