This list was part of the presentation by Austin Bliss, President of FreshAddress, the email address hygiene and validation service, in the DMA13 Email Marketing Post Conference Workshop.

1. Ask.  Ask for your customer’s email address everywhere – on every page of your website, during every phone call and on every paper order form. Don’t forget all in person interactions, as well.

2. Tell Why.  People volunteer their email address in exchange for something. Make sure you clearly explain what value you are offering through email.

3. Reassure. Make sure you have a privacy policy and that it is easily accessible. Even a phrase like “COMPANY NAME  respects your privacy and will never disclose your email address” works wonders. Also, be sure to explain the cadence of your mailings.

4. Give an Example. On your website, have a link to a sample email, so recipients know what to expect.

5.  Leave Plenty of Room.  Make  sure  you leave sufficient space in your input box for a long email address, otherwise, you are casing unnecessary typo’s and frustration.

6. Have Helpful Error Messages.  Often marketers think that error messages are something for their tech teams or worry about. This is mistake.   Good error messages can increase your email capture rates. For example, many AOL users forget the part of their email address. How does your site respond?

7. Catch Typos. On your website, figure out a way to catch the common errors people make when entering email addresses, e.g. : “” instead of “”  You can hire a vendor to help do real-time email address correction or you can build your own solution. Even having  a second page that displays what the user types and asks, “Is everything correct?” helps tremendously.

8. Confirm. Any email address you collect should be confirmed, ideally by a prompt follow-up message.

9. Append.  When done correctly, email appending can be an effective strategy to quickly increase the percentage of email addresses on your file. Just make sure you work with an experienced vendor who you trust, who has a 100% opted-in database of matching and uses an opt-in permission message.

10.  Reconfirm.    If you’ve successfully collected an email address, stop asking for it. Instead, focus on reconfirming and collecting an update if the email address has changed. This is harder than it sounds, but remember that over 30% of email address change every year, and your database is only as good as you ability to stay on top of list attrition.


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