Cleaning Your Database Regularly to Increase Response at Your Golf Course
Your email database has to be squeaky clean to get the best possible delivery rates and therefore the best response. Most are not, including most of the websites managed by the larger website companies. In fact, most lists shrink by 40% or more when we clean them for new clients coming over to us from the low-end website vendors.
And, yes, they were told that the lists were clean, but they were lied to…
Bad data dramatically lowers your email deliverability.
E-mail Deliverability Facts
The process of email bounce sorting is one of the most important parts of having good email deliverability. The cleaner the list you have, the less chance you have of causing your email to be blocked because of sending emails to addresses that are no longer in use or have been abandoned.
We recently took over two large accounts from a competitor. When we imported the data from their servers into ours the data was so bad that it wasn’t even accepted by our first mail host!
When we did manage to get the data loaded on a second option, over 3000 names were bad!
What is bad data?
There are two types of email bounces and your email system needs to know how to properly handle them. There are “Hard Bounces” that happen when an email was sent to an email address that is no longer active. These types of bounces should be removed immediately from your email list — the email address is no longer active, so there is no reason to send it email. Continuing to do so will dramatically reduce the deliverability of your good emails!
Soft bounces occur when email is sent to an active email address but the email is turned away before being delivered. Most often, the problem is temporary. Temporary issues occur like the mail server might be down or the recipient’s mailbox is full. Soft bounces need to be handled differently because the email address is still active.
The most common way of managing soft bounces is to keep a history on how many times a particular email bounces, and if the bounces occur a certain amount of times with the same error, then you will remove the account from your email list. We remove after 3 bounces.
A feedback loop, sometimes called a complaint feedback loop, is an inter-organizational form of feedback by which an Internet service provider (ISP) forwards the complaints originating from their users to the sender’s organizations. ISPs can receive users’ complaints by placing report spam buttons on their webmail pages, or in their email client, or via help desks. The message sender’s organization, often an email service provider, has to come to an agreement with each ISP from which they want to collect users’ complaints.
Now imagine how many more complaints you get if your email provider sends tee time offer, after tee time offer, after tee time offer and nothing else of value. Day after day, week after week?
Guess what? They are going to have a lot of complaints against them and that my friends, is bad news for you if you are using their email system. Even if its one of their other clients that are sending the emails.
YOU GET TARRED WITH THE SAME BRUSH because you are using the same IP number to send your emails!
Your email system needs to be able to process these complaints and remove them from the e-mail list at once.
By Making Sure Your Lists Are Clean, Your Delivery Rates and Therefore Your Open Rates Go Up!
At Legendary Marketing, though we clean our clients’ lists every single mailing, it’s obvious to us that most of the other website providers in the golf industry do not. It’s obvious because when a client switches to Legendary Marketing’s Solution, their databases shrink by an average of 40%.
This shrinkage may seem like a bad thing, but it is not because when we clean the lists and then send emails, open rates increase by an average of 15-25%, which is quite astonishing!
Is Your Website Company Killing Your Bottom line?
Many managers in the golf industry under budget pressure see websites and email as a commodity to be sourced at the lowest cost. They don’t realize that it does, in fact, make a HUGE difference if the company you are using does NOT HAVE the best technology and the best list practices.
Saving a couple of hundred a month on the front end could be KILLING YOU at the tee sheet to the tune of thousands of dollars a month!
You Do The Math!
If you have 5,000 names in your database and a 15% open rate, 750 people see each message. If you mail twice a week, that’s 6,000 opens per month.
If you can boost your open rate to say 25%, that increases your audience to 1250 opens per message, or 10,000 a month, an increase of 4,000 opens!
Using the 80/20 rule and a $50 green fee that would be an increase of $40,000 in income per month! (20% of the 4,000 opens respond to your irresistible offer. This varies massively based on the offer.)
Even using the 90/10 rule (10% of the additional opens respond), it’s $20,000 a month and if your list is larger, the numbers just keep going up!
What is more, if you understand LTV (Life Time Value of a customer), you know that each new golfer is not worth $50 a year, but more like $1,000 a year or even $20,000 over that player’s lifetime.
Every extra delivered and opened email could be that player!
Email Is All About the Numbers, The number of GOOD emails in your database
The number of people who actually see your message because it gets delivered.
And the number of people who actually read and ultimately act upon your message.
From there you will quickly see a pattern emerge. If out of 750 emails, say an average of 45 people respond to your offers, double the first number to 1500 opening your email and 90 people will respond.
It really is that simple!
So for a couple of extra hundred a month, to be on the right technology and list practices, you could be putting a few thousand extra a week in your till!
It just does not make financial sense to use a poor email system or a company with poor list practices. Do you really think all those companies that charge $199 a month for a website and email, or trade you for free tee times, go to much trouble to keep your list clean?
They don’t, and it’s killing your REAL open rates!
(A fact I’ll be more than glad to prove to you first hand.)
All The Best,
Andrew Wood is CEO of Legendary Marketing, a Tampa/Orland-based ad agency. He is the world’s leading expert on golf, resort, destination and real estate marketing although his successes go far beyond these core industries. Author of over 20 books including; The Golf Marketing Bible, Cunningly Clever Marketing, Selling-Outsell Everyone!, Cunningly Clever Entrepreneur and Making Your Business The One They Choose! Andrew has spoken to thousands of audiences worldwide and was the top ranked speaker at 97.7% of the events where he spoke on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. A pioneer in Internet marketing his creative talent, out of the box ideas and copywriting skills are at the core of his expertise. Regarded as one of the top marketing minds in the world for his ability to craft a winning strategy, generate leads and increase income!
Contact: Andrew Wood, Direct @ 1 352-266 2099