Segregate append data from regular email subscriber list

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John Murphy, president, ReachMail
John Murphy, president, ReachMail

Email appending gives you the ability to reach your postal-only contacts by email. If not carefully managed, appending can hurt the performance of your “regular” email addresses, as appended email data perform significantly differently on metrics that the Internet service providers (ISPs) consider as factors for deliverability.

If you establish a lifecycle program to manage these factors, you can take full advantage of email appends without degrading the performance of your existing email marketing program.

Why should appended email addresses be treated differently? A marketer might go to an outside vendor for an email append when he has lots of customers with only postal addresses. The vendor looks up the postal addresses to find the corresponding email address then sends a permission email asking the recipient to opt in.

From there, it removes all bounce-backs and opt-outs, and provides the marketer with the appended emails. Since the email recipients did not initiate contact by email, this leads to challenges such as higher bounce rates, more spam complaints and lower engagement rates.

ISPs look negatively on these factors when considering whether to put your email into the inbox. If you simply add these addresses to your current email database, your overall performance could be negatively impacted. What is the right way to handle email appends? Segregate the append data from your regular email marketing subscriber list by taking the following steps.

  • Send to your append list through a separate IP address.
  • Ensure your separate IP address is not on your current domain key's setup.
  • Remove any bounce-backs after your first campaign.
  • Remove anyone who has not opened your emails after the third campaign.
  • Wait six months before sending appended data through your regular account.
  • Keep appended email addresses as a separate list to track performance even after you include them in your regular campaign.

For future planning, it is best to look into “Email Change of Address” to update bounced email addresses, as the best results happen soon after the email addresses start bouncing.

Quarterly updates on bounced email address are worthwhile.

The bottom line: marketers can't just do an email append. They have to do it the right way. If the email communication process is managed correctly, appends can be a very beneficial business tool.

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