Email Marketing for Service Businesses: The Importance of Data Quality

This article about email marketing for service businesses is by Corina Leslie, PR & Marketing Manager for email verifier ZeroBounce.

Corina Leslie

Did you know that 47% of the world’s email traffic is spam? Also, 30% of your email list becomes risky within just one year, due to erroneous and obsolete data.

In the current landscape, data quality is paramount for every organization that engages in email marketing. How can service businesses and brands make sure they collect the right information when building their CRM and email marketing strategies?

The answer isn’t that hard to find – it’s actually available to anyone looking for email hygiene solutions.

Grow Your List, But Grow It the Right Way

Faced with constant data decay, companies nowadays have no choice but rethink their email marketing strategies. A winning strategy starts with good-quality data.

So an increasing number of organizations have shifted towards a healthier mindset: instead of growing their email list at all costs, they choose to grow it the right way. What does that mean?

Using an Email Verifier to Protect Your Email Hygiene

If you’re a service business owner and use email in your marketing mix, there’s something worth keeping in mind: what really matters is no longer the size of your email list, but its quality. Expanding your list is a constant goal, but it’s crucial to make sure you’re collecting valid and safe email addresses.

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Start with your reports: how many of your emails bounce, on average? Your bounce rate is one of the first things Internet Service Providers (ISPs) look at when they determine your sender reputation. If your bounce rate is higher than 2%, then you know you have to work on your email hygiene.

Enter: the email verifier. A smart system that scans your email list and looks for invalid and fake email addresses. Even when you follow email marketing best practices, such as using the double opt-in subscription method or a reCAPTCHA on your forms, your list is still exposed to risk.

Poor Email Hygiene Causes Your Emails to Land in the Spam Folder

Bots and spam traps can bypass basic security measures. People can make typos when trying to subscribe to your emails. They may enter a misspelled email address that is completely useless to your email marketing.

Or, if they only want to subscribe for a freebie or a discount, they may put in a temporary address. Add abuse, role-based, and catch-all emails and you’ve got a bunch of contacts that will either bounce or hurt your sender reputation. As a result, less of your emails will reach the inbox and instead, will land in people’s spam folder.

The good news is an email verifier will detect these risky addresses and eliminate them from your list. It’s an easy process that helps preserve your reputation and ensure your email deliverability.

How Do You Use an Email Verifier?

Email verification platforms have made it very convenient for marketers to clean their lists. You upload your file, and the system validates it for you hassle-free. Depending on the size of your list, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. You then download your results and your database is safe to use.

Now that your email list is clean, there’s one more thing you can do to prevent unwanted email addresses signing up for your mailing list. Your email verifier should be able to provide you with an API key – this is a piece of code you easily install on your website to protect your email hygiene.

Once installed on your signup forms, the email verifier API acts as an extra layer of defense against bad email addresses, stopping them in their tracks. It verifies every single address, in real time, before allowing it to be added to your list.

Example: How Would a Service Business Benefit from an Email Verifier

Let’s be practical and see how you, as a service business owner, would benefit from using an email verifier. Say you have a house cleaning service.

Your business is doing well, you’ve grown a nice email list, and you send out newsletters and marketing emails every week or month. You’ve noticed a few bounces and your open rate isn’t anything to brag about, but you keep going.

As a way to stimulate sales and foster customer loyalty, you decide to run a campaign: 20% off the first three hours of cleaning. You promote it on social media, but you mostly rely on your email list to spread the word, as you know that email is a better way to reach people.

But, surprise: out of 1,000 emails you send, 145 bounce. Bummer!

On top of that, you get 37 spam complaints.

Plus, your open rates are as low as the temperatures in Alaska on a crisp January morning.

“That’s it, I’m done with email marketing!”

You soon start to think email isn’t all that great and maybe you should cancel your subscription with the email marketing platform. Why pay money to send emails that bounce or that hardly anyone sees? You complain to your friends and tell them that’s it, you’re done with email marketing. Until one of them tells you about email verification.  

So you go online, start an account with an email verifier that looks legitimate and have your list pruned. When you see the results, you’re stunned: not only did you have 145 invalid email addresses (which, of course, bounced). But your list was also spoiled by 55 catch-all emails, 28 role-based emails, and 42 abuse emails.

Remember those 37 spam complaints you got? They most likely came from 37 of your 42 abuse emails – these are known email complainers who have a history of labeling emails as spam. Keeping them in your list is risky, as they can constantly affect your sender reputation. But the email verifier isolated them, so you can remove them right away, along with all the other addresses that jeopardize your deliverability.

“But my list is smaller now!”

I knew you were going to say this! It’s the compromise every marketer has to make if they want their email campaigns to perform well. It’s sad to see your email list shrink, but think about how good it’s going to feel to see your deliverability increase. Your open rates and conversions going up.

Knowing that your emails reach real people and give you the chance to genuinely communicate with your subscribers. Isn’t it worth the “loss”?

A former journalist, Corina Leslie is the PR & Marketing Manager for email verifier ZeroBounce. She is passionate about communication and helping others email successfully. You can find her on the ZeroBounce blog, where she shares her best tips on digital marketing, copywriting, PR and everything in between.

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