Business and Consumer Email Appending Process-Simplified and Explained
First things first- email marketing isn’t easy. Let’s make that crystal clear. It takes a significant amount of effort, resources and damn good luck to actually reach the mythical ROI of $39 dollars per mail sent. This figure has been thrown around far too often today and nobody thinks of all the lost sleep, friendships and sanity that you forgo when you try to achieve it.
Email marketers are a finicky lot, and you know why? Email marketing is a tough task master. As what the great Rocky Balboa told his son – “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”. We feel email marketers take this as gospel and run with it.
Email appending and why you need it
Now that we understand email marketing is not as easy as it seems, there is a silver bullet you can actually use to tame this beast. It is called email appending. You may or may not have heard it, but an email marketer, you better have heard it, if not used it.
Email appending means adding email addresses that are missing from your data fields.
Take for example you have a hundred addresses of everyone who has shopped with you over a period of 1 month. You have a check out form and you ask for their postal addresses including full name and DOB.
Now, you wish to run an email campaign telling them about your holiday offers. How do you do that? You don’t have the email addresses. You do email appending. Now the catch here is that you need to ask for permission to mail them. Do not start sending them promotional mails as soon as you get your hands on their email. You will get burned, trust us. Permission based marketing and email appending go hand in hand. Send out a welcome email that asks for their permission, the chances of you getting it are high, since you are already their trusted business provider.
Email appending is a boon for those looking to improve, invigorate and boost their margins via email marketing. There are many situations where you can use email appending.
- If you have postal addresses only and need email addresses
- You have erroneous emails in your database
- You are looking to spruce up your database
- You haven’t used your database for a considerable amount of time ( 2-3 months)
Most email marketers fall into at least one of these categories, if not all. Email appending gives you the ability to reach out to those whom you know and those who have interacted with you but you don’t know their email address. It’s like asking for the number of the cute girl you spoke to at the coffee shop, from the barista. The barista informs the girl that you need her number; she says yes, you get the number and you’re on a date with her at the same coffee shop!
Now the barista is the email append service provider here. It is important to know that the barista has only opt-in email addresses, i.e. ones who have given it willingly and not purchased. You turn into a right stalker if you get her number from unknown sources and send her messages. Mate- that’s creepy.
Before you go about conducting the business of email appending and choosing a partner- aka barista, you need to know his credentials. Is he trust worthy, how did he get her number and does he hand it out to everyone who asks, without her permission? These can be quite important in the long run. It can be the difference between happy customers who were waiting to be contacted by you with offers or a lawsuit in the millions.
There are different types of email appending as there are different types of industries. Not to get into the technical aspects of each industry, we have short listed 2 distinct types- B2B email appending and consumer email appending.
The B2B spectrum is a whole universe in itself where the contacts are essentially businesses owners, decision makers, sales and marketing execs and so on. The deal sizes are big, deals take months to years to convert and personal interaction in the form of emails to their personal addresses for marketing are a strict no no.
Consumer or the B2C universe is quite different really. You need to get hold of personal email addresses because you are selling to an individual and not a business. Individuals usually have personal email addresses they use for shopping related activities. They get their advertising mail to this email address and you need to get in there.
Business email appending
The most commonly used email appending process is business email append. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, business emails are not the same as personal email addresses. They keep changing. Most people keep and use their personal email addresses for a really long time. When a person changes jobs, the email addresses changes. This prompts for email appending.
Here are some of the benefits that we know
- It enables a multichannel marketing approach
- Increases online marketing revenues
- Helps in capturing repeat business and loyalty
Business email append takes a lot of effort to do, as it is a volatile sector. Erroneously sending emails that aren’t permission based can have serious consequences. For this, a trustworthy email append service provider as a partner is important. Preferably someone who has email marketing as a service too. The size of their database should not be a sale point. It can be a part of your appraisal process but the source and the means of carrying out email appending are important. It is essential to understand the source of their email collection processes and how they run the email append process.
The process in itself isn’t that complicated. There are a minimum of 5 stages that allow you to get a hold of good, qualified and correct email addresses.
- Send your database to service provider
- They match it with their database
- Update and scrub erroneous entries
- Send opt-in requests
- Remove opt-outs, scrub and cleanse list
- Take delivery of appended list
We will go ahead and detail the various steps involved in the process of B2B email appending process. Now, these are the standard processes and they can change with additions and steps removed as per the service provider and your requirement. We believe that these steps are essential to make the process successful and accurate. B2B appending is serious business and there are certain reasons for this. Firstly, it involves corporate accounts and other businesses. Sending unsolicited emails to them is a serious breach of data security laws in many countries. Hence, it needs to be done in the right way, ethically and smartly.
Standardization of received data
This is the first process and helps in increasing the match rates. The data that is received by the appending service provider is standardized, including the company name. There will invariably be duplicate records which need to be removed via data hygiene processes. A good service provider will incorporate this into their process to ensure enhanced results and cleaner, safer data.
