Intelligent email validation for intelligent marketers
In today’s competitive markets, where the quest for a Golden Customer record to provide marketers with the best opportunities to engage with customers, data accuracy is not only essential, but it is also no longer optional.
If you’re reading this, you’re already aware that simply checking for an @ symbol in your email field does not count as fully verifying email addresses. Neither does checking for a full stop or a standardised suffix – .com, .co.uk etc. These merely ensure you have a correctly formatted email address for a customer. They do not check that an email address exists, is linked to a genuine and actively used mailbox, meaning that if only from a customer registration or email campaign perspective, you won’t know it’s invalid until you try to contact them. Why not find out before then? In real-time at the point of entry with a simple background tool that gives your users the opportunity to correct any errors before completion and ensuring the email address you receive is, in fact, real?
Putting GDPR aside for a moment, think of all the ways you need to communicate with your customer base. Now consider each of those channels and the data source required. The list probably looks something like this:
Even if you only engage with customers on Email Marketing, Digital Ads and Social Media, it should be clear to see that the need to verify user email addresses at the point of entry/capture is a priority in order to increase your contactable campaign audience and campaign deliverability. You will subsequently improve your conversion and engagement, maximise your ROI and reduce your cost per customer. Awareness around the ability to properly authenticate email addresses is still relatively low amongst retailers and carries the same business preconceptions around cost versus business benefit that other such tools suffer from.
But with good data and analytics it is a simple process to demonstrate the value in a structured way to help you achieve your targets. And if you’re clever (and read the rest of this article), you might even be able to distribute the cost of data validation tools across multiple departments.
So how do you build your business case for email address validation:
Know your customers
You will need to know your current total existing customer numbers, if this is measured in active or over a known LTV then use this, or whatever metric your business measures its total by. You’ll also need to know your average weekly or monthly acquisition numbers, you current marketing opt-out rate, average hard bounces, your current deliverability score from your CRM provider.
Using these figures, you can estimate the % of invalid contacts you regularly acquire and the impact on your deliverability and engagement. By capturing 100% accurate email address data to virtually eliminate hard bounces from invalid addresses this can drive an incremental increase in your customer lifetime value as well as improving your trust scores. But that’s not all.
In the matrix above we showed that email addresses are also required for your teams’ remarketing, affiliate and social campaigns. In all these areas, optimising your contactable customer list will increase your campaign reach with warm leads to drive up your CTR. If your business also runs a loyalty program or customer referral scheme validating email addresses will ultimately improve your conversion / acquisition rates with a measurable ROI. Working with your wider digital team to assess the impact of invalid data on each discipline and provide calculated analytical estimates of the costs and benefits grounds your business case in fact rather than guesswork.
Know your company
Customer contact data is not just used in marketing, we all know it but how often do we leverage that fact to our advantage? Getting your colleagues in complementary departments on your side in your quest for qualified data demonstrates a full understanding of the broader business needs and bolsters your argument for implementing a new tool.
Customer Care – how much of their call handling attributed to ‘wrong email address’ queries could be significantly reduced by implementing email verification.
Warehousing / Operations – If you’re capturing invalid email addresses your customers won’t be receiving shipping updates. Whilst this primarily impacts customer care again, the way calls are categorised for reporting purposes may show these are being related to delivery queries. In either case, verifying email addresses at the point of entry will help to reduce these issues as well.
If you can capture costs attributed to poor email address data for each of the affected departments alongside your primary marketing benefits and factored against the extremely low per-lookup cost for Fetchify’s email validation (ave. less than 2p) you have an excellent business case.
Increase your chances
Whilst email address validation ensures your first-contact data point is as accurate as possible, pairing it with postal address lookup also optimises your data for Direct Mail campaigns as well as accurate shipping and happy customers. And from our original list of data points, that just leaves Phone Validation, and you can read more about that here – Text me! Maybe… Why phone number validation is essential in your digital space.
We are a pioneer in SaaS address lookup and data validation solutions. We process millions of data transactions each day for thousands of clients ranging from small e-commerce startups to large household brands such as Heinz and RBS. Our flagship products Address Auto-Complete and Postcode Lookup reduce friction on checkouts, leading to increases in conversion rate of up to 40%, and helps reduce failed deliveries by as much as 75%. Since launching in 2008, we have differentiated by our ease of integration and exceptional support.