Marketing Strategy

The Beginner’s Guide to Yahoo & Google’s New Sender Requirements

As an email marketer, following Yahoo & Google’s new sender requirements is the first step to getting emails into the inbox and engaging with your subscribers. When Yahoo and Google rolled out their new protocol on Feb 1st, the entire email marketing universe rushed to become compliant. The two webmail providers collectively cater to 2 billion users, an audience that no marketer can ignore. 

Why have Google and Yahoo launched these new requirements?

The goal is to protect consumers’ inboxes from spam, unwanted, and phishing emails and make permission marketing the norm. Along with the benefit to users, these requirements prevent spammers from impersonating your brand and damaging your reputation. 

Who gets affected by Yahoo & Google’s new sender requirements? 

The new policy is particularly meant for bulk senders (who send more than 5000 emails within 24 hours). If you’re a small sender or a sender who only sends transactional emails, you might not feel the impact yet. 

But given the current move of making best practices into must-follow rules, experts predict that it’s only a matter of time before Google and Yahoo make these rules mandatory for all senders. 

How do you become compliant with 2024 sender requirements?

Here are the top 5 things you should do immediately

  • Verify ownership of your domain: Whether you’re a business, a freelancer, or a solopreneur, you must own and create sender emails from your domain.
  • Don’t send from a free email address: If you’ve been using a generic email provided by webmail providers like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, it’s time to change. Use free email addresses  for one-on-one communication, not bulk emails. Such emails (like example@gmail.com) hide the true identity of the sender, and ISPs reject bulk emails from these addresses for this reason.
  • Authenticate your emails: Email authentication is a way to reassure webmail providers that you are who you say you are. Not only does it prevent spam emails from entering the inbox, but it also prevents scammers from impersonating your brand. Most large email marketing platforms provide domain authentication to maximize deliverability.
  • Keep spam complaints below 0.3%: According to the new requirements, Gmail requires that spam complaints stay below 0.3% to land in the inbox. To monitor spam complaints, register your domain for Google Postmaster Tools. It also monitors your IP and domain reputation and helps you take steps when any of these plummet.
  • Make it easy for users to unsubscribe: The Unsubscribe button just moved to the top! You’ve likely been adding it to your footer. It will now also appear next to the From address at the top of your email. Yahoo and Google have mandated 1-click unsubscribes that are honored  within 2 days.

And that’s about it, these are the top 5 steps to optimize your deliverability.

BONUS: Authentication for Google sender protocols

3 authentication protocols are essential for your brand: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. 

  • SPF: Short for ‘Sender Policy Framework’, an SPF record confirms to the ISP that the IP the email is coming from is allowed to send emails on your behalf. If your emails don’t have SPF set up, find out how to set up SPF records here
  • DKIM: Short for ‘DomainKeys Identified Mail’, a DKIM prevents your emails from being impersonated by spammers by attaching a private digital signature to each email going out.  Email servers verify this signature and only allow the email into inboxes if there’s a match. For more information on DKIM, check out this helpful article by Google.
  • DMARC: Short for ‘Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance’, a DMARC record serves as a failsafe and informs the ISP of the steps to be taken if any authentication fails. So even with a valid DMARC record, if an SPF or DKIM fails, a DMARC would fail as well. This provides additional security for your emails. Set up your DMARC record with this help article.

Failing to complete all 3 authentication protocols can stop you from reaching your subscriber’s inbox directly. If you’re a Mailchimp user, a high number of cleaned addresses in your audience may be a sign you should review the protocols above to maintain your deliverability.

Go Beyond Compliance with Pure Firefly

If you have questions on any of Yahoo & Google’s new sender requirements, reach out to contactus@purefirefly.com for personalized support. We offer various deliverability services, including one-on-one training to keep you up-to-date on the latest best practices! Just contact us any time for a quote or intro call.

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10 Signs You Should Work with an Email Marketing Agency

For small businesses, the decision to move from “do it yourself” to “do it for me” email marketing can be a major one. Working with an email marketing expert can help unlock hidden potential in your current audience and grow your business by reaching more contacts. How do you know when you’re ready to make the switch to working with an email marketing agency? Here are 10 signs you may be ready to reach out for a helping hand.

