When you work and live in the email world, email marketing becomes the prism through which you look at life — and the news! That’s why email marketers were so eager to analyze the recent presidential campaigns. Based on statements made by their strategy teams, President Obama’s email database entries and outreach efforts outnumbered that of Mitt Romney’s by 20 to one. Yes, 20 to one! With mere percentage points separating the winner from the loser in “all or nothing” electoral vote swing states, it’s easy to see the impact email marketing had on the outcome of this election.
StrongMail’s crystal ball
This certainly makes it look like email service provider StrongMail had a crystal ball earlier this fall when it authored the widely circulated assessment that Obama would be able to leverage email to his distinct advantage. StrongMail not only pointed out that Obama’s email list was significantly larger than Romney’s, but also stressed that his aggressive use of the medium could usher in a victory more easily than Romney’s old-line tactics.
The numbers don’t lie: bigger is better
Working by the numbers, be it number of recipients or number of times to email, is nothing new for email marketers who every day face the same daunting challenge of list growth that political teams face every election cycle. Similarly to the candidates’ teams, the list growth strategies email marketers employ are creative and increasingly sophisticated, including search engine optimization campaigns, social acquisition and loyalty programs, email appending, sweepstakes, etc. Furthermore, with collection points and real-time validation employed at all the key points of online collection and engagement, email marketers are clearly awash in big data.
Once the presidential race was over however, and the votes and spent dollars were counted, the size of the underlying email database proved to be the most significant variable in the final results.
With the election now over and the holidays knocking on our door, the lesson should be clear: enhancing your customer database needs to be on the front burner for marketers. One of the simplest and most cost-effective list enhancement strategies at your disposal is email appending.
Email appending is one of the more polarizing strategies available to email marketers, but if performed in a careful, conscientious and professional manner by an experienced provider, it might get you elected president, too.
Engage, engage, engage
Email appending isn’t an acquisition strategy, it’s an engagement strategy. You’ve already acquired the customer database you’ll use as the basis for adding email addresses. This is one of the most valuable assets you have — buyers, donors, hand-raisers who have already proactively engaged with you through one of your marketing channels. Email appending allows you to broaden the communications you have with your customers in the most cost-effective, ecologically sensible and timely manner available to you — i.e., through emails.
4 easy pieces
Here are four easy steps to take to make sure your email append goes well.
1. Find a reputable provider. There are so many fly-by-night providers in the industry these days, and each of them claims to be the better than the next. They’ll entice you with ridiculously cheap pricing, but can you trust them with your customer database? Furthermore, much of their data will be scraped or purchased and thereby contain spamtrap or honeypot addresses, which lead to blocking and blacklisting issues. There’s a reason why it’s so cheap. Self-registered, opt-in data doesn’t come cheap, but it’s the only way to go. Unfortunately, these “providers” give email appending the black eye it doesn’t deserve.