30% is a Scary Percentage

“30%” is a term often used here at FreshAddress. But please don’t get all that excited! Not yet anyway! We don’t mean “30% off,” “30% savings” or even “30% more.” I wish I was able to offer better news when it comes to the percentage, “30%,” but unfortunately, it refers to a problem every marketer must grapple with: the average annual attrition rate of your email database. That’s right. According to industry research and estimates, you can expect 30% or more of your email addresses to bounce or become inactive every year.

They Love Me. They Really Love Me!

“But my customers and donors love what we do,” you say. “Why would they leave me without giving me their forwarding addresses?” It’s a simple answer really. People move, take new jobs, graduate or change schools, switch ISPs, and change email providers all of the time. Perhaps the Verizon bundle is just too good to pass up. Or perhaps, as web-based email providers go, users jump from Yahoo to Hotmail or over to Gmail or back again.

I Have A Dream

How great would it be if everybody called in or updated each and every one of their online relationships saying, “Please note that I have switched email addresses and my new email address is XXXXX.” I am sure this dream of mine would make a lot of you sleep better at night.

But my dream is still just a dream. As a result, emails start dropping off, bounce rates start to increase, your deliverability rates fall, your reputation with ISPs and perhaps your ESP (if you use an ESP) begins to diminish, and overall performance and revenues decrease.

I bet some of you are thinking “My email system removes our bounces, leaving me with the customers and donors who really care about us.” If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, people these days are way too busy to notify much more than their closest friends when they change their email addresses. And as many marketers and organizations have experienced, re-engaging with lost or inactive customers can result in higher open rates, click-through rates, and revenues than you’ve been generating from your somewhat tired workhorse of a house file.

So What’s a Marketer To Do?

You should utilize every means possible to make it easy for your customers/donors to update their email addresses for you when their accounts change. Don’t make them unsubscribe and re-subscribe. Instead, offer links, postings and pop-ups on your site, in your emails, in your newsletters, and at your kiosks encouraging people to update their email addresses whenever they change.

In addition, for that large portion of your churning database that still neglects to inform you of their new email addresses, FreshAddress has the cure. Our patented ECOA (Email Change of Address) service will update 8%-15+% of your bouncing and inactive email addresses on our first run with double these results available over the first year through our automated quarterly processing.

Stop Losing Sleep

For FreshAddress clients, email address changes and annual 30% attrition rates are no longer something to lose sleep over. Rather, these are challenges they’re eager to face head-on, bringing former customers back into the fold at a fraction of typical customer acquisition costs while driving new business.

So reconnect with your lost customers and donors before your competition has a chance to lure them away. There are enough things to worry about in today’s Internet age and economy – let FreshAddress take the fright out of one of them, your 30% email churn rate.

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