Email Newsletter Publishing Strategies  
Search In Ezine-Tips

Email Address:
Christopher Knight

Postcarding Your Dead Members
By Christopher Knight

Print | Bookmark | Subscribe

[Listen to today's Ezine-Tips]

I know the Halloween Holiday is coming up (if you celebrate the holiday of the dead), but in today's Ezine-Tips, I'm not talking about sending postcards to dead people, but rather I'm referring to a tip that I learned from Jill Keogh at

Happy Halloween

In a nutshell, here is the tip:

Most email publishers and email marketers knowingly write-off and forget about the 10-40% of their list that goes bad on an annual basis. I'm talking about HARD BOUNCES here. Rather than let them go dead, identify them by either their domain name or your current customer records and send them a "snailmail" postcard with an incentive to join your email newsletter or email list again.

A "Hard Bounce" is an email address that is no longer valid because your email list member either changed their account and didn't tell you about it or they discontinued their email account and did not unsubscribe before doing it. This is a very common practice due to overwealming spam loads -- and the range is between 10% to 40% of your list will become dead in any given 12 month period from my experience.

You spend such an enormous amount of energy and effort building your list and it takes a lot less effort and investment to capture an existing member who left you than it is to capture brand new members. If you can recapture at least 10% of your dead and hard-bouncing email list members -- you can more than pay for the small costs to send out the postcards every week.

Postcard Marketing is one of my favorite "drip marketing" methods to grow a business...and now you can use it to help retain email list members that were previously "lost in the wind..."

Special thanks again to Jill Keogh of for giving us permission to mention this strategy today.


Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:12:51 -0400
From: "William B. Kaplan"

Hi Chris, Your two recent newsletters cited above presented interesting solutions to two vexing problems:

  1. Recovering members lost to dead email addresses
  2. Creating an offline postal mailing database for one's list membership

The postcarding solution suggested for the first problem, however, is quite costly. If one paid $.25 to send a postcard to each lost member and 10% (a high projection) of these members returned to provide their email addresses, the effective cost to recover each member would be $2.50. FreshAddress, Inc. offers a simpler and significantly less expensive service to recover customers/members lost to bouncing email addresses. Our patented ECOA (Email Change of Address) service can recover approximately 10% of one's bouncing email addresses at a cost of $.75 per guaranteed deliverable email address for bounce files under 100,000 records and for $.48 per guaranteed deliverable email address for bounce files over 100,000 records.

As for the second problem of how to create an offline postal list for one's membership, your solution again is interesting but could take years of vacations and out-of-office replies (that hopefully contain postal information) before one would be able to substantially build this list. A simpler and cost-effective solution is reverse email appending. Reverse email appending can provide a list owner with postal addresses for their customers/members for $.30 or less on input files of 100,000+ records. FreshAddress, Inc.'s partnerships with the major database providers including Acxiom, Equifax, InfoUSA and the like enables us to match our clients' databases against the available universe of opt-ed in email and postal records. This multi-source process achieves the highest match rates for both appending and reverse appending.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like any further information on my suggestions above. I always enjoy reading your newsletters. They are food for thought! Please feel free to reprint the above.

Bill Kaplan, CEO
FreshAddress, Inc.
617-965-4500 x203
617-965-4551 fax
Looking to "Build & Update" your e-mail list? Our email appending & patented ECOA services will update your lists for pennies per record! Click Here:

CHRIS KNIGHT's COMMENTS: I will agree that the solution I had mentioned is better suited to a small to medium size business and that a larger enterprise would look to outsource this process. I'm not a big fan of eCOA yet but have begun testing ReturnPath's eCOA product via my long-standing business partnership with NetCreations. After a few more months of testing, I hope to have a better position on this type of marketing. My big issue with eCOA is that there is a missing link of "permission" that needs to be established and many marketers will most likely abuse that permission by assuming they have permission to email their clients without re-affirming that they have permission to do so. Thanks again Bill for sharing your perspectives on this issue.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for October 25, 2004

Additional Ezine-Tips Articles from the Management Category: