E-mail Appends: The Good, the Bad and the Realistic
The good e-mail append
Here are some questions you’ll be glad you asked your vendor and the answers you should be looking for:
Q. Is the database permission-based?
A. E-mail addresses should never be guessed or deduced. Your vendor might not be able to reveal every source of the data, but it should be able to confirm that every e-mail address has opted in to third-party e-mail messages.
Q. Are you CAN-SPAM compliant?
A. Breaking the law generally is a bad way to kick off a fundraising campaign! Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 to protect consumer e-mail rights. Make sure your vendor complies!
Q. Do you send a welcome message or just add the data to my file and ship it back to me?
A. If anyone offers to slap some e-mail addresses onto your file and then hand them back to you … run like the wind! A welcome message protects your server score with the ISPs and ensures that you only add valid, permission-based e-mail addresses to your file. Plus, no one wants to pay for bad e-mail addresses.
Q. What is your typical match rate?
A. This will help you set realistic expectations and strategies for your campaign. It also is an opportunity to find out if your vendor can do a name and postal address match. If it is able to link postal information, this typically increases the number of ways you can find a new e-mail address.
Q. Do you have a multivendor approach?
A. No vendor has all the e-mail addresses in the United States. See if your vendor is able to check your file against multiple databases, remove duplicates, and handle the process for you and your staff.
Q. Do you charge based on all matches or just valid matches (post-welcome message)?
A. Again, no one wants to pay for bad e-mail addresses. Make sure you find out up front if the vendor charges for every match found or for every valid match returned to you post-welcome message.