1. You’re Planning a Major Product Launch

Are you gearing up for a big product or service launch? Email marketing can be a powerful tool to create buzz and excitement among your audience. Try building up to the launch with scheduled campaigns that highlight the best features of your new product. Be strategic about your send frequency and be sure to announce the launch on your other marketing channels as well. An email marketing agency, like Pure Firefly, can help you craft product launch campaigns that drive engagement and encourage purchases.

2. Your Small Business is Growing

As small businesses expand, their email marketing strategies often become increasingly complex. To make the most of your growth, work with an email marketing agency to handle the burden of routine sending, automations, and segmentation. An email marketer can also provide the expertise you need to strategically scale your marketing with your growing audience.

3. This Year’s Big Sale is Coming Up

When an important sale or promotion is on the horizon, you want your email marketing efforts to be on point. An agency specializing in email marketing can help you strategize and execute high-impact campaigns that drive traffic and sales during your sales events. Many small businesses will work with an email marketer for their Black Friday promotions in order to maximize sales.

4. Your Campaigns Have Low Engagement

If your email campaigns are consistently met with low open and click rates, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. Email marketing agencies like Pure Firefly can analyze your current strategy, make necessary adjustments, and create content that resonates with your audience. Wondering how to assess your engagement? Check out our blog post on campaign analytics for more info!

5. Email Marketing Efforts are Not Converting to Revenue

It can be frustrating to spend hours on email marketing, only to find that your emails are not improving sales. Even engaging campaigns that generate lots of clicks may fail to lead subscribers to purchase. An email marketing agency can help optimize your strategy with tools like automation, segmentation, and personalized emails. Perfecting your email marketing strategy will give you the best shot at converting subscribers to happy customers.

6. Your Emails are Going to Spam

When your emails end up in the spam folder, you stand little chance of reaching engagement or revenue goals. There are many factors that can land you in spam, including problems with domain authentication, overuse of images, a lack of opt-in, or failure to follow CAN-SPAM & GDPR regulations. Resources online can list the common reasons genuine email marketing ends up in spam, but only an email marketing expert can take a look at your account and determine the individual factors that may impact your sender reputation.

7. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Emails

Many small business owners are surprised to find out how time-consuming email marketing can be. If you find yourself taking time away from critical tasks to focus on email marketing, it may be time to reach out for a helping hand. Email marketing agencies like Pure Firefly can assess your current marketing set-up and step in to strategize, design, and send your campaigns. If you don’t want to hand over the wheel entirely, an email marketer can set up automations to generate sales in the background while you focus on the day-to-day tasks of managing your business.

8. You Haven’t Been Using Automations

Email marketing automation can save you time and increase the relevance of your messages. If you haven’t implemented automation in your email strategy, an agency can help you set up and optimize automated email series. Some of the most popular automations for email marketing include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Re-engagement campaigns
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Review requests
  • Targeted automations

9. You Aren’t Segmenting Your Audience

Segmenting your email list allows you to send relevant content to different categories of subscribers. Many marketing platforms offer simple tools to make segmentation accessible. Mailchimp, for example, offers tags, groups, segments, and fields for segmentation. If you haven’t been segmenting your audience, you aren’t making the most of your contact list. An email marketing agency can guide you in segmenting your audience and targeting segments with relevant email campaigns.

10. You Haven’t Started Email Marketing Yet

If you’re a small business with any kind of online presence, email marketing should be a tool in your toolbox. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 64% of small businesses are already using email marketing to stay in touch with their consumers and maximize their revenue. There are many platforms offering beginner-friendly email marketing tools. To make sure you get started on the right foot, try booking a one-on-one consultation with a marketing agency like Pure Firefly.

