This is a golden age for building email lists. Anyone who’s run a Facebook contest can attest to that. But while current list building techniques can generate large quantities of signups, campaigns can take a brutal hit on lead quality. This is particularly true when web form leads pass directly to an ESP, CRM or other database.

Experian Data Quality examines the inherent risks of email list building in a new study entitled, “The Dark Side of Email Deliverability” (Read the companion infographic at the bottom of this post). The report cites poor list hygiene and management as the primary cause of deliverability issues.

Only 47 percent of organizations follow CAN-SPAM requirements for unsubscribe. Moreover, only 44 percent of organizations remove hard bounces from their email list and only 43 percent of organizations suppress inactive email subscribers from campaigns.

List hygiene is often a forgotten component of a data quality strategy, and frequently only addressed after deliverability issues have started. For organizations without a data quality strategy, the research showed a correlation with a variety of issues, many of which extended beyond the marketing department. The most consistent issues include an inability to communicate with subscribers (40%), poor customer service (25%) and sender reputation problems (25%).

Acquiring email addresses intelligently is the first step in Experian’s email list quality improvement framework.

It is extremely important to consider how email addresses are acquired before sending to these individuals:

  • Use permission-based acquisition practices – Traditionally, marketers thought it was best to email as many people as possible. However, now marketers risk adding possible spam traps or inactive accounts to their database. This increases the likelihood of individuals complaining, and unfortunately the company may be marked as a spammer.
  • Ensure emails are validated at the time of acquisition – Email validation ensures that all email addresses are valid and deliverable. This reduces the bounce rate and improves sender reputation.

How to Automate Email List Cleansing

Bad data wreaks havoc with deliverability, and it costs time and money to regularly clean up your email database.  ActiveProspect is a middleware platform that resides between web forms and back end systems like ESPs and internal databases. Custom rules-based lead flows automatically:

  • Filter leads based on your acceptance criteria
  • De-dupe incoming records based on your in-house list
  • Scrub incoming leads based on your Suppression / Do Not Email lists
  • Append additional information about your subscribers using your choice of data partners
  • Capture and store independent verification of your opt-in leads’ origin (e.g. screenshot, site URL and timestamp) for CASL compliance

Need help improving email campaign deliverability and conversion? Contact us today at [email protected] 

Dark side of deliverability