The key to an overall data collection strategy is to ensure your data collection methods are sound. The quality of the prospect and
customer data being used to target and personalize your email messaging efforts are only as good as the data used to power them.
There are several actions that your organization should take at the point of data collection to ensure that best practice is achieved in the collection and use of data, including:
- Gaining positive consent by using an “Opt-in” checkbox (where the box is unchecked) is preferable to a passive opt-in practice (where the box is pre-checked).
- While single opt-in (no confirmation email) remains the most commonly used permission-based mechanism, double opt-in (where a confirmation email is sent to the new subscriber with a link to activate the registration) provides 100% assurance in terms of the validity of the email address and reaffirms that a recipient does want to receive your messaging.
- Even if double opt-in is not being used send a confirmation/welcome email. This will immediately validate the new email address and it is an opportunity to positively reinforce the brand experience while the subscriber is most interested in your organization.
- Many incorrect email addresses are simply the result of “fat fingers” or “finger fumble” as the email is being typed in. It is very simple for someone to type gmial.com or alo.con instead of gmail.com or aol.com as intended. This can be overcome by requesting the double entry of the address, with the two fields being cross-referenced against each other – it is highly unlikely that the same mistake will be made twice.
- Integrate an email validation service into the data submission process for real-time validation.
- Include an “Update Your Preferences” link in the footer of your emails.
Unfortunately, poor data quality impedes email marketing efforts. If your customer information contains incorrect, duplicate, or incomplete data, you cannot effectively reach your entire database of contacts—and can waste time and resources contacting the wrong email address.