For many companies, growth comes with acquisitions. An exciting time no doubt: new stores to manage, sales to drive, staff to train. Not to mention a whole group of people to market to who are waiting to hear from you for the very first time. Now is not the time to have email marketing stage fright. We’ve helped guide clients through this new territory a few times, and, while not to downplay the amount of work involved (project managing, and strategising and-and), here are some things to keep in mind while getting ready to send to a list for the first time.
You would hope the group you got the list from has the same scrupulous data hygiene practices you do, but best to take no chances here. As a rule, undertaking a few basic steps before even uploading the file to your marketing platform is a good idea:
1. Cleanse for invalid email addresses (bad characters, commas, etc.).
2. Delete/merge duplicate records.
If possible, we also advise force inheriting subscriber behaviours (opens, clicks and unsubscribes) from the previous platform. Doing so will give you a more accurate view of the quality of the data you’re receiving.
Review the last three sends that have gone out to your new database to get an idea of what your new customers are expecting to receive. Also note the frequency with which they were going out.
With the subscriber behavioral data you handily have (thanks to the steps you have taken above), you can identify the most to least engaged segments. Communications (and ideally offers) should be tailored to these groups accordingly.
As with a new platform, it is best to tread carefully with this new list when it comes to IP warming: send to the most engaged first, and send in small blasts (if you want to have more of a chat about what IP warming is, drop us a line).
Your first send to the new customers should be an introduction. Who you are, how you have their email address, and how often they can expect to hear from you are good places to start. Keeping in mind the points above:
– An offer in this send can help keep people’s interest, and is ideally segmented based on subscriber engagement
– Send frequency is especially important to include if you will be sending at a vastly different schedule than the previous list owner
If you have the time, doing some AB testing with this group before sending your message far and wide can be worthwhile. It will help give you an idea of what they respond to and what resonates.
The most important thing to avoid with this new list is ESP complaints which could damage your existing, carefully protected, send IP address.
Monitor unsubscribe rates closely and don’t forget to inform customer service of the new list (so they can properly address any complaints or enquiries they receive). After a few sends, it is also a good idea to clean house – again. This time, identify email addresses which are unresponsive (not opening or clicking) and archive them. Although this will reduce your list number, these addresses are not doing anything for your send reputation or list statistics.
By following these steps, you can slowly incorporate your new list into your existing one while retaining as many customers as possible and keeping your sender reputation intact.