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Email Marketers Must Repair B2B Data Decay

Email Marketers Must Repair B2B Data Decay

Posted 02/02/2009 by Gareth Cutter

According to data from on-line business directory Jigsaw, 32% of businesses' email addresses change on an annual basis, compared to only 29% of phone numbers and 16% of postal addresses. This information has a number of implications for those using email marketing in a B2B industry, particularly when it comes to keeping their lists up-to-date.

Data decay is a problem if you don't monitor your email marketing closely or send campaigns on a regular basis. It's a case of basic hygiene: clean your list regularly or the rot will set in - 'rot' being the number of hard bounces you get from each campaign.

Amend or remove these out-of-date addresses from your contact list: internet service providers (ISPs) will take notice of bounced emails and if your data decay problem persists, put you on a blacklist, creating difficulties in sending any emails from your computer.

It's often the case that although the business email address has changed, the contact still finds your message engaging but hasn't found either the time or a way to update their records with you. If there isn't a clear way to do it on your website (or a link within the body of your email taking them to an email preferences page) it's unlikely that they will go out of their way to find it out.

As soon as you start noticing these bounced emails, get in touch with the company via telephone or send them an email to one of the listed addresses. Inform them that they used to be on the mailing list and offer them the chance to update their preferences. This will help halt customer attrition.

Keeping up-to-date with your contact lists is simply a case of best practice. You should be checking lists several times a week and have a system set up to notify you automatically of hard bounces or unsubscribes. Remember: it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and if all it takes to keep a contact is a phone call and an email, it's worth making the extra effort.

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