NEWTON, MA, (April 19, 2006) – Taking care of your most valuable asset - your customer address database - is a critical part of email marketing. To help marketers set realistic expectations and accurately measure their return on investment (ROI), FreshAddress, Inc., the industry's leading email database services provider, released its benchmark data on Email Change of Address (ECOA) and Email Appending solutions. This study was based on an analysis of over 100 million recently processed customer records.

Email appending is a process of adding email addresses to a customer's list which has only names & postal addresses. ECOA is the process of updating a customer's list of bad email addresses with working email addresses. In both cases, the client receives a list of deliverable email addresses as a results file. These results are compared with the initial input file to determine the successful match rate.

For this benchmark study, FreshAddress compiled the average email appending rates for both household and individual matches. An individual match is an exact match on a person's full name and postal address, whereas a household match is a match only on a person's last name and postal address. FreshAddress further divided the analysis between commercial and nonprofit lists. The study found:

Commercial clients average deliverable email append results:

  • Household appending: 16% (range = 9 to 21%)
  • Individual appending: 12% (range = 9 to 14%)

Nonprofits average deliverable email append results:

  • Household appending: 15% (range = 6% to 18%)
  • Individual appending: 9% (range = 5 to 13%)

For both commercial and nonprofit clients, it was found that quarterly processing of the list more than doubled the success rate over the course of the year. The discrepancy in appending rates for commercial clients versus nonprofits was directly correlated to the age of the customer base - the younger the age group, the higher the success rate. In particular, nonprofit clients with older customer bases performed in the lower ranges.

FreshAddress also reviewed the average rates for ECOA processing. The study found:

Average deliverable email results:

  • Email Change of Address: 8% (range = 4% to 15%)

Again, it was found that quarterly processing more than doubled the above rates on an annual basis. No difference was found between commercial and nonprofit clients.

Keeping a clean, updated email address list is critical for businesses and nonprofits that rely on email marketing for revenues, donations, customer retention and overall customer service. These benchmark rates will help marketers to more accurately assess the returns they can expect from email appending and ECOA.

FreshAddress, Inc. has been providing email database services to customers since 1999. We are the patent-holder for ECOA technology, and license opt-in data from hundreds of web sites and major database providers, ensuring our services reach the broadest universe of opt-in email addresses. All email address results provided by FreshAddress are guaranteed to be deliverable.

There are various companies who offer an array of email services, so it is extremely important to understand precisely the services you're paying for and feel confident in the ethics and reliability of the service provider. Your reputation, as well as your revenues, will be directly impacted by the quality of your email database service provider, so due diligence when researching these companies is strongly recommended.