Five Tips for List Cleaning at the End of the YearSubmitted Wed Dec 22 2010 14:42:00 GMT-0500 (EST)
It’s that time of year. To give gifts, have some fun and prepare for 2011! And that means making sure your database is in order for the New Year. Here’s five handy tips to help you start 2011 off right and ready.
1. Lose some weight this holiday season by trimming the dead email weight – Over the year bad email addresses might have collected bloating your supporter list and through normal wear and tear bad email addresses will accumulate. Make sure chronic hard and soft bounces are unsubscribed from your list. And now is the time to look at your “User Unknowns” to see if they need to be kept in the system.
2. Who’s been naughty and nice? – Scoring is a great way to determine who your active donors and action takers are from the year. Consider a new communication path in the new year for those who've never taken action or donated. Different messages can make all the difference.
3. Change of (email address) – Some email addresses do change. Make sure you’re updating auto-responses you might receive in your “reply to” inbox. Also see if they have an alt email address and swap them out. There's also a system report of suspected bad email addresses -- stuff like @yaho.com, @aolcom, obvious typos like that. Run that and manually correct those addresses (provided they're a reasonably recent signup). Even better, set that report to email yourself on a regular basis and clean them up every day / week / month.
4. When online doesn’t work consider offline - Try a mailing to attempt to get their email address.
5. Segment your donors for 2011 - Use smart groups to automate this process. Large dollar donors shouldn't be receiving the same message and asks as low donors. The same goes for action takers and non-action takers.
What are some of your housekeeping tips for making sure your list is in good shape to kick off the new year?