Email Validation: A Critical Success Factor in Email Marketing
Businesses and consumers alike rely on emails for information and as a primary communication channel. As a result, email marketing is a high priority for businesses of all types and sizes.
Despite the creation of comprehensive email strategies, very few companies include email validation as a weapon in their arsenal. Dead-end email accounts slowly clog up your contact lists, wasting time and dollars as you send messages that are doomed to bounce back. Without this essential tool, even a masterfully crafted email marketing program can fall flat.
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Numerous statistics substantiate the reason why marketers are investing so much in email marketing. For example, The Radicati Group states that the total number of global email accounts is expected to exceed 4.9 billion by the end of 2017. Among those email users, 57 percent spend between 10 and 60 minutes reviewing marketing emails each week, as reported by ChoozOn.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that 81 percent of B2B marketers use email newsletters for content marketing, according to Content Marketing Institute. But what happens when people leave companies or make changes to their personal email addresses?
Poor list quality can quickly accumulate as these email accounts are abandoned by their owners. Similarly, many companies rely on gathering email addresses at the point of sale or from a mobile device. When entering verifying information on a mobile, typos can be made by the email owner that are only discovered later, when marketing emails go undelivered.
These issues leave you struggling to reach your primary targets. An updated email list is critical to making the most of the return on investment that email marketing offers. According to Andrew Blazewicz, co-founder of the email validation service Email Checker, "Webmasters and internet marketers send thousands of emails to their clients and potential customers every day. Emails bouncing back means a reduced Sender Score, which is a rating between zero and 100 that identifies your sender reputation and shows how other mailbox providers view your IP address.”
Blazewicz explains the importance of these Sender Scores to an email marketing campaign’s success. “It is similar to a credit score when testing creditworthiness. Instead, it tests deliverability worthiness. A high Sender Score means the majority of email campaign messages will reach the inboxes. In contrast, a low Sender Score means messages will end up in recipients' junk folders or be blocked by the mailbox provider."
Email verification, or email validation, is a potential solution to the epidemic of inaccurate or abandoned email addresses. Email verification can step in to keep your connections current with loyal subscribers or interested prospects for better email marketing results.
Using an email validation process includes real-time verification of subscribers on your email list, both as they enter the email and in batch form with your existing list. It’s ideal for ensuring accuracy for both new and long-established email lists.
When you send an email campaign to thousands of email addresses, imagine how much a more accurate list will benefit your marketing program.
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The biggest benefit is the amount of money you can save through reduced marketing costs. Every message that is sent represents dollars spent, so each marketing message that travels to nonexistent or inaccurate email addresses equates to dollars down the drain.
With a more accurate, validated list, you'll likely report an overall higher return on investment for your efforts -- after all, your campaign statistics will no longer come back lower than expected. When management starts to see significant results from your email efforts, those results can translate to more dollars directed toward future email marketing campaigns.
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Along with poor campaign statistics, an inaccurate email list won't provide actionable data insights that can offer direction for future engagement strategies or content themes. That information is vital for your return on investment, and a chorus of bounced emails provides nothing but noise.
A validated email list will tell you who’s an active user and who has used your company’s services or products in the past, among many other insights. This provides a way to further segment your email marketing strategy. You can send separate messaging to each group, incentivizing group members to return or offering them updates related to their recent purchases.
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If your bounce rate increases and email providers start banning you from their services, your reputation as a business will be on the line. No one wants his brand to have "spammer" associated with it. Therefore, email validation can go a long way toward maintaining your status as a reputable brand with your Email Service Provider (ESP), Internet Service Provider (ISP) and target audience.
While we all want to handle emails properly and change our information when we need to, the reality is that marketing subscriptions often fall through the cracks. Your audience members won't always remember or take the time to report to you when their addresses change.
That's why you need an email validation tactic in your email marketing strategy to stay relevant and reap the many benefits of an email marketing campaign -- otherwise, your message is just falling on deaf ears.
Serenity Gibbons is a former assistant editor at the Wall Street Journal and a New York University aumnus living in sunny California. She is the local unit lead for NAACP in Northern California with a mission is to ensure the political...