Small Businesses Maximize their Marketing with Pure Firefly

As a small business, Pure Firefly understands the unique challenges and opportunities small businesses face. We offer various email marketing services, including template design, campaign strategy, audience clean-up, and Mailchimp audits. Whether you’re a marketing pro looking to reach the next level, or a beginner ready to dip into your customers’ inboxes, we would be delighted to work with you. Contact us today for a free intro call, or book a one-on-one session with our specialists starting at $89.

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Cringe-Free Email Marketing for Gen Z

As the oldest members of Gen Z enter the workforce, many organizations are wondering how to achieve email marketing success with this digitally savvy generation. While some studies have found that only 53% of Zoomers enjoy receiving emails from their favorite brands (a decrease compared to millennials), email marketing remains a valuable tool for reaching Gen Z. Here are Pure Firefly’s 5 steps to success for Gen Z email marketing.

Want to skip the reading? Book a strategy call and have your questions answered in as little as 24 hours.

You Can’t Fake Authenticity

Authenticity seems to be this decade’s biggest marketing buzzword. Many brands are taking up the call by infusing emails with humor and casual language. However, there’s more to authentic marketing than throwing in a pop culture reference here and there. In fact, many brands reaching for authenticity miss the mark entirely with cliches or outdated slang.

Instead of putting on a false mask of authenticity, keep things simple. Transparency and honesty will go further than miscalculated humor. Use true stories from your organization, behind-the-scenes content, and straightforward language to naturally cultivate authenticity.

Don’t Doubt a Discount

Gen Z is known to be value-conscious and cautious of overspending. Incorporating discounts, exclusive offers, or rewards programs into your email marketing campaigns can be highly effective in capturing their attention and driving engagement. Highlight the value they’ll receive and make each offer clear and easily accessible. Consider leveraging time-limited offers or flash sales to create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Personalize & Automate

In 2023, personalization and automation are essential for effective email marketing. So before you hit send on the 5th batch-and-blast “LOL, Pizza Night!” email of the week, remember that 74% of Gen Z-ers feel bombarded with advertisements. Don’t compete for attention by further clogging an already crowded inbox. Instead, use automation and personalized messages to respond effectively to subscriber behavior and reach subscribers when they want to hear you.

Gen Z are Search Engine Pros

As the first generation to grow up using search engines, Gen Z is adept at filtering through vast amounts of information online. To capture their attention in their crowded inboxes, create subject lines that are concise, engaging, and searchable. Use relevant keywords and phrases that align with their interests and the content of your email. Experimentation with emojis and creative language can be a great way to boost open rates, but avoid clickbait subject lines when reaching Gen Z. 

Rather than responding immediately to a fun subject line, many Gen Z-ers will respond to emails on a delayed basis, searching for what they need when they need it. For some subject line ideas, check out our top 100 high-converting subject lines for nonprofits.

Reach Gen Z with Pure Firefly’s Expert Tips

When it comes to mastering Gen Z email marketing, Pure Firefly has a track record of success. Our email expertise has helped nonprofit organizations and B2C companies increase profits and boost engagement with their audience. Pure Firefly offers one-on-one training and consulting services to help you unlock the full potential of your Gen Z email marketing campaigns. 

Contact us for a free quote!

 

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Mailchimp Campaign Analytics: Matching Metrics to Your Goals

Wondering how to measure your Mailchimp campaign performance? Start with analytics! For every email sent, Mailchimp provides in-depth analytics, including open rates, click rates, revenue, and more. This post will help you leverage campaign analytics in order to match Mailchimp’s Metrics with your goals.

Understanding Mailchimp Campaign Analytics

Mailchimp is a leader in email marketing analytics. As such, their campaign reports equip marketers with plenty of metrics to guide strategic marketing decisions. Here are some of the most valuable metrics Mailchimp provides to analyze your campaigns:

  • Open Rate: The % of recipients who opened your email
  • Click Rate: The % of recipients who clicked on any link in your email
  • Clicks Per Unique Opens: The % of openers who clicked on any link in your email
  • Bounces: The number of campaigns that were unable to deliver
  • Unsubscribers: The number of recipients who unsubscribed
  • Revenue: The total value of purchases made using links in your campaign

Each of the analytics above can reflect successes and failures in your strategy, leading to smarter marketing decisions.

