Spring Cleaning Email Database Dead Weight

Databases can contain many records that are not useful to your business and take up space. Many marketers are reluctant to purge records for fear that they may be useful one day. This mentality can be costly, especially when you’re paying for the database size. Enterprise level email service provider (ESP) databases tend to charge on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis for emails sent versus the size of the database, but there is still a lot of value in purging records at least yearly. The spring-cleaning process has a few additional steps that are best to do now.

Last week, we discussed invalid email addresses. Addressing invalid email addresses should always be the first step in database spring cleaning. After that, run a search/query in your ESP to segment out all subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email within the last 180 days and were added to the database beyond 180 days in the past. What this will do is find subscribers who have not engaged at all in the last six months but had plenty of opportunity and time to do so.

Then start development on a drip campaign of two-three emails that is designed to get the subscriber to raise their hand and say they still want emails from you. This process is called a re-engage, re-permission or win-back campaign.

The drip campaign can deploy one email per week for two-three weeks where once someone clicks, they are removed from the drip series as they respond.  The drip campaign emails can have subject lines and messaging like “We miss you” or “Don’t let this be good-bye” or something similar with a clear yes/no call to action (CTA) to continue sending email to them.

At the end of the drip campaign, if they didn’t click any link in any email in that series, it’s time to purge them from your email marketing database, add them to the ESP’s opt-out or unsubscribe list and/or flag them as do-not-email in your main database. They are dead-weight records because they aren’t opening or clicking on any emails, yet you still pay to send an email to them. We recommend waiting two weeks after the last email was sent to purge the records from the ESP as it may take some subscribers a bit of time to respond.

If you would like to run such a campaign and need our experts for creative, copy and coding of responsive HTML templates to power your campaign, let’s talk.

Jenny Lassi • April 7, 2021

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