How election strategies and everyday marketing can benefit from email database services
When you work and live in the email world, email marketing becomes the prism through which you look at life—and the news!
That’s why email marketers were so eager to analyze the recent Presidential campaign. Based on statements made by their strategy teams, President Obama’s email database entries and outreach efforts outnumbered that of Mitt Romney’s by 20 to 1! With mere percentage points separating the winner from the loser in “all or nothing” electoral vote swing states, it’s easy to see the impact email marketing had on the outcome of this election.
StrongMail’s Crystal Ball
This certainly makes it look like leading ESP StrongMail had a crystal ball in early Fall of 2012 when they authored the widely-circulated assessment stating that Obama would be able to leverage email to his distinct advantage.
The Numbers Don’t Lie: Bigger is Better
Working by the numbers—be it number of recipients or number of times to email, etc.— is nothing new for email marketers who every day face the same daunting challenge of list growth the candidates’ teams face every election cycle.
Once the race was over however, and the votes and spent dollars were counted, the size of the underlying email database proved to be the most significant variable in the final results.
With the election now over and the holidays and the New Year knocking on our door, the lesson from the election should be clear – enhancing your customer database needs to be on the front burner for marketers. And one of the simplest, and most cost-effective list enhancement strategies at your disposal is email appending.
Email appending is one of the more polarizing strategies available to email marketers, but if performed in a careful, conscientious, and professional manner by an experienced provider, it might get you elected President too.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Email appending is not an acquisition strategy – it’s an engagement strategy. You’ve already acquired the customer database you will use as the basis for adding emails. This is the one of most valuable assets you have—buyers, donors, hand-raisers who have already proactively engaged with you through one of your marketing channels. Email appending allows you to broaden the communications you have with your customers in the most cost-effective, ecologically-sensible, and timely manner available to you—through emails.
Four Easy Pieces
Here are four easy steps to take to make sure your email append goes well.
1) Find a reputable provider:
There are so many fly-by-night providers in the industry these days, and each of them claims to be better than the next. They will entice you with ridiculously cheap pricing, but can you trust them with the keys to your house: your customer database? Furthermore, much of their data will be scraped or purchased and thereby contain spamtrap or honeypot addresses, which leads to blocking and blacklisting issues – that’s why it’s so cheap. Self-registered, opt-in data does not come cheaply but it’s the only way to go. Unfortunately, these “providers” give email appending the black eye it doesn’t deserve.
2) Make sure there is an Opt-In permission pass
This should seem like a no-brainer, but many of the providers in the appending space do not come close to promising this. The opt-in permission process will confirm deliverability of all the emails in your list and cut down on the bounces you should receive back.
3) Make sure the data is hygiened
Some companies on the market will provide you with a list that they say has been permission passed, but they will not perform basic hygiene on the list. Thus, there are a lot of undesirable and even toxic emails that may slip through the permission process.
4) Work only with YOUR customer file
This goes back to the point about using email as a list engagement strategy. Some marketers think that they can run an email append on a prospect list and think they will get a great ROI. The fact of the matter is that this will open your program up to spam complaints and blocking and blacklisting issues.
And the Next President Is…
Performed by an experienced and ethical provider in the most conservative fashion, email appending can provide the highest ROI of any marketing program you undertake. But make sure you use a reputable provider with sophisticated technology and expertise to hygiene your results backed up by an opt-in permission pass to confirm consent. Even if you don’t make it to the White House, you might have a better shot at the corporate executive suite, and you’ll be sure to win the race to the email inbox!