Three Strategies for E-mail List Hygiene
A clean e-mail list is essential for effective e-mail marketing and fundraising campaigns for several reasons. First, if you’re sending out a terrific fundraising campaign, but 20 percent of your list is bouncing, you might hit an ISP’s ‘bounce threshold’ and end up on its blacklist. That increases your expenses, because you’re still paying for those e-mails to be deployed, and decreases your revenues, because a portion of your base isn’t aware that you’re seeking donations. Plus, it will take a lot of painful time and energy to get off the blacklist.
Second, a clean e-mail list allows you to stay in compliance with FCC regulations. The FCC is very specific about who you can and can’t e-mail, and lack of knowledge is not a justifiable defense. If you are an e-mail marketer, it is your business to know about the Can-Spam laws and suppression lists. Keeping your lists clean minimizes your risk.
Third, a clean list means member satisfaction and loyalty increase because communication is easy. You’re reaching members at an address they check regularly, so you can respond to their questions or issues efficiently, as well as notify them of promotions, special events, etc.
A good e-mail list-hygiene vendor will flag bogus and malicious e-mail addresses and put those in a separate file. E-mail addresses with simple typos can be identified and corrected. Your vendor should return your list in two separate files: deliverable and undeliverable. This allows you to continue to communicate with the deliverable ones and determine how to handle the others.
1) Start with a clean list. It sounds simple, but it requires diligence. If you’re collecting e-mail addresses on your Web site, there are some things you can do to check the validity of those registrations. You can apply ‘smart’ design to your Web pages so that online registrants are required to double-check their contact information prior to submitting it to your database. You can purchase validation software, which would need to be run regularly against your database, to flag invalid addresses for removal.