There are a few valuable work habits that every PR expert should develop when selecting recipients for email communication. They all start with a contacts database that is kept in good order and focused on the recipients most likely to respond to your message.
Optimizing recipient lists for email campaigns starts in the CRM, where you collect all data on contacts used in email campaigns. It’s absolutely necessary to keep all information up to date. When you seek media exposure and reach journalists, you need to remember that over time they change outlets along with their email addresses or leave the media industry altogether. You won’t get in touch with anyone using invalid data. Having as much data as possible, on the other hand, will also become a strong advantage in the long run. What else?
PRECISELY SEGMENT YOUR DATABASE
Before even opening the email creator tool, optimize the contacts in your CRM. You surely have various ways to categorize journalists gathered in the database. For example, they could be grouped by country, topic, profession, type of medium they represent (paper, digital, radio, etc.) or even how well you know them. Having those common characteristics in mind, merge similar journalists into consistent groups.
Country value as a connection between media representatives can turn out to be crucial when executing multi-language campaigns. Additionally, you can pitch journalists at the best time possible, knowing the time zone they are located in. These are examples of the ways that a well-organized contacts database can help to get better results. Optimizing it is an ongoing process and requires constant maintenance.
Creating dynamic lists can help by automating part of the workload. They automatically refresh the contacts range with all occurring data adjustments. In Prowly, you can even mix dynamic and static lists in the final target of the email. Give it a shot:
LEAVE UNENGAGED CONTACTS BEHIND
Achieving high deliverability rates means leaving unengaged journalists out of your database. You can try creating a reactivation campaign and then delete anyone who is still uninterested or unresponsive to your content. The better deliverability rate you achieve, the better sender reputation you will be awarded. That’s why excluding contacts who don’t open or click any recent emails from your final recipient list is so important.
In Prowly, we recommend not contacting journalists whose open rate and click rate statistics of your most recent 10 messages is 0. We allow users to easily exclude them from the campaign target group, as it automatically impacts performance. Even worse is maniacally attempting to reach contacts that hard bounce your messages. There are a number of reasons this can happen but they all point to the same conclusion—stop sending messages to them. Reaching blacklisted contacts is a waste of your resources.
Contacts that soft bounce may have full inboxes or cannot process your emails due to their size or complicated HTML code. You need to evaluate their behavior over time and implement changes in campaigns to see if recipients will become responsive. With 10 emails soft bounced you can exclude them from the CRM, too. But how can you track every bounce and analyze campaigns for chances to optimize? In Prowly we provide users with smart suggestions based on an in-depth, real-time analysis of your email performance, giving the option of excluding different types of unengaged contacts with just one click.
The responsiveness of contacts depends on many specific aspects, like the accuracy of your email address syntax and the public disposability of the domain used for the email address. You may not believe it, but your recipient’s role in the company, which can be highlighted in the email address, can also forecast healthy email delivery. Another indicator of potential success is the existence of DNS records, A and MX, in the email address.
All such indicators give points to contacts, figuring out their value. We count them in Prowly to create a fundamental user score. When our users merge thousands of journalists in their final recipient lists before pitching, they can also exclude those with a really low score, exponentially improving delivery rates. We take such optimization very seriously, as building better email results correlates with a better sender score. This is a fixed relationship that directly affects performance.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
Remember about the healthy process of gathering new contacts in the database. The double opt-in solution for newsletters helps verify the intention of new subscribers and prevents invalid email addresses from spammy robots from interrupting your work. You don’t need to build a database with contacts that found you accidentally or have no reason to believe will be engaged with your content.
Providing an unsubscribe option moves all journalists having no more interest in your content to a separate group, automatically excluded from further communication activities. You can’t worry too much about unsubscribes because it’s very useful information about where your resources should be allocated. Furthermore, it can actually boost your email deliverability rate and sender score by avoiding spam complaints from people who don’t want your message.
Also, use only verified and trusted sources of media contacts like Media Discovery, which is updated in a never-ending loop. Paying for shady email addresses and never getting to know who is on the other side won’t optimize your recipients lists or actual email performance.