Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Shopping’

‘Tis the Season: The Importance of Email Validation for the Holidays

People will always debate whether stores put out their holiday merchandise too soon. (Not all of you like being reminded that the holidays are just around the corner!) But we can all agree on one thing: it is never too early to make sure that your email contact list is genuine, accurate and ready for your holiday marketing campaigns.

From Black Friday and Cyber Monday all the way to the end of the year, the holidays are the busiest season by far for many businesses, particularly retailers.

According to recent 2018 statistics, as much as 30% of their sales take place over the holiday period, with total holiday retail sales climbing over the US$1 trillion mark for the first time last year – and nearly a quarter of these sales were generated through email marketing.

As the holidays approach, email validation plays a vital role in communicating with your customers and prospects. It impacts customer service issues, order confirmation, promotional marketing campaigns and sales efforts. Let’s look at some of the ways it can help make your holiday business season a success.

What email validation can do for you

When you use our DOTS Email Validation product with your email contact list, here are some of the things it will do for your holiday marketing and customer contact efforts:

Make sure your contacts are real contacts. We screen for obviously fake email addresses, so they don’t become part of your marketing contact list forever. These checks include bogus addresses, invalid domains, garbage and vulgar names, and more.

Fix common errors. With our automated syntax and error correction capabilities, you won’t lose a valuable contact because they did things like leaving off the “.com” or misspelling Gmail.

Ensure deliverability. This capability sets our email validation apart from most of the industry: we have the ability to make sure your email addresses work. In short, we check to make sure the email server AND address is able to receive email. This also includes checks for blacklists, known greylisters, invalid DNS records, and more.

Keep the bad guys out. Not every email contact has the best of intentions, and the busy holidays are classically the peak season for retail fraud. Still others steal your time by being known spammers or bots. We check for suspicious email addresses that are bogus, disposable, or known bad actors, so you can take corrective action ahead of time.

Protect your sender reputation. Even when you are careful about obtaining your email contacts in the first place, you are at risk of sending emails that could get you blacklisted from ISPs or run afoul of the CAN-SPAM Act against unsolicited commercial email – because you have little control over what a contact enters. We warn you about addresses that are known spam traps, honeypots, and role email addresses (read more about the importance of identifying role addresses from our blog, Email Marketing Tip: Dealing With Role Addresses).

Save time and money. Above all, email validation helps you market cost-effectively to a cleaner list, reducing bounce rates by up to 90 percent and making sure your message gets through to more contacts, which ultimately drives more revenue.

Taking a best practice approach to data quality at the holidays

Email validation is an essential part of your data hygiene strategy, particularly during the busy holiday retail season. Moreover, since email contact information is constantly changing, it is important to validate these email addresses at both the time of data entry and each time you run a campaign.

We make this easy for you by checking your email against over 50 proprietary tests and returning an easy-to-interpret quality score from 0 to 4, as well as specific details on the results. And our API interfaces allow you to implement email validation directly in most popular CRM and marketing automation platforms.

Want to learn more about how email validation can make your holiday season more profitable? Download our free whitepaper The ROI of Real-Time Email Validation to learn more, or contact us for a free consultation on your own specific email marketing situation.

Black Friday Neon Sign

Exceptional Customer Service Knows No Holiday

The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season, with Black Friday sales bolstering bottom lines and consumer spirits. Retailers, online and off, are expected to see another year of record-breaking holiday sales.

Live support when our customers need it most

Thanksgiving has been a source of controversy in the retail industry in recent years, with more companies opening their doors for blockbuster sales on Thanksgiving Day itself – and some companies vowing to stay closed through the holiday.

Our stance? When our customers are open, we’re open. During the busiest and most mission-critical times of the selling season, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s crucial that the businesses that support retail transactions are available if questions arise.

Our commitment to customer service excellence

Supporting our customers through the busiest time of the year is just one way that Service Objects is committed to customer service excellence. Our customers benefit from our sub-second response rates, 99.999% server uptime and dedicated 24/7/365 technical support. The entire Service Objects team takes pride in our customers’ success.

Record sales, record transactions

Loeb, Visa, and eMarketer predict retail sales will continue to grow, with holiday sales rising between 3.5-4.8% in 2018.

According to Geoff Grow, Chief Executive Officer at Service Objects, industry trends and forecasts predict that Service Objects will exceed transactions processed over the 2017 holiday, making Black Friday a prime day for a record number of transactions. He says, “Our services will continue to ensure that merchants can validate, clean and enhance their customer contact data in real time, backed by the support of our industry-leading technical team and extensive data sources.”

Services for busy retailers

While 2018’s projected growth presents an exciting opportunity for retailers, it is not without risk: with record sales come record opportunities for data entry mistakes and fraudulent orders.

Service Objects offers 24 different contact data APIs that validate a person’s name, global address, phone and email address against hundreds of authoritative data sources. Our tools can also append missing contact information or provide location intelligence about your contacts. We even have a service that provides sales and use tax rates based on a contact’s location. No matter what data quality challenge your business is facing, we have a solution that meets your needs.

If you have a question about how our data validation services can help your business, reach out to our team. If you’re a current customer with a support question, you can open a support ticket here.