Your Guide To A Cleaner Marketing Database

Marketing database maintenance can be a chore, but taking the time to tidy up is vital.

Deliverability is determined by algorithms using a wide variety of signals to determine if an email list gets through. When your subscribers open your emails, click through on email content or have some other positive responses to your messages, this helps your deliverability.

If readers simply delete your emails without opening them or mark them as spam, they are sending negative signals that can hurt your deliverability.

Here is your guide to help you keep a squeaky-clean marketing database and improve your deliverability.


Suppress Or Fix Bad Email Addresses In Your Marketing Database


A bad email is marked as such by ISPs because it has one of the following errors:

Bad Format – A format error could indicate that an email address is missing a period, contains a misspelling, or has other incorrect or duplicated characters in the email address. This type of error could simply be a typo that needs to be fixed. When the format error is obvious, like a double period, this can be corrected by making a small adjustment to the email address in your subscriber record.

Bad Domain – Sometimes domain names are changed, merged with other companies or simply deleted. When this happens, it renders the domain portion of your email (or everything after the @ sign) ineffective. Watch out for company name changes, mergers, email service provider domain name changes and other domain name issues in order to avoid bad domain issues in your database.

Bad Account – When an employee leaves a company, their email often becomes invalid after a certain period of time. For example jsmith@abccompany.net may have retired. In the case of professional office environments, staff emails might be forwarded to a third party for a period of time before they are rendered invalid. When this occurs, there are often autoresponder emails sent out asking you to delete or update a former employee’s contact information. Pay attention to these autoresponder messages and take action to update information in order to avoid bad account issues.

On occasion, it will be impossible to tell why an email was marked as bad. If you have attempted to remedy format, domain and account issues, and the email is still being marked as a bad email, it is time to suppress the contact record to ensure that future messages are not launched to the bad email address. Some platforms will automatically suppress bad emails for you.


Remove Generic Email Addresses 


When an email address is publicly available, it is able to be harvested by unethical list sellers. Because of this, generic email addresses are often heavily policed for spam. Unless you absolutely know that the person or people behind a generic email address expressly consent to receiving your messages, you should remove any of the following generic emails from your account:

  • accounts@
  • admin@
  • billing@
  • billings@
  • contact@
  • help@
  • info@
  • inquiries@
  • manager@
  • sales@
  • subscribe@
  • support@
  • webmaster@
  • welcome@

Additionally, generic emails often have low open rates and low engagement, which also negatively impacts your deliverability.


Remove Inactive Subscribers


To keep up to date with email deliverability best practices, we consult with some of the top delivery and anti-spam engineers from major mailbox providers, as well as senders that are like our company, in order to coordinate better ways to get wanted emails to the readers.

One of the most important email marketing best practice trends we identified is to track user engagement and remove inactive subscribers. Engagement means that your readers have opened, read and/or clicked a link in your email. The major mailbox providers such as Gmail, AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo all track how long a message is open and whether the links within it were clicked. They take note if a message was deleted without opening it. They also detect when messages are sent to accounts that no longer check email at all.

Clean Up Dead Weight

A common suggestion for cleaning an email list is to remove all disengaged or inactive subscribers. What this means is that you will be determining all the people who have not opened or clicked on one of your emails in a given period of time and simply removing them from your list.

Why Does This Help?

You may feel like it stings a bit to remove members from a list that you’ve worked hard to grow, but if they are sitting in your marketing database in an inactive or disengaged status, they are actually hurting your sending reputation. A bad sending reputation means you’ll be less likely to be successfully delivered to those who really want to hear from you.

Improve Your Reach

If there is no engagement for a large portion of your list, then it is more likely that your marketing emails will not reach a majority of your audience. To increase the chances of reaching inboxes and not getting filtered out, take steps to remove all list members who are not engaged.

Take a Tiered Approach

You can begin removing people in waves. First, remove those who have not clicked or opened in the past year. Then change your email strategies to see whether you can boost engagement among your existing members. When you see open and click rates improving, take some time to do a second purge of all those who have still not engaged within the past six months. You may also repeat this process as a last step, and look at all those who have not engaged within a three-month period as your final purge.

