Email marketing provides an unparalleled ROI when compared to other channels. Digital marketing research estimates that for every dollar spent, you can expect an average return of $36. That’s a higher return than any other form of marketing. However, inaccurate or outdated data can negatively impact your outreach, making it challenging to get in contact with the correct recipients. That’s where email appends can come in handy.
Email addresses are only valuable to an organization if they offer a reliable communication channel. Email appending is one of the quickest and most accurate ways to verify existing information and expand your marketing lists to include missing contact information. Doing so will empower you to increase your ROI even more for your organization since you can more effectively connect with your constituents.
Even though data append services have been around for quite some time, many organizations still don’t leverage them to strengthen their marketing. To help clarify any of the confusion you have about email appends, we’ll answer these core questions:
- What is an email append?
- Why should you use email appending?
- How does an email append work?
- How do email appends help different types of organizations?
- How accurate is an email append?
- How much does an email address append cost?
- What are some best practices for email appending?
- What are the different types of email append services?
Here at NPOInfo, we empower nonprofits to take control of their data with our data appending services. We conduct email appends for our clients and fully understand what it takes to produce accurate results. We’ll make sure you’re well-versed on everything you need to know about email appends, so you can supercharge your marketing efforts in no time!
What is an email append?
Email appending is a near-real-time marketing strategy organizations use to verify that existing constituents’ email addresses are the most current ones. It’s also leveraged to fill gaps by acquiring missing emails based on constituents’ existing details, such as their first names, last names, phone numbers, and postal addresses. Its purpose is to provide you with the most up-to-date email addresses for your contacts and grow your email subscriber list.
Organizations that want to leverage this strategy typically outsource the work to a service provider, like our data append experts at NPOInfo. Professional data append providers have an expansive database of email addresses. You provide your list of constituent information, and your data append provider will match it against their comprehensive, updated database to make sure you have the most accurate and complete information possible.
Why should you use email appending?
Appending email addresses reduces your marketing costs, boosts ROI, and helps you reach your audience more effectively. It supplies you with the freshest email address for each contact, so you can be sure you’re connecting with as many donors, volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders as possible.
Some of the most crucial factors that make email appending services a resolution for better nonprofit marketing include:
- Data becomes outdated. HubSpot’s marketing research estimates that email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% each year. People change their email addresses, unsubscribe from newsletters, make typos when submitting forms, and submit fake email addresses in addition to a host of other things that negatively impact your subscriber list. Email appending resolves that by finding the most valid emails for your donors, volunteers, and other constituents!
- Improved lines of communication. Quality constituent data means that your email outreach will make it to customers’ inboxes, directly improving deliverability and engagement rates. By cleaning up your supporters’ data, you’ll see higher engagement and open rates for your emails.
- Highly segmented campaigns at lower costs. Reduce your marketing team’s expenses by supplying them with the data they need to create targeted campaigns. Email appending allows you to fill in missing contact information based on the other information you already have. This makes it much easier to create multichannel campaigns that reach your different supporters across different channels.
While email address appending is incredibly beneficial, doing so yourself can eat into your already-limited time. You might have hundreds or even thousands of outdated email addresses in your CRM. Cleaning all that up by hand could take an unimaginable amount of time! Not to mention, it might not be as accurate as a professional email append services’ information.
Instead of wasting staff time by having someone update your database manually, turn to an email append services provider like our professional data appending team at NPOInfo to experience all of the benefits of clean data!
How does an email append work?
One of the best parts of email append services is how straightforward the process is on your end when you turn to a professional provider. You provide relevant identifying information for each of your nonprofit’s constituent profiles, such as:
- Postal address
- Region (state, city, and country)
- Phone numbers
- Last email address on file
- College or university
- Class year and major
- Last gift amount and date
- A unique ID number
Even if you’re missing some of the information listed above, it’s important to provide as much information as possible to increase identification efficiency and accuracy. Your email append services provider will then cross-check it against their premium database of emails. Here at NPOInfo, our team will involve automated scans and manual checks to ensure we’re only providing active, deliverable email addresses to you.
After validating the data, your provider will send the appended email addresses back to you, letting you know if they found an updated or missing email address and what that email address is. Our team will even provide you with an accuracy rating for each email address we appended. From here, all you have to do is update your CRM, and you’ll have a clean database!
How do email appends help different types of organizations?
Email appending can empower a wide range of organizations to pursue their different marketing goals more efficiently. While turning to a generic provider can be helpful, your best bet is to go with a data append service that targets your unique industry.
For example, our team at NPOInfo focuses on fundraising organizations. That way, you’ll receive the targeted information your team needs to push your development efforts forward.
Here are a few ways different fundraising organizations might improve their marketing using an email address append:
- Associations. Member-based organizations like associations are often comprised of geographically-diverse members. Email is a much more efficient way to stay connected with supporters and ensure members don’t lapse.
- Green nonprofits. What better way to communicate your mission than by exemplifying it yourself? Email outreach eliminates the need for paper and communicates to donors that you take your mission seriously. Make sure you have accurate email addresses to reduce direct mail outreach as much as possible.