 

How to Match Metrics to Campaign Objectives

Different campaigns have distinct objectives and thus require different metrics for evaluation. In order to make the best use of Mailchimp’s campaign analytics, begin by setting a clear goal. For example, you may want to boost sales on a particular product or win back subscribers who have become disengaged. 

When you start with a goal in mind, it is easier to see what metric will most clearly reflect your success. Then, you can combine this primary metric with other campaign analytics in order to gain a more well-rounded view of your email’s performance.

 

Examples of Goal Alignment with Mailchimp Analytics

Wondering where to start with Mailchimp’s analytics? Here are some common campaign types, the goals they tend to target, and the metrics that will be most useful for measuring their success.

  • Welcome Email: Most welcome emails are intended to build a strong relationship with subscribers, and may direct recipients to an organization’s website. Focus on open rates, click rates, and unsubscribes.
  • Black Friday Promo: This promotion is aimed at boosting sales, so you can measure success with revenue.
  • Event Promotions: When your goal is gathering registrations for an event, connecting Mailchimp to your event platform is key. Not sure how to set it up? Consider working with an email marketing agency like Pure Firefly to develop an API integration.
  • Blog Update/General Newsletters: Many educational emails are intended to drive traffic to a particular website or article. On the Mailchimp side, that means tracking clicks is the way to go!

 

Maximize Your Metrics with Pure Firefly

Reaching your marketing goals is made even easier when you have a trusted partner in email marketing. Pure Firefly offers 1-on-1 training sessions on the nuances of Mailchimp strategy, template design, and campaign analytics. Or, contact us to kick off ongoing marketing work including account set-up, Mailchimp audits, template creation, and more.

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Stress-Free Black Friday Email Marketing for Small Businesses

In the race of Black Friday email marketing, small businesses may find themselves overwhelmed with questions. Here are answers to 5 of the most frequently asked questions about Black Friday email marketing for small businesses. By developing an effective strategy in advance, you can get ahead of the Black Friday frenzy and spend more time enjoying the holiday. (For maximum relaxation, you can always work with an email marketing partner.)

How Many Black Friday Emails Should I Send?

Small businesses need to strike a balance between staying at the top of their subscribers’ inboxes and overwhelming them with too much messaging. Typically, Black Friday sales should warrant between 3 and 5 emails. Here are some campaigns any small business should consider when preparing for Black Friday / Cyber Monday:

  1. “Coming Soon:” Let subscribers know what you’ll be offering at least a week in advance
  2. “Sneak Peek:” Give VIP customers a closer look at your deals
  3. “It’s Here:” Announce when the sale has begun
  4. “24 Hours Remain:” Remind subscribers not to miss this sale
  5. “Don’t Forget to Check Out:” Use an abandoned cart automation to recover missed sales

Because Black Friday is such a major retail holiday, some small businesses may want to update their routine automations with a temporary banner or Black Friday Shoutout. An email marketing agency like Pure Firefly can work with you to create automations that convert.

When should I start planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

In order to effectively execute a Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday Campaign, small businesses should leave plenty of time for planning and promoting their sale. Small businesses should start planning their Black Friday email marketing in August. By starting in August, you leave your team plenty of time to develop a multi-channel marketing strategy and prepare to fulfill an influx of orders.

What marketing channels should I use to promote my sale?

Today, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access information. This makes digital marketing channels like email and social media more important than ever. If you use an email marketing platform like Mailchimp, you may find that you have a variety of multi-channel tools already at your fingertips. Consider booking a training session with a digital marketing expert to look at your marketing options and build out a strategy in advance.

How can I stand out during the Black Friday rush?

Small businesses looking to stand out should use email marketing to reach previous and potential customers alike. Build anticipation a week or two in advance and use segmentation to target different types of customers. For example, you may reward customers who have purchased more than 3 times by opening the sale to them in advance. An abandoned cart automation can also make a huge impact on your Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales as well.

