3 Tips for Using E-mail Append
According to a study by TowerData, e-mail append—the process of adding e-mail addresses to extant postal addresses in a customer database—has become steadily more accurate and effective over the past four years. In a whitepaper, Growing Your List with E-mail Append, the e-mail and data solutions company reports that match rates have trended up and opt-out rates have trended down since 2004.
Since the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, marketers and consumers have become more comfortable with e-mail as a marketing medium. TowerData sees e-mail append only becoming more predictable and more reliable in the future, and shares the following tips for getting the most out of an e-mail append process:
1. Only Append Current Customers
You must have an existing relationship with an individual in order to benefit from e-mail append. If you try to append a list of prospects, you may receive complaints, lose potential customers and gain a bad reputation. TowerData recommends appending for current customers, generally those you've had a transaction or exchange with in the past 48 months. Also, submit your current unsubscribe list to your provider to avoid further unwanted communication to those customers.
2. Select a Viable Data Provider
To find a reputable provider, consider vendors who use permission-based data collected from lawful sources, where consumers agreed to share their information with third parties. Top tier providers should offer more than 150 million eligible records and be able to provide USPS validation. It is also helpful to find a vendor who can provide a "second pass" through secure partner companies to enhance your initial match rates. Avoid companies using phonetic matching or indiscriminate methods, which might ignore apartment numbers, for example. A conservative match algorithm is desirable and will target your actual customers and avoid unresponsive lists.
3. Don't Sell in a Permission Request E-mail
A permission request is the introductory e-mail message sent to the matched customer to gain his or her consent in being added to your e-mail program. The copy should focus on your existing relationship, highlight the benefits of giving permission to be on your e-mail list, and set expectations for future content and frequency. This e-mail should sell your brand and relationship with the customer, not your products. Be sure to provide a method for customers to raise any service issues, either direct to you or through your vendor, in this first correspondence. Wait until your welcome e-mail to initiate the sales cycle.