I often write about the value of email data. E-mail marketing is still an effective way to drive sales for e-commerce. An active and deliverable email address can add significant dollars to your final line.
Every email database has hidden opportunities in my experience. I will address these opportunities in this post.
Hidden opportunities in a subscriber list
Past subscribers. Subscribers come and go. E-commerce companies often clean up their lists, where subscribers who have not purchased, say, 12 months are removed from the "active" database and no longer receive marketing advertising.
But customers who haven't bought in a while can resurface and buy again. That is why it is important to visit lost subscribers with a strong message and offer to win them back.
Rejected emails that cannot be delivered. Email deployments usually have a handful of hard and soft bounces, as well as other unreleased emails. It is important to understand how your email marketing provider defines hard and soft bounce and other unaddressed addresses. Most providers remove hard bounces automatically (address no longer exists) from your files. Similarly, soft bounces (full mailbox; temporarily unavailable) are eventually removed after several attempts.
The policy to automatically delete rejected emails helps with delivery and reputation by keeping the list clean. However, many of these email addresses are still representative of customers who are likely to receive emails and purchase from you. Maybe their address changed, or they experienced a temporary disturbance.
Therefore, periodically review all rejected or unsent emails using an email verification service to determine which ones are still valid. Then test a small distribution to the confirmed addresses and return all that can be delivered.
For emails that cannot be delivered, run an address change process through a provider such as Fresh Address to obtain a new address, if applicable. When consumers exchange emails, they do not usually update all subscriptions, especially from online retailers. Do what you can to keep active addresses.
Partner Data. Promotional campaigns can be effective for merchants and customers. For example, a recipe site may partner with a gluten-free pasta company. The recipe site offers gluten-free pasta to its subscribers while the pasta company offers recipes. Look for marketing opportunities with relevant partners to reach new opportunities and expose additional brands to your subscribers.
Demographic or behavioral data. Use demographic information about your subscribers to customize messages, segment your file for relevance, or send fast email based on activity. For example, you can send a birthday message to subscribers if you have that information. If you know the gender of subscribers, separate offers for men and women.
The more relevant the message, the higher it opens, clicks and conversions. Use data to your advantage.
Data attached. Your email database may not contain a name and mailing address. But the more information you know about a subscriber, the better. With just one email address, you can get a name and mailing address from a data extension service. Conversely, with a name and mailing address, you can probably get an active email address.