Purging long-term inactive subscribers also means you’re much less likely to end up in a spam trap. An extremely inactive list with long-term disengaged members can be “gravestoned” by ISPs. This means that ISPs will flag your messages as irrelevant or meaningless to your subscribers, thus negatively impacting your deliverability.

“Healing” Your Deliverability

Even though this process will cause the number of active list members in your database to go down, you will receive the benefit of better delivery rates among those recipients who enjoy your messages. When you view your metrics and reporting, you may notice that the number of opens and clicks will remain steady, but since fewer inactive email addresses are on your list, the open and click rate percentages will gradually increase as mailbox providers begin to recognize your improved sending reputation.

Over time, this process will result in more emails getting into the inboxes of your recipients, producing higher traction and engagement with fewer complaints and filtering issues. When the mailbox providers detect the higher percentage of recipients reading and clicking on links, they will tend to give those messages more favorable treatment by keeping them out of the spam folder. The absolute numbers of clicks and opens will likely go up as well, based on experience from testing this strategy with our existing customers.

 


 

Do you need help organizing your marketing database? We’ve got you covered.

CLICK HERE for more info about how HomeActions can help build your marketing database.

HomeActions™ Is Listed Among MoxiCloud Partners That Make Virtual Real Estate Business Easy

When it comes to virtual solutions for real estate marketing and communications, HomeActions™ has been providing digital real estate marketing for over 15 years.

These are trying times, and our team is doing all we can to assist the real estate industry during the international coronavirus crisis. After all, we were made for times like these. We are a virtual company ourselves, and we have been from the start. We have long recognized the real estate industry’s need for online real estate marketing solutions. Our platform was built from the ground-up with the needs of this unique industry in mind.

We’re pleased to have been recently recognized among MoxiWorks 5 MoxiCloud Partners That Make Virtual Real Estate Business Easy.

We agree wholeheartedly with Krista Thomsen’s, Partner Manager, MoxiCloud Partnerships & Integrations, statement:

“We’re in this together. Each of us is having to face unusual circumstances — but we’re not facing it alone. A wise story-teller succinctly reminds us that we can face any challenge with teamwork. ‘In union, there is strength.’ – Aesop

The same is true for your technology. The MoxiCloud contains some pretty fantastic and adaptable products, but it also partners with more than 50 other industry-leading integrated technologies.” …Read More

As we face these challenges together, HomeActions™ recognizes that effective virtual real estate marketing tools can professionals thrive in a virtual office environment. That’s why we have chosen to partner with reputable organizations like MoxiWorks to deliver integrated virtual real estate technologies.

We understand that the real estate market may get worse before it gets better.

“The housing market is going to be stalled for the spring,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Vice President of Research. “Buyers and sellers are not necessarily buying and purchasing right now unless they have to. They’re delaying the process for a couple of months. “ – REALTOR.com

That being said, the boom of recovery is on the horizon.

“Realtors do expect there will be a rebound,” says Lautz. “We’re going to see demand coming out of this.”REALTOR.com

HomeActions™ is in a position to help agents stay in touch with their sphere of influence while they are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll make sure you’re top-of-mind when demand returns. Contact us to find out how our solutions can help your virtual real estate business thrive during these trying times.

How To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Marketing Content

If you are trying to make the most out of your content resources, check out these smart tips for getting the most bang out of the time and effort you invest in your marketing content.

Repurpose Existing Content Across Multiple Channels


If you think of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign, you’ll have the inspiration you need to take a single marketing article and turn it into an email newsletter article, blog post, social media post and many other online resources. This strategy helps you maximize the exposure of your content while also stretching your resources. Repurposing content is a logical way to make your content marketing work smarter, not harder. Plus, when you drive social visitors back to your campaigns, and vice versa, you’re creating more opportunities for prospects to find your company. There are numerous ways you can maximize the life and exposure of your content. Consider a single email newsletter article, and imagine that it could find new life as:
  • A blog post
  • An infographic
  • Multiple social media posts
  • A call-out quote that becomes a social media graphic
  • A chapter in an e-book
  • A video discussion or podcast
The sky is the limit. Be creative, and consider all the ways you can stretch the life of your content to consolidate your resources, be more efficient with your time and maximize the exposure of your key articles.

