Nuts & Bolts - Eye on Privacy: List Hygiene: Your Smartest Move
When it comes to e-mail, the DMA recommends a complaint rate of no more than .1 percent. It's also widely recognized that ISPs use abandoned
e-mail addresses as spam traps. So, unless you want to spend precious amounts of time and money convincing ISPs you're not a spammer, list hygiene is a nearly cost-free way to increase e-mail deliverability.
All of the cost-savings arguments for good list hygiene practices don't even take into account the shrinking tolerance consumers have for irrelevant marketing. Whether online or off, the trip from inbox to recycle bin is getting shorter as attention-starved consumers look to simplify their lives. They do not have the time nor the inclination to deduce why marketers would waste resources to send the proverbial vinyl-siding ad to the apartment resident.
Then there are brand costs to consider. Think about the reputational, privacy and environmental costs that your organization suffers from poor list hygiene practices.
The reality is that poor list hygiene can telegraph to your current and prospective customers that your offer is not valuable, or that you do not respect them or the environment-none of these are desired outcomes.
So, use all of the suppression and hygiene tools available to you. For example, use DMA's Mail Preference Service. Don't overlook the importance of in-house suppress. Leverage NCOA and other address hygiene systems. Begin to explore the operational benefits and costs of opt-down-not just opt-out.
Again, can there be targeted marketing without accurate information? I say no. But the information necessary to achieve clean lists does exist. Leverage it to go for that triple win.
Lou Mastria, CIPP, is chief privacy officer and vice president of public affairs at NextAction Corp., a Westminster, Colo.-based provider of cooperative data solutions for multichannel retailers. He can be reached at (908) 363-0983, or by e-mail at email@example.com.