Match and generation
This is a multi stage process. The domain that the company uses for email where your contact is currently working is identified. Most service providers have a reference table that allows them to determine the naming convention used by the domain. Then the desired contact is retrieved by following the naming convention and specific domain of the company.
Validation of new records
It is important to validate and confirm the authenticity of the acquired email address. For this purpose, a mail is sent. It is usually the welcome email and is sent on behalf of you. This has multiple functions.
- Confirms the existence and delivery status of the mail.
- Subscriber opt-in function.
- Helps in maintaining data hygiene.
After the welcome email is sent, the final list is created. This list will not have hard bounces, duplicates and unsubscribe mails. One of the many reasons appending works better than most hygiene and enhancement processes is due to the various steps involved and also the last step particularly.
There are certain things we need to remember as someone who requires email appending.
- You need to make sure you do not send your master data file.
- Do not send files older than 2 years.
- Make sure you have done a quality check on the files yourself.
Minimum set of fields required for B2B appending to be successful are as follows
- First Name
- Last Name
- Company Name
- Street Address
- Zip code
There are many things that need to work well for B2B appending to be successful. For starters, the database that you use to make the matches needs to be of good quality, have all the necessary fields, has to be of substantial size and the provider has to be open and clear about the sources that he uses to collect the data.
Compliance is important, more so today. It has a domino effect. It not only affects the service provider, it also affects you as a business and the receiver as their email service provider will have to work extra to sort out any issues. So having an eye out for compliance is important while getting email appending done- more so email appending.
The welcome email is a crucial aspect of the email appending process. It has multiple functions and as someone interested in email marketing, it is your way to learn how the process works with new prospects, the unsubscribe request and what you need to do about such things.
The welcome email has multiple benefits.
- It removes uninterested emails
- It acts as a filter confirming delivery
- It sets up your email campaigns
B2B email appending advantages
B2B email appending has multiple benefits that can have a ripple effect on your business. The digital economy demands that you do email marketing. Email appending helps you reach out to prospects and the ones you may have lost contact with. This essentially maximizes your chances of sales and this is a good thing.
- It helps you make connections, which can turn into hot leads
- Initiates repeat business mechanism easily and quickly
- Creates higher brand presence in the digital spectrum
- Online sales get a dramatic boost
Consumer Email Appending
Even though, email appending services doesn’t change much when transitioning from B2B to B2C, there are subtle differences. These differences are important enough for you to take notice and understand them.
Firstly, people have multiple personal email addresses. It is a normal thing today but this has affected email campaigns for businesses. Getting the right address that is used by the contact in your database isn’t an easy task. If it has to be done manually, it will take centuries to get completed. This is why B2C email appending is important, as it is fast, easy and effective.
For a consumer append function, the requirements from your current database are a little lesser. Here you will only need consumer name and address as against a minimum of 4 fields for B2B.
For B2C appending, there are 3 match types.
It is up to you as a business to decide what type of match you will need to run you campaigns.
- Individual- it is an exact match to the name you provide in the database.
- Household match- it is a match to anyone over 18 years older in the address you provided if the individual match does not exist.
- All per- with all per, the service provider will return all possible matches to the name in the database. This is possible because as stated earlier, people may keep multiple accounts with the same name across email service providers.
Match code- this is an important subset of the match type. Keeping aside exact first name match, spelling changes can occur. This means that one name can be spelled in many different names. Providers usually will give you close matches for the first name as long as the last name and address are exact matches. These files can be coded and marked and it is up to you to use them during your campaigns. It is the same for address components too.
The big benefits of B2C email appending
For anyone trying to improve their reach and maximize the potential of their email campaigns, email appending is the best option. It opens up the digital marketing gateways, creates new opportunities, enhances brand presence online and improves your over email marketing campaign metrics.
- You get 100% verified email addresses only. They are all opted-in.
- It gives you more than one email address, which increases your hit rate exponentially.
- The consumer industry is high volume and reaching the right person is an extremely important aspect of B2C marketing, email appending helps you do that easily.
- It is a cost effective way to connect with past customers.
- It improves your chances of resale, as customers already know your brand.
- It brings down campaigns costs and increases security.
You can run personalized campaigns easily with complete data now. One of the cornerstones of email marketing is segmentation. Complete contact details are essential to do this. Email appending helps in making your list ready for these processes. With higher segmentation you are able to send personalized emails and this improves your overall campaign results.
It helps in rekindling old relationships. These are important today since the increase in competition. It is crucial to keep old customers happy who will not only give you business, again, but they become brand ambassadors for you. These brand ambassadors are what every brand is looking for and email appending is the perfect tool for you to find them.
B2B and B2C may be 2 different types of industries but the basic tenets of marketing are the same here. It takes a lot of time and effort to crack through with email marketing. If you have imperfect databases, then the task becomes a lot more difficult. Email appending is what makes it better. It allows you to focus on those groups of users who know you and this gives you an added benefit. The process is easy if it is done according to the processes outlines previously. It should be done carefully as there are some things that can go wrong. Caution is important as it is with anything related to email marketing. Email appending needs to be taken seriously by email marketers as it gives you fantastic results with less time and effort spent.