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How To Add Emails to Your Database

by Robert B. Gelman

I am frequently asked these days about how clients can move more readily from maintaining a solely physical (postal address) mailing list, to one that includes email addresses and enables a more contemporary approach to media.  The answer is essentially twofold:

Communicate With Your Existing Customers – ask for their email addresses.
This method may entail sending a card, letter, or other direct mail vehicle to them offering an incentive for them to give you their address, such as a special price on a hot item, or the chance to win an incredible prize.

If you choose to offer a prize or other “chance” incentive, you should be aware that you are trading off some number of those who don’t believe they really have a chance to win, against those who just might not be interested in the item you are offering a great price on. Your best results would come from creating a “loyalty club” wherein they have a serious discount on everything (or many things) you offer going forward, but members must give up a valid email address.

To be sure I’ve covered all bases, I should also note that having someone call your customers and ask for their email addresses is highly effective as well.  It also gives you the opportunity to gather feedback that you can use to improve your service or expand your offerings.

Hire a Professional Data Firm – a newly affordable option
It used to be that data warehouses and list brokerages were not viable options for small businesses with lists of a few hundred to under two thousand prospects. That’s generally no longer the case, and there are services that list houses offer that can enhance your own database in ways that will save you money now and make you more successful down the road.

One such enhancement is simply to have a list firm append your current mailing list with email addresses. In some significant number, people have opted-in to a product or service where they have given permission for associated companies to send emails to them. These are people who are generally less protective of their personal data but if they are already on your mailing list anyway, will have little surprise when they start getting emails from you.

Their counterparts, the “personal data protectives” have still given you implicit permnission to communicate with them, by being your customer.  You should be more respectful with this group however and make your first message to them one in which you ask their permission to continue to send them valuable offers like the one you are sending at that moment.

Of course ALWAYS offer an easy unsubscribe to your list which does not remove the email address, but prevents sending of unsolicited promotions there.

More About Email Append

Email is increasingly the go-to method for communicating with your customers. It’s cost-effective, maximizes response rates, and personalizes your marketing efforts.  Several list management firms offers email append services to add business and residential email addresses to your database.

How many emails? Common match rates are 15% to 20% on average. I invite you to be in touch with us if you are interested in seeing how many email addresses are available for your customer and prospect lists.

Choosing a provider for email matching should be guided by these points:
• High accuracy rate
• Multi-sourced data for more detailed information
• Thoroughly tested data for reliable results
• Only pay for matches to maximize cost-efficiency

And while we’re discussing this process, it’s relevant to add that email addresses are not the only data that are now available to match with households or business addresses. Phone number acquisition, changes of address processing, deceased removal and other “list cleaning” services can be implemented by these same companies.

One Response to “How To Add Emails to Your Database”

  1. Janeen says:

    Every time I receive your newsletter I learn so much…I just became aware of Email append services. Thanks for the education.