Every business sets up an email account right after they secure their site domain. Right after this, the roads diverge as to what businesses do with their email data. Some organizations only see their own email addresses as a way to communicate out to the world and impose incredibly tight spam rules on their email server to barely allow any outside communication in. Some organizations see email as a lead generation tool and do everything they can to obtain prospect and customer email addresses so that they can use the channel to push messages about their products or services.
Despite the road travelled, most organizations are still incredibly fuzzy on the laws governing email compliance and the coming of GDPR is finally shining a light on organizational email data practices. If we are following good email data hygiene and permission practices such as double opt-in, invalid email clean-up and email address pruning due to low engagement, the email data that we have is gold.
Being realistic about email data means that the organization needs to let go of bragging rights based on quantity, and instead, focus on quality. Understanding and cultivating real relationships via email means that you have to get real about who is really opening your emails and who isn’t. For those that aren’t, you need to face facts that, despite its low cost, email is not connecting with these people and you need to try another medium. This is perhaps the hardest part of understanding your email data.
For all of the invalids that you have in the database, another hard truth needs to be faced. Why did these emails go invalid? Organizations have long ignored these and not deleted them from their database, but with the much stricter rules now employed by Email Service Providers, organizations need to let go and do the hard work of tracking down the individual to get a new email address and re-permission him/her or delete the record (read Litmus’ 2020 report for great info). Organizations are reluctant to do the latter because it is so much easier to keep emailing non-openers and invalids than it is to focus on collecting new email addresses.
Knowing your good and bad data is invaluable to an organization-especially when it comes to identifying hot prospects and engaged customers. With real email data that includes open rate, click through rate and conversion rate, your organization can now test messages, engage recipients in additional digital interaction such as surveys, polls and quizzes to collect additional information that can be folded back into providing more valuable information. Sending new information down the email channel allows the organization to let the engaged customers bubble up to the top whereby you can reward their loyal behavior while also letting hot prospects bubble up whose email behavior is indicating shopping behavior.
Viewing your email data from the lens of both customer experience and buyer journey viewpoints allows organizations a fresh approach on the need for crafting email campaigns. Too often, email is abused as an easy way to blast messages and customers are so saturated with blast email that they tune out. Take care of your email data and see it for the gold that it is–safeguard it and value its preciousness.