Hi Community! Happy Post-BFCM season.
Cleaning your email list is among the most important tactics you should do to maintain a healthy marketing program. In my experience, most brands prefer to clean their list in Q2 or Q3, when sales cycles might be lower, or in preparation for the Q4 holiday push.
Another great time would be right after the holiday season.
During the holiday push - BFCM (Black Friday/Cyber Monday) and December - brands often expand their regular “active” segments to a broader range to try and engage lapsed or churned customers in hopes that those contacts may return to make a new purchase when prompted with an incredible offer.
While customers are conditioned to receive an increased number of emails, the inbox service providers (ISPs) also expect the influx of messages and seem to tolerate it enough without penalizing the brand’s email reputation for breaking best practices*. You can also use this opportunity to weed out invalid addresses via bounces, given the increased volume of emails sent and increased engagement from active subscribers.
With so many messages sent, using your holiday campaigns to identify unengaged subscribers is a cheap, low-effort approach to cleaning your list.
On the flip side, during the holiday season, businesses often see a spike in new subscriber acquisition driven by other online channels where users seek special holiday discounts. While this increase in subscribers helps offset the unengaged contacts, it also increases the potential for invalid, fake, or threat addresses to find their way onto your list.
Because of this, running your database through a proper list hygiene provider before the end of the year ensures any new addresses are valid and safe for you to send.
Between the engagement (or lack thereof) of your holiday campaigns and new email acquisition, you can create several segments and access valuable insights that you can use to strategize your marketing for the New Year.
Stay tuned for Part 2 on what to do with these segments after your post-holiday list cleanse!
*While these are recommendations, you should maintain caution and apply reasonable segmentation to ensure the health and reputation of your email program. For example, if you commonly send to 90-day engaged segment, you would not want to mail every contact on your list; rather, you might expand your segment specifically for BFCM to 365 days engaged. These recommendations do not guarantee good deliverability, and you should assess what is the right strategy for your business.
-Bryan Richey (