Three Strategies for E-mail List Hygiene
Software also requires regular version updates, as new information about bogus addresses is a daily, ongoing effort. Or you can look for a ‘real-time’ option that would capture any erroneous or bogus addresses on your Web site, before the member had a chance to submit it. A strong real-time e-mail-validation system not only prevents many invalid entries from getting into your database, but it will offer corrective suggestions or allow the registrant to change the information himself.
2) Once you’re working with a clean list, regular list maintenance is a must. Find a reputable vendor to go through your list periodically and flag any invalid or malicious addresses that got through, including e-mail addresses. Statistics indicate that more than 50 million people changed their e-mail addresses last year and that most e-mail savvy people have multiple e-mail addresses. You want to be sure you’re sending your valuable member information to an address your member is actually checking.
3) Finally, check your vendor carefully before handing over your valuable member or donor list. Your e-mail reputation is directly related to the quality of the people who work on your list. Ask tough questions about deliverability guarantees, opt-in versus opt-out files and suppression lists until you’re comfortable that you’re in good hands. And be sure to check references.
Natalie Hahn O’Flaherty is manager of marketing and communications at e-mail list-hygiene firm FreshAddress, Inc. She can be reached via www.freshaddress.com.