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 two years. 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 year. You may also repeat this process as a last step, and look at all those who have not engaged within a six-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.

How to Set Goals and Reach Them as a Real Estate Agent

Successful real estate agents know the importance of setting goals for themselves. Since real estate agents are in large part responsible for their yearly earnings, setting realistic goals is part of ensuring that they can bring home the bacon. If you want to increase your real estate sales, you have to learn the right way to set goals and the appropriate action steps to complete them.

One of the biggest reasons real estate agents don’t achieve what they set out to do is because their objectives are too broad and they don’t know how to follow through. We’re here to help you narrow the focus of your goals and make sure that you reach them.

Put Your Real Estate Goals in Writing

Get your goals out of your head and onto the page. Use a notebook or Word document to write them down so they are not just floating in space. Writing down your goals sets them in stone so that they’re tangible objectives to shoot for.

Keep your goals realistic by thinking only one or two years ahead at first. Instead of writing down, Run a successful real estate business, narrow your focus to something you can achieve in six months or a year – for instance, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.

Quantify Your Real Estate Goals

Part of setting clear goals is assigning a numeric value to them so you know exactly what you’re reaching for.

Let’s use the last example, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.

Assigning numeric values to your goals allows you to reach higher success levels. If you simply write down, increase sales, that could be as easy as gaining one more sale than you did in the previous year. And that kind of goal setting will not make you satisfied. You will still be left wondering why your real estate business is not as successful as your competitors’.

Continually Read Over Your Real Estate Goals

Get in the habit of reading over your goals once you’ve written them down. It doesn’t do you any good to write them on a scrap of paper and place them in a drawer where they will be forgotten.

You should keep your goals in a place where you have to see them every day, such as sticky notes on your fridge, above your desk or on your computer’s desktop.

Looking at your goals daily will give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to take steps toward what you’ve set out to do.

Create Action Steps for All of Your Goals

Goals are useless if you don’t know what to do to achieve them. For each goal, write an action step or two to accomplish them. If your objective is to increase sales by 40% by 2019, here are a couple of action steps to take.

  • Reorganize my database of real estate leads.
  • Have two phone calls a day with new leads in my pipeline.

Once you act on your goals in these small ways, you’ll see some minor success and start to realize how the rest of your goal can come to fruition.

Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Goals

One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your goals is to share them with your team and/or colleagues. If you have other agents or an assistant on your team, let them know what your goals are. Making a public declaration of what you plan to do to grow your real estate business – or any business – has been shown to increase your chances of success because you now have people, besides yourself, who are counting on you. If you work in an office with other agents, spread the word about your 2019 goals – seek feedback and ask if they will help keep you on track.

Stay Organized and Connect with Your Sphere of Influence

Your real estate contacts should always be up to date and organized. If they aren’t, you will have a difficult time remembering who you have in your sphere of influence and at what stage of the moving processes they are in.

Maintaining your database of leads is a no-brainer if you want to increase sales or achieve other real estate goals.

HomeActions gathers all of your contacts from places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo and more and creates a spreadsheet of everyone in your sphere of influence in alphabetical order by what platform they came from.

Not only will HomeActions jump-start this process for you, we will then send a bi-weekly email newsletter to your real estate contacts on your behalf, using our database of hundreds of real estate articles. Click the button below to read more about HomeActions services and how we can help you achieve all of your goals this year.

Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.

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