Be sure to sync up personalized, engaging email content with your marketing on other platforms. By meeting your customers where they are, you can ensure that your sale stays top-of-mind and stands out amongst competitors.

How do I know what’s working?

To evaluate your Black Friday / Cyber Monday campaign’s success, take a look back at last year’s performance and set a goal for this year. You may want to exceed last year’s Black Friday revenue by $1,000, or maybe you want to acquire 50 new customers. Most small businesses will find it most effective to evaluate success using a combination of various metrics. For example, your Black Friday announcement email may have earned a massive click rate but a low revenue if your site crashes or users are not impressed by the products you offer. 

Is it your first year setting Black Friday marketing goals? Try comparing metrics to your most recent sale, or work with a marketing expert to set goals that work best for your business.

Prepare for Black Friday with Pure Firefly

Pure Firefly is a full-service email marketing agency that specializes in working with small businesses and nonprofits. As a small business ourself, we understand how every moment makes a difference when growing your business. Save time and stress by hiring us to develop your Black Friday campaign, or book a strategy call so we can work with you to refine your plan.

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100 High-Converting Email Subject Lines for Nonprofits

A great subject line is the key to capturing your audience’s attention and inspiring them to engage with your emails. Whether you’re sending monthly newsletters, welcome emails, or automated campaigns, a well-crafted email subject line can make a huge impact on your nonprofit. In this guide, we’ve curated 100 high-converting subject lines designed specifically for nonprofits. From creating urgency to tugging at heartstrings, we’ve got you covered.

Need more help? Try a one-on-one call with one of our email experts.

 

Make Monthly Newsletters Pop

Monthly newsletters are one of the most popular forms of email. While many marketers are turning toward automations in recent years, monthly newsletters remain a common practice for a reason. These emails provide a space for any information you need to share, making them highly flexible. Plus, the infrequent sending schedule makes it highly unlikely that subscribers will be overwhelmed by a monthly newsletter. Here are 13 subject lines for your next monthly nonprofit newsletter:

  1. Your [MONTH] Newsletter is Here!
  2. What We’ve Achieved Lately
  3. Be the First to Know
  4. Our Monthly Roundup
  5. What We Did Together in [MONTH]
  6. Your [MONTH] Dose of Good News
  7. Lets Connect: Impact, Updates, Events
  8. Your [MONTH] Newsletter is Waiting
  9. Writing New Chapters
  10. [MONTH] Tales of Collaboration
  11. [MONTH] Update: Government Engagements
  12. Monthly [ORGANIZATION] Insider
  13. Notes from the Frontlines

 

Write a Warm Welcome Email

Welcome emails are one of the most important steps in a new subscriber’s relationship with your organization. Set up welcome email automation to start your marketing off on the right foot and show new subscribers what they’ll be receiving. Here are 14 email subjects for nonprofits to help your welcome email attract a stellar open rate:

  1. Welcome Home: Where Hope Lives
  2. Your Journey Starts Here
  3. Welcome to [ORGANIZATION]
  4. Let’s Change the World Together
  5. You’re Signed Up
  6. Welcome to the Movement
  7. You’re a Part of the Change
  8. You’ve Taken the First Step
  9. You’re Here – What’s Next?
  10. Make an Impact Just by Joining
  11. Your Support Means the World
  12. Let’s Work Together
  13. Together, We’ll Create a Brighter Future
  14. Join Us, Change Lives

 

Share a Heartwarming Story

Showing the impact of your organization is a great way to keep people on board with your cause. Any nonprofit organization should make human stories a part of its email marketing strategy, either in its welcome series or through a scheduled email campaign. Here are 15 subject lines that tug on subscriber’s heartstrings:

  1. A Story of Resilience
  2. One Life Transformed
  3. Lighting up Lives
  4. The Power of Community Support
  5. Change We Make Together
  6. How My Life was Changed
  7. Why I Work with [ORGANIZATION]
  8. Barriers Broken, Lives Restored
  9. The Ripple Effect
  10. Life in a Turning Tide
  11. A Lesson on Hope
  12. [NAME] Shares their Story
  13. A Study in Support
  14. Follow [NAME]’s Journey
  15. Why We do the Work

