7 Techniques to Improve E-Mail List Integrity (445 words)
7 Techniques to Improve E-Mail List Integrity
By Matt Blumberg and Tim Dolan
Establish proper customer notice and permission. To ensure you have a quality customer e-mail address you must first ask you customer for permission to communicate with them by e-mail. The methods used to acquire permission vary. Most companies accomplish this by placing a check box next to a permission statement on their Web site.
Confirm or verify the e-mail address. Confirming or verifying the e-mail address with the customer before accepting it into your database strengthens the level of permission attained and reduces data entry errors.
Require customers to enter their e-mail address twice. This simple technique is designed to catch data entry errors commonly made by your customers when they enter their e-mail address on your Web site forms.
Train employees tasked with capturing customer e-mail addresses on proper data entry methods. When customer service or teleservice representatives request e-mail addresses from customers during phone interactions, make sure they record the addresses correctly. For example, make sure they know to record John_doe@testcompany.com instead of jonunderscoredoe@testcompanydotcom.
Prompt customers to correct their e-mail address when they return to your Web site. If your Web site uses a customer log-in mechanism, you can use that customer ID to flag customers on your database whose e-mail addresses have gone bad. When they return to your Web site and log in, you can prompt them to update their e-mail address on the site or via a pop-up window.
Add an e-mail change of address facility to your Web site. Forty-three percent of companies do not have a Web site facility enabling customers to notify them of an e-mail address change. Without this capability, not only do you lose the customers who do not notify you of an e-mail address change, but you also lose the customers who want to tell you about the change, but can't.