Spring cleaning your database

Spring cleaning is usually meant for the home, but it can also apply to your email marketing. You have spent the last 12 months or so building up and promoting your database, but sadly some subscribers may have now lost interest and have stopped opening or reading your emails.

In this article we look at a few of the ways you can clean up your database and improve your subscriber targeting.

Spelling mistakes
Take time each week to view your recent subscribers and correct any obvious spelling mistakes. For example, seeing an email address like mark@gmmail.com and correcting this to become a @gmail address. Other spelling mistakes in first or last names should also be corrected in case you decide to personalise an email - it wouldn't make a good first impression if this was wrong.

Split your data up, instead of having one big list containing all your subscribers, break these down into smaller groups. Create a group for previous customers only; you can then exclude these from your next email campaign. With this group of subscribers you can send them a campaign showing a special offer or discount code to use.

Quality counts not quantity
I always advise that it is best to have subscribers on your list who know your business or are previous customers. Don’t add people if they just send an enquiry form through, or if you pick up their business card at a trade show. By the time you email them they won’t have any idea who you are and might be annoyed that you are making unwelcome contact.

What to do with non openers?
An idea would be to add the non openers all to a new group and maybe email them less frequently, say every month rather than every two weeks.

You could even try changing the subject line or the format of the email completely. Some of these subscribers may have been on your list for years receiving the same email with the same content, so dust off those cobwebs and spring clean your email templates!

When you send this email to your non openers, mention the fact that they haven’t read your email in a while and show them what they are missing out on; give them the same information you promised when they signed up.

What next?
OK, so you have fixed any spelling errors, segmented your lists and removed any non openers, now what? Focus on your next email campaigns, plan when you are going to send them out and if you will send different campaigns to each list.

I recommend putting reminders in your calendar for when you plan to send out, have colleagues at hand to proof read and spell check as well as check the links are all correct prior to sending.