Be Selective When Choosing Social Networks


More is not necessarily better when it comes to social media. It pays to be choosy about which social networks your company decides to use. Consider your target market. What networks are your customers and prospects most likely to visit? Before you build a profile on the latest and hottest social network, take a look at the demographics of their typical users, and make sure you will find your audience on that network. You should also be sure you have the time and staff available to post consistently and respond to activity on any network you choose.

Use a Social Media Management Tool


Social media management tools and some email marketing platforms offer a simple way to post your email marketing content to multiple platforms or profiles at once. With these tools, you won’t need to log in and out of multiple social networks. Instead, you can post to multiple platforms simultaneously in one step. Use this time-saving tool to maximize your time while you’re looking to maximize the exposure of your content.

Create an Editorial Calendar and Instill a Weekly Routine of Scheduling Content for the Week Ahead


Block out a recurring time for yourself to set up your email content on your blog and schedule it out to various social media platforms. Follow a cross-channel content calendar to help you stay organized. This simple, effective habit allows you to get ahead of the game so you will never need to be concerned about a stagnant blog or a weak social media presence. Start with these simple tips, then use your metrics and reporting tools to gauge the impact of your efforts. You’ll find that following these approaches helps you to maximize your content marketing impact with more productive, efficient strategies.

Real Estate Communications during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Marketing and communications have never been more vital in the real estate industry than right now. Here’s how our team is providing timely updates and assistance with real estate communications during the COVID-19 outbreak.


REAL ESTATE COMMUNICATIONS


Our clients are relying on us to help them communicate the latest COVID-19 information as well as how they are responding internally for their own clients.

While other companies may fall silent during the coronavirus outbreak, it is important to us that our clients stay ahead of the pack and keep their digital communications in the forefront.

In recognition of the urgent need for mass communications, we have opened up free, unlimited single message launch capabilities for all of our clients for the duration of the pandemic. Although our newsletter feature has always offered unlimited sending capabilities, our OnTarget (single message launch) feature previously offered a maximum of 20,000 sends per month.

This has allowed our clients to quickly distribute important updates, such as:

  • Instructions with various ways to meet virtually
  • Locations or instructions for pick-up and drop-off of important documents
  • Best practices and recommendations during COVID-19

REAL ESTATE CONTENT


Our editorial team is hard at work delivering timely articles that our clients can use to quickly disseminate information related to the pandemic.

To date, our editorial team has produced 14 articles covering COVID-19 updates that our clients are using to keep their own clientele informed.


CLIENT CARE FOR OUR REAL ESTATE AGENTS


We value our clients, and we are proud to be part of their communication efforts while they juggle shifting priorities.

As a virtual office environment, our team is accustomed to working remotely. We are adept at the nuances of online workflow, and we have the experience necessary to help our clients navigate during this time.

Our customer support team is available 12 hours a day, and we are helping our clients format and launch important updates as needed.

What our clients are saying:

“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great support team you have. With current events happening, we have issued two OnTarget [single message] launches in the past week, and we expect to launch more in the coming weeks. [Your support team] did a wonderful job allowing us to quickly get important information out to our clients.

The OnTarget feature is amazing, and we will definitely be utilizing it more often as things develop regarding the changes in business practices due to COVID-19. It gives me great peace of mind knowing your support team is there to help out with these emergency short notice launches.

You have a great team!”

– Cheri G.


REAL ESTATE CONNECTIONS


Now is the time to increase your digital communications. It is essential to stay in front of your clients and prospects even when you can’t meet with them in-person.

Digital communications are the lifeblood of your real estate business while office locations are closed. Our team can help you provide updates and assistance with timely messaging you need.

If you need to improve your real estate communication strategies, don’t wait: get started today. Contact us to find out how our professionally written content integrated with smart email newsletter templates and single message launches will help you streamline your messaging during this imperative time.