Managing A Contact List in an Email Marketing Campaign

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Intro

The most vital element of your email marketing campaign is acquiring contacts. In order to maintain a database that is constantly up to date, it is essential that your clients have the ability to modify their details if and when they change. Emails sent to clients from your database will most likely bounce back if you are sending them to email addresses that are no longer in operation.

Email Bounces

Email bouncing is when mail is sent out but it has been unable to be delivered, this means that it gets sent back with delivery failure notice. Because emails can bounce for a number of reasons, the type of bounce can fall in to one of two categories.

Hard Bounces

Permanently undeliverable mail that has been sent over a remote server such as Gmail will in known as a hard bounce. The functionality of your email relies on SMTP, which controls how it is delivered. The SMTP commands dictate who the email recipient should be, as well as their location. SMTP will offer you an error code once your email bounces back, detailing the reason why it was deemed undeliverable. There are numerous reasons as to why your email may bounce back, such as the recipients server blocking your mail automatically or out of date email addresses.

Soft Bouncing

When an email is returned from an address that is still currently in use, for a different reason, then it is known as a soft bounce. A soft bounce is only temporary and once the issue has been resolved you should be able to send you mail successfully, the most common reason for soft bounces occurring are a overfilled inbox and a server has gone down somewhere. Soft bounces can be resolved and the email successfully sent once the problem is fixed, common causes for such an error include server problems and full inboxes.

Another reason for soft bounces are out-of-office notifications, in this case you do not necessarily want to remove these addresses from your database because their status is only temporary. If you do not keep your contact list clean then you will be unable to distinguish which clients are receiving your mail and which are not which can cost you time and money. The most efficient way to keep a clean contact list is to weed out all hard bounces and monitor soft bounces closely after each mailout. Repeated soft bounces could also be removed, but one-offs should probably be kept.

Additionally, setting a double opt-in option to your subscription list will require the contact to validate their email, making sure you only have contacts that want to be on your list. Finally, before starting your email marketing campaign test your email list for validation. Lastly, run testing on your contact list for validation before sending out any actual email marketing.

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