Oct 16, 2008

Email Strategics - Step 1 - Database

A few months ago I made a post listing the important elements one needs to have an efficient email strategy.
One of the most important (if not THE most important) is the database quality.

When I talk about database quality, I think about email address quality, profiles quality, profile elements available and of course your own knowledge of the database profiles.

Email address quality:
First thing is having a high quality addresses list, if you have too many hardbounces, softbounces, traps or disposable emails (like @spamgourmet for example) you will have a poor open rate and a very hard time getting your email communications to get through to the inbox.
Some checks can be made on the signup form (such as email structure or domain check) but you probably want to add a double optin process just to make sure only active and exact email addresses can be registered.
A double optin process means sending a confirmation email with a link to validate the subscription.
The lead will only become active once the email has been clicked.
One last advice I might give has nothing to do with the registration process but the optout one.
If you want to avoid people complaining on your broadcasts, then please make sure your optout process is as straigtforward as the optin one.

Profiles quality:
Having only website registered profiles or a client list is nice but often it's not enough, you probably want to launch lead generation campaigns, the available means are plenty: affiliate programs, lead generation companies, coregistration, sweepstakes, database rental,...
You have to be very cautious on these profiles you get, they might be of poor quality, I advise you to keep track of the lead's origin so you can analyse your campaigns' results and get rid of poor origins and focus your attention (and cash) on your highest performing origins.
Whatever the origin is you need to analyse the overall performance of your database and purge the old, inactive profiles from time to time.

Profile elements available:
Having a list of emails is nice, having information related to these emails is of course better.
Having information concerning your profiles allows you to segment your database according to geographical information, gender, age, job title,...
The more information you gather concerning your contacts, the more precisely you an aim your emails at clients and prospects.

Database knowledge:
Knowing individuals in your DB is not the only path to success, knowing the DB as a whole is also important.
Depending to the type of profiles you have, the DB will not react in the same way according to the time and day when you send your communications.
Some DBs have higher open rates on week days whereas some DBs have higher open rates on the week-end. Finally you can try and identify groups of people that have different behaviours and split your communications according to these pieces of information (this is of course some kind of segmentation as before but might not be in any way related to any information data contained in your DB).

I hope this post will help some of you to have a better understanding of DB management.

Email Strategics - Step 2 - Segmentation
Email Strategics - Step 3 - Email Creative
Email Strategics - Step 4 - Broadcasting
Email Strategics - Step 5 - Landing Page

Email Strategics - Step 6 - Analyzing statistics

No comments: