Preparing your database


The key to successful email marketing is the quality of your database. By actively growing your subscribers list (using best practice opt-in techniques), continually cleansing your list and respecting unsubscribe requests you will enjoy higher open rates, click-throughs and results from each campaign.

Depending upon where you store your database (eg within a CRM application, ERP solution or simply an excel spreadsheet) you will need to convert the data into a .csv file before uploading it into NewZend (there are other options for adding subscribers to your lists which we will cover later).

Small errors in your database (eg malformed email addresses, trailing spaces before or after the email address etc) will render the record invalid. So it’s worth spending a few minutes checking your database before uploading it.

a)       Save a copy of your spreadsheet as a .csv and give it a new name related to your email marketing eg: email-list1.csv

b)       Remove all database fields that are not required for the purposes of email marketing (eg address fields).

c)       Typically lists contain, as a minimum, the following database fields:  firstname, lastname, company, email-address (one column for each field). Depending upon how you want to personalise your campaign (eg Dear firstname etc) or how you want to segment your database (eg by geography, industry, buyers by product, sales stage or customer type etc) your list may contain more database fields.

d)        It’s worth thinking about how you want to engage your audience and ensuring that you have robust systems for gathering data for each field / segment that you wish to use. Remember if you want to use ‘Dear Firstname’ you will need to have the firstname column complete for ALL records. Otherwise your campaign could be sent out ‘Dear F’ (if you only have firstname initial) or ‘Dear ‘ (blank!). By sorting your list a-z for each column you can quickly identify blank / incomplete fields and replace with some descriptor where you have gaps (eg Dear subscriber).

e)       Check for trailing spaces in your email column

i) Select the column which includes your email addresses. 

 

ii) With the email column still highlighted click ‘find and replace’

 

iii) Insert a ‘space’ in the find what field, keep the ‘replace field’ blank and click replace all. Any records that include a ‘space’ will have the space removed.

 

iv) Lastly, before uploading your list, always be sure to remove the first row (ie the heading row). The first row should always contain the first record – not the headings! Don't worry if you forget - it's not the end of the world - but you'll see an error message saying the first record couldn't be imported.