Few marketing channels share the power of email. It is immediate, urgent, personalized and inexpensive. And according to the Direct Marketing Association, it has the highest ROI of any marketing channel: an amazing 4300%.
Here are some of the key benefits of good email campaigns:
- The cost per contact of email is extremely low compared with other channels.
- Email is easily personalized by customer, market segment, or demographic.
- Email marketing is much kinder to the environment, versus using natural resources such as direct mail.
- Your email assets can help you make more informed decisions, develop more effective marketing strategies and strengthen customer/prospect relationships.
That said, your email marketing strategy is only as good as the quality of your email list.
The importance of data quality and email
The allure of email has always been its scalability: with one press of the “Return” key, your message can go out to dozens, hundreds, or even millions of people. Once you absorb the cost of acquiring email contact data, the costs of its re-use are minimal. So once upon a time, not that many years ago, marketers simply accepted a certain percentage of bad or misdirected email addresses as part of the process.
Today this is no longer the case. As people’s in-boxes have become flooded with spam, and marketers compete more than ever for busy peoples’ eyeballs, the quality of your email contact list has become extremely important. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Time and money
As email lists continue to grow and expand, the human costs of processing bad data and updating contact lists continues to grow as well.
Brand image and customer reputation
Mis-directed email is almost universally unwelcome and perceived as spam, which in turn affects the public reputation of your brand and organization.
When someone provides a bogus email address such as “HowdyDoody@nobody.com,” particularly in conjunction with other contact information, adding them to your list of leads potentially wastes marketing resources in all of your channels.
Laws and regulations such as the US CAN-SPAM act or the European Union’s General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) restrict unsolicited email marketing nowadays, with potentially severe penalties.
Lost marketing opportunities
Send unwanted email to the wrong address, and you could be blacklisted from an entire corporate domain— losing access to all of their prospects and customers. These last two reasons are especially important, because bad data now has the potential to do real harm to your business. And all of these factors add up to a future where more accurate and careful email marketing has become an increasing necessity. Email lists are a valuable business asset, but data quality— particularly authenticity and accuracy—always wins out over quantity.
That’s where real-time email validation comes in to separate the good emails from the bad ones.
An advanced email address validation and verification service, such as Service Objects’ DOTS Email Validation, uses sophisticated algorithms and dozens of rules and tests to instantly weed out invalid email addresses. It will also cross reference proprietary data for known bogus emails or spamtraps. Every email validation system should also check for the following:
- Email address syntax
- Individual domain specific mailbox rules
- Improbable names (vulgar, famous, bogus, or suspicious keystroke sequences)
- Mail exchange record of domain is valid and accepting mail
- SMTP server for domain
- Mailbox is accepting mail (when possible)
Want to learn more? Download our free whitepaper, The ROI of Real-Time Email Validation, to explore how to get the most profitability and customer engagement from your email marketing. The strategies presented will not only improve your response rates and effectiveness, they will help protect your organization from a host of issues including fraud, blacklisting and regulatory concerns.