- Set up an intermittent “check-in” interstitial page so, on a routine basis, you ask your customers to review and confirm their e-mail addresses. My bank occasionally asks me to confirm my e-mail address at log-in, and I don’t mind, as it is just one click to confirm. You also can set up your point-of-sale and customer service reps to confirm e-mail address information.
- Send dedicated “account maintenance” e-mails, asking for confirmation that you are reaching your customer at her preferred e-mail address.
- In addition to providing an unsubscribe link in your e-mail communications (in accordance with CAN-SPAM), provide an e-mail update link for those customers with whom you are communicating at the wrong addresses. You also can add this option to your unsubscribe landing page.
Reconnect with lost customers by updating your list. The bad or inactive e-mails on your list aren’t necessarily worthless; they just need a little TLC. They’re your customers; you invested plenty to acquire them. The value of reconnecting with them is huge. Conveniently, there are several ways to do this:
- If you have expertise with postal communications, you can consider a print campaign. A “we’re sorry we lost touch” theme with an incentive may prove fruitful. Be sure to keep a careful eye on ROI, as postal campaigns can be costly and response rates can be slow and low. Also, to minimize keystroking errors, point customers to a landing page where they can enter their own updated e-mail addresses.
- In much the same way you would ask for an update via postal mail, you can do the same via telephone or point-of-sale. Again, ROI on these initiatives could be tricky in terms of human resources and keystroking accuracy.
- By reviewing your list by hand or running it through a hygiene process, you can flag bogus and invalid e-mail addresses for permanent removal and obtain suggested corrections for common typos. If your list is too large for your internal team, an outside vendor can process it at a nominal cost.
- Just like using NCOA for your postal file, an ECOA (e-mail change of address service) can process your bounce/inactive e-mail list. Be sure you understand where the e-mail changes came from, as you want to be certain the customers you are recovering truly want to be found.
Your list is a critical part of your company’s livelihood. If the health of your list wanes, so does the prosperity of your company. Invest in the wellness of your list. By doing so habitually, you’ll reap the rewards of higher revenues, lower costs and happier customers.