Check Your List Twice This Holiday Season

Posted by Julia Petre 

It’s the holidays and so many marketers are under pressure to deliver on their lofty goals, beat last year’s numbers, and go from red to black as early as possible. Email is a low cost, high margin medium, and executives all over the world are turning to email marketing managers and their digital team in hopes that their email marketing program will propel the business to levels this holiday season. 

Two common asks from the top? 

1. Mail to more subscribers—Let’s stretch the limit of who we’re mailing to. People are looking to shop this time of year and we don’t want to miss out on potential customers because we have suppressed subscribers who want to get mail from us.

2. Push email sign up at the point of collection—There’s no better prospect than a consumer standing at a register or in our store. Let’s incentivize our employees on the floor to collect email addresses and then mail away! 

As a marketer, both of these asks can be frightening. Naturally, you have suppressed those subscribers in the past for a reason. Mailing to them again without proper precautions can cause serious damage to your reputation and deliverability. Even more daunting is the idea of adding a large number of addresses to your list that are either riddled with misspellings or the customer made up on the spot and don’t actually exist. That is a surefire way to get blocked from the inbox.  

Check your list twice
To accomplish your two new directives while also protecting your access to subscribers inboxes, you need to verify each address before you add them to your list. To make help ensure thilist doesn’t contain invalid addresses that can harm your reputation and impact your KPIs, run these addresses through a list validation service. Email validation services are able to identify email addresses pre-deployment as either valid or invalid in three different ways.  

1. Determines if the email address follows the correct syntax and has the physical properties of an email address (i.e., does it have an @ symbol, Is the suffix a recognized email format, such as .com, .org, .net, .edu or .gov, etc.,) 

2. Authenticates the validity of the email domain (MX record) for the email address to make sure the email domain can send and receive emails. 

3. Connects directly to the email server to authenticate if the email address exists on the server.  

Once you verify which addresses are real addresses, segment the subscribers you don’t normally mail to into their own list for a while to monitor engagement and interaction with your mailings before you add them to your larger mailing list. Your email reputation is sensitive and is a constant focus for your team. One hiccup in your mailing strategy can cause problems that take months to clear up, ruining your entire holiday season. Make sure you aren’t adding any grinches to your list that will ruin Christmas. 

Author Image

About Julia Petre

Julia has worked at Return Path for almost 8 years. With stints on client service and product, she ultimately found her sweet spot as Director of Product Marketing. In this role, Julia is focused on understanding why our products matter to marketers, and plays an integral role in driving strategy, ideation, and collaboration across a variety of pre and post-launch activities.

Author Archive