Avoid the Postal Hike Blues with E-mail Appending

Apr 02, 2007 9:38 PM  By

Postal rates are increasing in May, and smart marketers are insulating themselves from the hit by plunging headfirst into acquiring multichannel contact points for all of their customers.

E-mail appending, a service where a vendor matches missing e-mail addresses to your postal file, must be considered. Typically, the costs are per matched e-mail address, and you only pay for those addresses that are deliverable.

When done correctly, e-mail appending can be an effective strategy to quickly increase the percentage of e-mail addresses in your file. Here are some reasons to add e-mail appending to your list growth strategies:

  • It’s fast. A vendor can find 10% to 20+% of your missing e-mail addresses in a matter of weeks.
  • It’s easy. You don’t have to make changes to your Website; you don’t need to design a new creative, etc.
  • It’s inexpensive. You’ll probably pay $0.30 or less per name — less than the cost of a postcard — and the price goes down as the input file size goes up.
  • It increases revenues. Every research study performed has shown that a multi-channel customer spends more than a single-channel customer.
  • It’s repeatable. You can use your vendor every quarter, as new data is always arriving.
  • It’s easy to calculate ROI. If you send out a postcard asking customers for their e-mail address, you can only estimate response rate and cost per e-mail acquired. With appending, you know your costs upfront, and ROI is easy to figure.
  • It’s green. Tell your customers that you wanted to save a tree and contact them by e-mail instead.
  • Your competitors are doing it. And worse, they’re insulating themselves against the postal rate increases while reaching your customers cost-effectively.

Thousands of companies have successfully used e-mail append services to build their e-mail list. Appending disasters are easy to avoid, just follow some simple rules:

  1. Get informed; find and work with an experienced vendor whom you trust, who will provide you with only 100% opted-in data.
  2. Only append your customer list, not your prospect list
  3. Understand the match-type your vendor is using and how to avoid sending a “Dear Sue” e-mail to Sue’s husband.
  4. Don’t drop your results in with your house file. Take the time to message them separately and introduce them to the value of receiving e-mails from you.

Austin C. Bliss is president of Newton, MA-base e-mail list hygiene company FreshAddress.