Running a Successful Email Campaign – Part 1 – Data

A successful email campaign is made up of a number of different elements. In a series of posts I am going to discuss each one in turn.

Part one starts with data, perhaps not the most obvious place to start you might think.

However without understanding who you are targeting and why, you can’t begin to think about the creative, content, subject lines or any other elements of the campaign.

Email Marketing Campaign Data

Healthy Data For Successful Email Campaigns

For any email campaign to be successful the data within your database has to be healthy. By healthy we mean clean, free from errors and old data.

If your email database has a lot of old data, it’s likely to contain email addresses that no longer exist, which means they will bounce.

Having a high amount bounces will affect your reputation as a sender and have an adverse affect on your deliverability.

Bounces fall into  two categories, hard and soft.

Soft bounces are temporary errors, such as a users inbox is full.

Hard bounces are permanent errors, the email address no longer exists. These should be removed from your mailing list.

Where To Start With Email Campaign Data

Email campaigns can either be a single one time campaign or they can be multi-stage, meaning that the overall campaign is made up of several emails, and this is often automated with emails being sent at set intervals over a certain time frame.

The data you need depends on the type of campaign you are sending.

Here’s a couple of examples.

General Email Marketing Campaign – Personalisation data – title, first name, last name.

Anniversary/Birthday Campaign – Date of birth, date of anniversary, type of anniversary, unique offer code

New Customer Campaign – Date customer converted from a lead/prospect. Purchase history

Additional Email Data Considerations

Data may need to come from several places.

It’s possible that some of your data is stored in your CRM system. Things like customer contact data would be here.

Other data, such as order or shipping data can be stored in your eCommerce platform.

These two sets of data would need to be joined for the campaign to run correctly.

This needs to be thought about and worked out prior to any campaign being launched.

Once you have all the data, think about how you may store this in your email database. Some email service providers allow you to have multiple lists, while other have additional data tables that you can append additional data to for your contacts.

Whichever way your email service provider handles data be sure to have someone else sense check your selections and the data before and after you upload it. This will reduce the risk of the wrong campaign going to the wrong contacts.


Phil Monk

I am a email marketing consultant with over 10 years experience running B2C, B2B and eCommerce campaigns. I’ve also run and managed SEO and PPC campaigns

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