List Appending 101: Tips to Remember

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Just as marketers are always looking to new vehicles for expanded communication delivery, so too do we need to start looking at new ways of expanding the almost limitless possibilities of our data and appending procedures. Here's a primer on three ways you can add value to your list with appended data.

1. Email Append
To expand your marketing arena, an email append is a necessity. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of to avoid problems. The average person has upwards of four emails addresses associated with their name, but usually there is one that stands out as the most active. It is very important that you work with an experienced append partner to assure that the final verified data provided to you will net an active list.

Appending your postal list only to gain dormant or closed records is not only a waste of your money, but can lead to a high bounce or undeliverable rate on your campaign, which is bad news for your white-listing score. Be scrupulous in your list hygiene for unsubscribes and opt-outs on a regular basis.

2. Phone Append
Again, this is a very specialized field and requires an appending partner that is capable of weeding out numbers that have changed or been disconnected. On a phone append you can be presented with land line and/or cell phone data. It is very important to be sure that if you are using a phone list that your final list is post-DNC (Do Not Call.) Just as with email, you need to be vigilant in your list hygiene efforts to avoid any complaints.

The cell phone data you are presented with in an append can be with or without short message service (SMS) text capabilities. To utilize the list for any type of text or interactive messaging your cell phone append needs to include carrier information, SMS code, phone type, etc. Make sure to let your provider know your intentions up front otherwise you may wind up with a list that does not accommodate your plans.

3. Demographic/Lifestyle/Habit Append
The practice of using data to gain more customer relationship management -type information about your existing clientele is becoming the norm for large corporations seeking to make their messaging more relevant. It is a methodology that any company of any size can adopt.

For example, if you are an auto-aftermarket firm you don't just want to know that your customer took their car in for service. You want to know how often they go, how much they spend, what they do, details about their specific automobile, etc. Adding this degree of detail to your customer data swings opens the doors to personalized communication that really takes your marketing to a whole other level.

Carol Lustig is CMO of Media1/Headstrong Media.

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