Errors can be embarrassing, but there are worse things than that, namely not to learn from mistakes. Unfortunately, not all errors in email marketing are obvious or easy to fix, so it is better to deal with how to avoid them in the first place.

All professionals working in email marketing want to do their job as efficiently and successfully as possible. Unfortunately, they often don’t give the set-up and maintenance of their existing email distribution list the necessary attention. Keep in mind that the most valuable asset in email marketing is not the soft or hardware used, nor your advertising medium or the advertised product, but your database (inventory) of email addresses and related information. The email distribution list is your key asset and often decides the success or failure of your email campaigns.

You should therefore avoid the biggest mistakes, which are explained in more detail in the following points:

No storage of the origin address

The advantages of purchasing data is obvious, you can win within a short time large amounts of data which can be used in general without restriction for your own marketing activities. Still, be careful and consider a few points to do it right.

One of the most commonly observed errors in connection with the establishment and maintenance of an email distribution list is the lack of information about the origin of the address. This information is not only important in case you may need proof, but you should not forgo getting essential insights into the quality of the corresponding generation channel. Data from dubious sources can harm your reputation and jeopardize your entire email marketing program. Therefore, invest enough time in the selection of the appropriate provider - it's worth it.

No maintenance of the existing data

Data becomes rapidly obsolete. Many operators of email marketing programs place too little emphasis on talking care of their data. Therefore, provide a permanent adjustment of your data and remove addresses that are undeliverable (bounce) consistently from your database. Make use of the experience of the operator of your email delivery solution (ASP). There are guidelines on when a hard or soft bounce should be inactivated and you should be aware of them, but eliminate in any way incorrect addresses immediately.

No data erasure despite opt-out

When someone unsubscribes from your newsletter, delete these users immediately without any ifs and or buts from your mailing list. Don’t use special black lists or any temporary files, but make sure to delete the data of the recipient from your master file to ensure that the address is no longer used. In all other cases there is always the danger of an accidental, repeated use. A consistent approach protects your reputation, so do not take any risks.

No use of a centralized master file

A central master file should be the core of your email database. It’s the specific file that gets all your attention and should be well maintained by you as it is the basis of all your sending activity. Distributed data always carries the risk of an erroneous use and makes all procedures more difficult when it comes to taking care of your data. Unwanted data redundancies are also a frequently observed problem.

When creating a master file, you should store at least the following information:

  • Email address
  • Name attributes
  • Date and time of registration
  • IP address of the registration
  • Segmentation data (categories which give information about the form of advertising)
  • Generation channel
  • Opt-in status
  • Type of authorized communication (promotional email, transactional mail, coupons, etc.)

Do not forget the best in conclusion

At no time is the attention of the mailing recipients as high as immediately after their registration. Studies show that opening rates are four times higher and click-through rates even five times as high as when sending normal promotional emails. Companies should therefore use the start-up phase to their advantage and benefit from an average eight times higher potential turnover!

By Daniela La Marca