Improve Email Marketing Results by Focusing on the Quality of the Data Behind Them


Share on LinkedIn

Description: In the evolving world of marketing tactics, it is easy to lose focus of your email strategy and allow incorrect customer data to throw campaign results off course. Email verification can be easy to implement, while providing huge returns.

When you’re in marketing, you usually wear a lot of hats. You’re often expected to be great at email marketing, lead generation, social media, content development, and an array of other marketing channels. When you’re pulled in so many different directions, it can be easy to lose focus of your email marketing strategy and inadvertently allow incorrect customer data to throw campaign results off course.

Your customers’ preferences might lead you to refocus your time, though. Recent surveys have found customers still consider email their preferred method of communication from companies or brands. And if you think millennials or Gen Z are changing that trend, consider these stats:

• 73 percent of millennials prefer email for communicating with businesses (and that’s a group often considered to be the social media generation)
• 58 percent of Gen Z respondents said they check their email multiple times a day

It’s also a worthwhile reminder that email marketing nurtures customers throughout the purchase funnel to, ultimately, drive and contribute to conversions. And it’s one of the tried-and-true channels for keeping active customers captivated and for reinvigorating latent leads.

The ability to maximize your reach and increase customer engagement through your email marketing depends largely on data quality. If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the integrity of the data you’re using to send your digital marketing campaigns, it’s time to implement data quality processes. Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think.

Whether you store your customer data in a customer relationship management system like Salesforce or use other processes to collect and manage data, you can easily leverage third-party data cleansing tools to achieve and maintain high-quality customer data, as well as email verification solutions to mitigate deliverability risk for your campaigns. Using proven tools to accomplish these goals saves you time so you can focus on content and engagement, not whether you’re reaching customers and leads in the first place.

The issues you face with data quality don’t just come from a lack of time to address them. Some simply happen over time. With business contacts changing jobs, and consumers changing email addresses frequently or filling out forms with the addresses of email accounts they don’t check regularly, every digital campaign you send can miss the mark on campaign ROI. Even if you write the catchiest subject line, pair it with an amazing offer, and include a clear CTA, it still has to reach the intended audience to have the intended effect.

Additionally, some of the bad data in your email lists could come from customers accidentally entering a typo when they subscribed to your newsletter. A colleague may have captured and entered wrong lead information from a tradeshow. Or you may be the unlucky recipient of a fake email address submitted to your CRM from a webform. But no matter how they ended up in your database, all of these invalid, undeliverable email addresses waste time and money – and hurt your deliverability reputation.

So, what’s the answer? The solution for keeping email data clean is three-fold:

• Step 1: Use email list verification services to identify and suppress the invalid, undeliverable email addresses in your existing email database so you start with the cleanest data possible.
• Step 2: Use an email verification API to verify email addresses in real-time at the point of capture, such as on your web forms, at the point of sale, in your tradeshow booth, or anywhere else you capture customer data.
• Step 3: Since the validity of email addresses changes over time, use email verification solutions regularly to keep the database clean. Reverifying often will help ensure campaign messages and other digital communications reach real people and get real results.

Taking action with this three-fold approach will yield positive results that are well worth the effort, such as:

• Improved forecasting – Deliverability is the first step in obtaining the higher open rates, click-throughs, and conversions that you’re attempting to forecast. An accurate forecast of response rate is only possible when you have an accurate idea of the number of people you’re successfully reaching.
• Stay out of the spam box – Bounce rate is closely monitored by ISPs. If incorrect emails are increasing your bounce rate, they could eventually impact your ability to reach legitimate emails because your campaigns get marked as spam. Even worse, spam complaints, low subscriber engagement, and poor deliverability can all result in a negative email sender reputation, which may lead to your IP getting blacklisted or your account status getting disabled. Email verification can help you avoid this dance.
• Reduced spending – Consider the potential impact to your marketing automation costs. You’re paying for every email that you send, even if it doesn’t make it to an inbox. Why waste money on emails that will never reach your customer? Protect your spend so you can use it to fund other marketing campaigns and initiatives that will increase customer retention, ROI, and the bottom line.
• Reliable data metrics and insights – When you use more reliable data, you net more reliable data in return. You gain a more precise understanding of what’s working with your campaigns and what your audience is responding to. You can use this actionable information to improve campaign reporting, budget effectively, realign your marketing strategies, and refresh your messaging strategies.

There are many reasons to prioritize working with clean, actionable data for your email marketing campaigns, not the least of which is ensuring customers get what they want. Your customers are ready to engage with your email campaigns. Use email verification to make sure they can.

Bonnie Malone
Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the customer success and services team at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here