Event Invites are Everything

Many nonprofit supporters look forward to the next time they can engage with the causes they care about in person. To boost attendance at your next event, consider running a multiple-email campaign to generate excitement. Pure Firefly has helped several nonprofits boost event attendance and donations with email marketing. Here are 15 email subjects to help you do the same:

 

  1. Join Us for a Night of Impact
  2. Save the Date
  3. You’re Invited, [NAME]
  4. Will We See You Tonight?
  5. Mark Your Calendars: [EVENT] Tonight!
  6. Seats Are Filling Up
  7. Last Chance to Register
  8. Only 5 Tickets Left
  9. Space is Limited
  10. Make an Impact In Person
  11. Let’s Make Miracles Happen
  12. Music, Laughter, and Heartfelt Stories
  13. Celebrate The Art of Giving
  14. A Night to Remember
  15. Bid, Win, Change Lives

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Donations are the backbone of many nonprofits’ funding, and soliciting them is a key element of a successful nonprofit email marketing strategy. To boost opens on your next call for donations, try using segmentation and one of these 14 subject lines:

 

  1. Be a Champion for Change
  2. Join Our Movement: Stronger Together
  3. Stand Up for What Matters
  4. Fuel Our Mission
  5. Together We Thrive
  6. Make an Impact Today
  7. Why I Give
  8. Make Your Voice Heard
  9. Rally for Change: We Need You
  10.  Let’s Build a Better Future
  11. Amplify Your Impact
  12. Ignite Hope Around the World
  13. Give Back, Gain Joy
  14. Help Us Fight Hunger

Celebrate Your Successes

If you’re asking subscribers for support, don’t forget to show them what their support helps you accomplish. Sharing success stories can boost morale across your entire subscriber base, and shows that donations aren’t going to waste. Celebrate your achievements with these 14 engaging subject lines:

  1. See Hope in Action
  2. Making Dreams Possible
  3. Impact Achieved: Thank You
  4. Hearts Full, Mission Accomplished
  5. Our Hearts Are Full
  6. We Exceeded Expectations
  7. We Did It!
  8. Raising Over $1000 for Change
  9. Bidding Wars: Remember Auction Night?
  10. Looking Back on Cinematic Magic
  11. School Built, Dreams Flourish
  12. We Made an Impact Together
  13. This is the Power of Unity
  14. You Made It Happen

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

Transactional emails are an often-overlooked part of nonprofit email marketing. When subscribers donate to your organization or attend an event, sending an immediate thank you message shows that you care. Many email platforms provide tools for setting up automated thank you’s, making this achievable for even the smallest nonprofit teams. Here are 15 email subject lines for an impactful nonprofit thank you:

  1. Thank You, [NAME]
  2. You Just Made a Difference
  3. Who Your Donation Helps
  4. Your Support Matters
  5. Endless Thanks
  6. Your Donation Helps Us Change the World
  7. You’re a Philanthropic Hero
  8. We’re Grateful for Your Generosity
  9. Our Gratitude Soars
  10. Heartfelt Thanks
  11. You Make Miracles Happen
  12. Thanks for Changing Lives
  13. You’re Supporting Progress for All
  14. You Are Amazing
  15. High-Five for Impact

Reach New Heights with Pure Firefly

There’s more to successful email marketing than a good subject line. To unlock email marketing that converts, consider working with an email expert like the ones at Pure Firefly. Our team is Mailchimp and Klaviyo certified, with over 10 years of experience in design & IT. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Plus, Mailchimp users can book a one-on-one call with an email specialist as little as 24 hours in advance.

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How to Use Zerobounce for Email List Cleaning

Maintaining a clean contact list is crucial for email marketers. Thankfully, several tools and services offer you a clean list in an instant. Zerobounce is one of the most reliable among these options. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to using Zerobounce, from uploading your audience file to interpreting the results. For more list-cleaning tips, book a training with one of Pure Firefly’s email experts!

