According to Mailchimp the average email bounce rate is 1%. That may not seem like a big number for most of the businesses we talk to. It grows quite quickly however, when we start to look at all of the costs associated with each bounced email.
In addition to the obvious fraction of a pence wasted to send that email, there is the wasted ad spend to collect that email address, which depending on your business can be as much as £100 or more. Then you have the knock-on effects of your email deliverability and inbox placement. Finally, but certainly not least is the opportunity cost of the lost sale. In addition to the financial impact, there are other benefits to cleaning up your email data.
Email is already used to identify visitors across multiple platforms and over multiple visits. With the quickening death of tracking cookies, email will become even more important for accurate visitor identification. Even your most loyal customers can get their email address wrong. Fat fingers entering details into a form while the brain is doing fifteen other things is a recipe for a typo.
Bad data also screws up your results. Incorrectly entered, dormant, disposable and bot generated addresses all receive your email (i.e. do not bounce) but they are never going to open or click those emails much less buy anything from you. They just make your stats look bad.
Lastly as we mentioned above, cleaner email data is one of the factors that leads to better in-box placement. The big email receivers like Google and Microsoft use complicated algorithms that look at more than 1,000 attributes to determine whether your email goes into the inbox, the spam folder or the bin. While these algorithms are designed to make decisions at the individual recipient level, they still look at the general reputation of the sender and a lot of that is driven by good data quality and proper data management.
Here are three things that you can do right now to make your email data better.
Validate the Email Address
The good thing about email addresses is that there are clear rules about their format such as they all must have:
• An @ sign
• Something after the @ sign
• At least one ‘.’ after the @ sign
You can build these rules into your form.
Take a look at your current email database to find your most common domains. You can add a rule to your form that checks for all of the common misspellings (e.g. gmial instead of gmail). Role email addresses such as ‘info@’ and ‘sales@’ are a big source of bad data in B2B. Add a validation rule to your form to prevent them. Set up your form so that all of these rules must be p[assed before the submit button can be pressed and whenever a rule is triggered the form should prompt the user to correct the error.
Verify the Email Address
Just because the email address passes all of your validation rules does not mean that the email address is going to connect with your customer. The most common reasons for this are:
• There could still be a problem before the @ sign
• The domain may not be valid or may not accept email
• It is a disposable email address
Email verification helps you weed out all of these problems before the user leaves the form, giving you the opportunity to get a correct email address or prevent that data from getting into your database.
Confirm the Email Address
There is now just one final check needed before you put that address in your database. You know the email address is valid and works but you do not know if the email address is actually associated with the person who filled out the form. For this you need to send a confirmation email on which the recipient has to click to confirm that they completed your form.
When you consider the costs, your inability to identify users across device, the impact on your results and the damage to your sender reputation, a 1% bounce rate suddenly becomes significant. The three steps you can take to improve your email data are pretty straightforward but can be labour intensive to implement.
LOLAMATIC makes this easy. We have been helping clients clean up their email data for twenty years, so we know all of the validation rules and have included them in the platform. We partner with the leading email verification companies and then add our experience on top to explain the results. Working with our implementation specialists we can have the LOLAMATIC code up and running on your form in about ten minutes.
Check out our email address validation and verification for yourself and then sign up to get your free trial.