Cleaning up and maintaining your contact lists

22 Feb 2008

Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

Last time, I talked about the benefits scheduling your email newsletters for future delivery. Today, I’m going to talk about properly maintaining your email contact lists.

Cleaning and maintaining your email contact lists maximizes your company’s potential of having your email newsletters reach your customers on a consistent basis. This gives you the possibility of a higher return on investment (ROI). Whether you are using an email marketing service like iContact to send your email messages or sending the messages through your own server, the most important piece of contact information from a customer is obviously their email address. If there is a problem with a customer’s email address, they miss out on your emails. Also, their email address will bounce every time you try to send them your email newsletter. 

While you are building your contact lists for your business, make sure you frequently check for and delete bogus email addresses that begin with words like abuse@ or postmaster@. If you are using an email marketing service like iContact, these email addresses will count against your pre-set subscriber count, limiting the number of email messages you can send to your true customers.

False email addresses can be prevented by setting up a strong confirmed (double) opt-in process for your contact lists. You could also try using an email change-of-address service, so that when one of your customers changes their email address, you will be notified and will be able to maintain your lists accordingly.

See you next time, and remember that spending a just short few minutes cleaning your contact lists could increase your ROI in the long run.

Ryan Allis