What is Zerobounce?

Zerobounce is an email validation platform designed to improve the quality of your email lists. Basically, you upload the email addresses, and Zerobounce tells you which are worth contacting! Their software uses advanced algorithms and an extensive database to root out invalid email addresses, spam traps, and other low-quality contacts. After getting a full analysis of your list from Zerobounce, you can remove risky contacts in order to boost both engagement and deliverability.

Why is List Cleaning Important?

List cleaning is vital for maintaining a healthy sender reputation. Sender reputation is based on a variety of factors, including spam reports, active opt-in, and the presence of spam traps in your audience. By maintaining a healthy sender reputation, you can maximize overall deliverability. This means more contacts will actually receive your emails in their inbox.

By regularly cleaning your email list with a service like Zerobounce, you can continuously remove invalid and inactive contacts, which reduces your bounce rates, and minimizes the risk of being flagged as spam.

Upload Your File to Zerobounce

To clean your email list with Zerobounce, you’ll first need to upload your audience file. The process is simple:

  1. Create an account or log in
  2. Click on “Validate New List”
  3. Drag and drop your file, or import from cloud storage
  4. Match the columns in your file to the labels in Zerobounce
  5. Mark whether or not the first row contains column headers
  6. Confirm if Zerobounce can remove duplicate emails
  7. Hit Validate!

Once you’ve uploaded your file, Zerobounce may take up to an hour or more to complete the validation process. Zerobounce list cleaning supports CSV, XLS, XLSX, and TXT files of any size.

How to Interpret Your Zerobounce Results

After the validation process is complete, Zerobounce will provide you with a detailed report on the quality of your email list. Emails will be divided into the following statuses:

  • Valid: These contacts have a bounce rate under 2% and are the safest to email.

  • Invalid: Invalid emails either do not exist, contain a syntax error, or have a full inbox. As a general rule, these contacts should be deleted.

  • Catch-All: These addresses are set up on a unique kind of domain that always returns a valid response – even if there’s no one on the other end. If you want to keep these addresses, try making a segment of catch-all contacts and observing their response to a campaign.

  • Spamtrap: These emails are fake addresses set up by ISPs & blacklist providers in order to catch spammers. Sending to a spam trap can have an immense impact on your sender reputation, so definitely delete any that Zerobounce finds! Check out Mailchimp’s article on spam traps to understand how these addresses work. 
  • Abuse: These contacts are typically real people that are known to report even innocent emails as spam. Avoid sending to these contacts, as even an inaccurate spam report can damage your deliverability.

  • Do Not Mail: These are most often role-based or company emails (like “sales@purefirefly.com”). While these addresses are valid, they’re typically poor contacts for most email marketing. Take a closer look at these addresses to determine whether or not you’d like to continue sending to them.

  • Unknown: As you might predict, Zerobounce can’t determine the validity of unknown contacts. Try re-importing them at no cost, or remove them from your audience. 80% of unknowns are invalid addresses.

Along with these statuses, Zerobounce also provides sub-statuses explaining why a contact may have landed in a particular status. They also provide additional predicted information about your contacts, including name, gender, and general location. 

What’s Next?

After you’ve cleaned your list using Zerobounce, you can choose how to make the most of the information provided! One great option is to archive any of the invalid, spam trap, and abuse contacts in your audience. You can even archive your full contact list and re-import the valid addresses.

You may also use your Zerobounce list cleaning results for segmentation. For example, you can use Zerobounce’s gender predictions to send targeted marketing based on gender. Or, you can create a tag for catch-all addresses and send a targeted campaign requesting that they re-confirm their subscription. 

However you choose to use your Zerobounce results, make sure you clear out those spam traps and send to your most valid addresses!

Get a Cleaner List with Pure Firefly

Ready to put your cleaner list into action? Pure Firefly, a trusted partner in email marketing, offers list cleaning services and comprehensive training to help you optimize your campaigns. Our team of email specialists have over 10 years of experience in marketing, design, and IT. 

