But how sure are you, really, that the email lists you acquire are sanitized? That whomever you obtained them from understands “freewill opt-in” the same way that you do? In other words… do you really know where your email list has been?
Just getting your kids in by curfew isn’t all there is to being a parent, and just getting lists that are “probably good enough” isn’t all there is to being an internet retailer. Yet how can you make sure that your list has been cleaned, cleared, sanitized? How do you know where it’s been before you send it on to where you want it to go?
Because not knowing entails risk: risk to your company name, to your brand name, and to your deliverability.
The first step is elementary: do not ever simply buy a list and send to it. Even the most honest of list brokers make mistakes, and it’s your company name that’s going to be viewed as the sender. The reality is that many—if not most—lists are compiled from a variety of places, and what that can end up leaving you with is, quite simply, multi-sourced junk.
Lists are often amalgamated from various sources in order to give them bulk, or bought as whole chunks and cut up into pieces and sold. What this means is that there’s no recency: you may be getting addresses that were collected years ago. Someone may have filled out a postcard at a retail store in 2010 in order to receive some sale and coupon information from that retailer… and then, suddenly, that consumer may suddenly be getting offers on peanut butter or vacation rentals.
There’s no identification as to where these offers came from, no tracing them back to that fateful day in the mall when the unwitting consumer filled out a postcard. There’s often even little relevancy to the information that the consumer was originally requesting.
In addition, these are typically the emails that subsist on click fraud, where there can be a 17% open rate… and no sales.
So be a good email list “parent.” Know where your list has been, and exactly who it’s going to. After all, it’s a scary world out there: give your customers every reason in the world to trust you… no matter what time it is!