- Schools. After students graduate, it’s easy to lose touch with them. They stop checking their institutional email addresses, and their postal addresses change after they move to start the next chapter of their lives. An email append will help you stay in touch with them wherever they are.
- Cultural organizations. Zoos, aquariums, museums, and other cultural organizations must maintain membership renewal rates by offering valuable perks such as events. Otherwise, people may let their membership expire. Accurate email addresses will ensure you can send membership renewal letters, promote perks, and share upcoming events with all past visitors.
Email appending can transform your digital marketing, strengthen your supporters’ commitment to the cause, and much more. Take a look at the exact benefits for your type of organization, and you’ll see why it’s such a widespread practice!
How accurate is an email append?
The accuracy of your email append results entirely depends on the quality of your provider’s email address database and the data you provide them. Look for a reputable provider and share as much data with them as possible. This will make your results more accurate.
Our team at NPOInfo strives to provide accurate results, which is why we have a very thorough cross-check examination process. As we mentioned, we employ a series of automated scans and manual checks to ensure we’re providing you with the best information possible.
When returning your appended email addresses, we’ll provide an accuracy rating, demonstrating how confident we are that we correctly identified the right person and their email address based on the data you originally provided us. That way, you can confidently build your fundraising initiatives on data you trust!
How much does an email address append cost?
Generally speaking, the price of email address appending services varies based on your number of constituent records and your provider’s rates.
Bear in mind that you’re also paying for the quality of data your provider shares, so while one service provider may offer an incredibly low rate, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive the best (or most accurate) information. Accurate and up-to-date contact information most often comes at a slightly higher append rate.
If you’re curious how much this practice would cost your team, request a quote from our experts! We’ll ask you to provide some information about your organization, the type of data you’d like to append, and how many records you’re interested in appending.
What are some best practices for email appending?
While email appending seems like a very straightforward concept, a lot goes into doing it correctly. Between picking a reputable provider and getting your timing right, you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy before moving forward.
If you’re considering using email appending to strengthen your marketing, here’s how you can set yourself up for success:
- Start with your active supporters who haven’t shared an email address. From here, start moving through your older records.
- Append email addresses regularly. Whether you append monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually, regular updates ensure your nonprofit’s CRM is the most accurate and complete it can possibly be at all times.
- Append during the off-season. If you’re launching a big fundraising initiative or project, append email addresses in advance. We recommend wrapping up your ramp-up at least one month before your organization’s peak season.
- Only append existing and past supporter emails. You should only ever append email addresses for people who have previously connected with your organization. Whether they donated, signed up for your newsletter, or registered to volunteer, you want to make sure you’re leveraging email appending ethically.
- Research to find the right data enhancement partner. Above all, make sure you use a reputable email append service. Get a sense of their match rate and data append process, and if possible, ask the provider to run a test batch to see how many emails they accurately append for you.
- Follow opt-in rules and anti-spam laws. For example, if you send emails to anyone who’s previously opted out of communications, you may run into some legal trouble. Make sure to only append email addresses for those who have opted in. As a bonus tip, keeping clear records of when and how supporters opted into communications will help you steer clear of trouble.
How can you get started with email append services?
Getting started with email append services is incredibly easy. First and foremost, you’ll need to research and find a provider you’re confident will deliver the results you need without overspending.
The experts here at NPOInfo are more than happy to help transform your marketing through email appending. Plus, we specialize in data appends specifically for fundraising organizations like schools, cultural organizations, and other nonprofits.
Here’s what to expect when working with our email appending team:
- You’ll need to send us any data that you have. As we mentioned, this includes information like names, mailing addresses, current email addresses, educational institutions, fundraising data, and anything else.
- We’ll conduct a thorough email appending process. Our process involves automated scans and manual checks by our team. That way, you’ll only receive accurate and deliverable email addresses for your supporters.
- We’ll return the email addresses along with some supplemental information. We’ll primarily flag three things: (1) whether a new email address was found, (2) the email addresses themselves, and (3) an accuracy rating. Our accuracy rating system indicates how confident we are that we correctly identified the correct contact details.
From here, you’ll need to update your CRM, let your marketing team know, and start pushing forward with any new fundraising opportunities you see!
Note that we don’t supply reverse email appends at this time, but we’re happy to connect you with one of our reputable partners in the space! We also provide plenty of other data appends, including employer, phone number, date of birth, and postal address appends.
If you’re ready to transform your marketing and boost your ROI, get started with our email append services for fundraising organizations!
Email marketing has the power to produce incredible results for your cause but only if you’re sending messages to deliverable email addresses. So take the time to clean up your email marketing list with email appending, so you can reach your audiences using one of the most effective forms of communication.
If you’re looking to learn more about data appends before getting started, check out some of these great educational resources:
- The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide to Data Append Services. There are several other types of appends beyond email address appends. Check out this beginner’s guide to learn more about how you can clean up your CRM.
- What Data Should Nonprofits Collect? Overview & Top Tips. Data plays a vital role in your mission. Learn what types of data your team should collect so you can raise more.
- How Employer Appends Help Your Nonprofit Raise More. Amplify your fundraising efforts and create targeted engagement opportunities by learning more about employer appends in this guide.