How Marketers Can Benefit From Email Database Services
Ask about their data sources as well. Make sure the data is licensed and they're providing opted-in emails from the start. Additionally, make sure any prospective provider has date, timestamp and source code information. This will all help to alleviate any future problems if someone does happen to question how you acquired their email address. You'll be able to provide them with all of the information necessary on when they volunteered their email address.
2. Make sure there's an opt-in permission pass. This should seem like a no-brainer, but many providers in the appending space don't come close to promising this. The opt-in permission process will confirm deliverability of all the email addresses on your list and cut down on the bounces you receive back. In addition, it gives the recipient the choice to opt in or opt out, thereby minimizing the risk of complaints.
3. Make sure the data is cleaned. Some companies on the market will provide you with a list that they say has been permission passed, but they won't perform basic hygiene on the list. Thus, there are a lot of undesirable and even toxic email addresses that may slip through the permission process. What if the email address is on the Direct Marketing Association's e-MPS suppression? Even if it's deliverable, do you really want to buy the email address firstname.lastname@example.org? What about email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or some other malicious address? And by the way, spamtrap and honeypot addresses, the bane of every email marketer's existence, are deliverable!
Email hygiene is arguably just as important as the permission pass. Don't just take a company's word for its hygiene processes; do your research to determine if it has the history and expertise to back up its claims.
4. Work only with your customer file. This goes back to the point about using email as a list engagement strategy. Some marketers think they can run an email append on a prospect list and they'll get a great ROI. What will happen is your program is opened up to spam complaints and blocking and blacklisting issues. Work with those customers, members, donors, etc., who have already done business with you. Appending only those who have an existing relationship with you is a great way to make your email append work and stay within compliance.
Related story: How to Grow a Successful Email List