Contact us today for a free quote on any email marketing service! We look forward to working with you soon.

*Note: This post may include affiliate links. If you sign up for Zerobounce list cleaning using links in this post, Pure Firefly will receive a small commission. We never promote services we do not use ourselves, and all opinions expressed are our own.

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Top 3 Segments for Nonprofits

Without effective segmentation, sometimes sending emails can feel like screaming into the void. Each week, you send messages, only to see the same engagement. In 2023, sending every email to your full audience just doesn’t cut it anymore. To maximize effectiveness, nonprofits should use segmentation to ensure the right messages reach the right people. Here are our top 3 audience segments for nonprofits, plus some more guidance on segmentation.

Why is Segmentation Important?

Effective segmentation matches your emails’ messaging to the appropriate contacts. While some emails, like a monthly educational newsletter, can be safely sent to your full audience, the same is not true for every campaign. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a 50% off coupon on an online course to contacts who already purchased it at full price. Similarly, you shouldn’t send an email about an event in Georgia tomorrow to contacts in Norway tonight. 

With appropriate segmentation, you can ensure that contacts receive the emails that most appeal to them. Your audience is more likely to engage with these emails, and will appreciate being spared from emails they never opened in the first place. Segmentation is just one element of a smarter marketing strategy.

How Do You Implement Segmentation?

A segmentation strategy should always begin with setting a goal, then gathering the appropriate data on your audience. 

Many platforms offer predictive tools to help you estimate characteristics like location, age, and gender. Other audience info (like attendance at in-person events) may be stored on another platform. Using integrations to sync audience data across platforms can help keep your segmentation process simple.

Once you gather audience data, you can begin creating segments. Every email platform has their own tools for segmentation. However, most can be used to accomplish the same results. Mailchimp users, for example, can take advantage of tags, groups, segments, and fields. To learn more about creating segments, check out our blog post on Mailchimp’s segmentation tools.

Nonprofit Segment 1: The Diehard

Nonprofits looking to maximize engagement & donations shouldn’t let their most loyal supporters go unacknowledged. In many ways, the diehard segment is made up of your dream contacts. Maybe they open every email or have donated a cumulative amount over $3,000 dollars. The specifics of the diehard segment will vary depending on your organization’s size, reach, & goals. Here are some attributes which may make a contact match the diehard segment profile:

 

  • Opening all of your past 10 emails
  • Clicking on all of your past 5 emails
  • Donating more than 10 times
  • Donating over a certain cumulative amount
  • Donating on a monthly basis for over 3 months

However you slice and dice it, the diehard segment should be composed of your biggest supporters. These are the subscribers you should contact with special updates and invitations to your most exclusive events. Reward people for their generosity, and they are even more likely to keep coming back!

Need support with automating rewards to your most loyal supporters? Contact Pure Firefly to build a journey for you, including copywriting and template design.

Nonprofit Segment 2: The Local

Similar to the diehard, the local segment is likely to have relatively high engagement. These contacts may not be the most frequent donors, but they are closely tied to your organization’s goal. Local contacts are not necessarily geographically local (though they may be), but should have a close relationship to your organization in other ways. They may fit any of the following characteristics:

  • Lives within 50 miles of the community you serve
  • Has volunteered previously with your organization
  • Has connected with you via email replies or on other platforms
  • Is personally affected by the issue your organization addresses
  • Participates in organizations similar to your own

While these contacts may not be the most engaged or donate the largest amount, they play a valuable role in moving your organization toward its goals. Because these subscribers are likely to have a connection to your organization’s aims, they may appreciate personal stories and educational emails. 

Local subscribers are also more likely to engage with calls for volunteer support and may amplify your message to others in their community. To learn about Mailchimp’s segmentation tools, including predicted location, consider setting up a training call with Pure Firefly.

Nonprofit Segment 3: The Newbie

When subscribers first join your audience, they present you with a major opportunity. These contacts are likely to be expecting emails and may be highly motivated to support your cause. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by: Use automated emails to Newbie segments to reach subscribers at key moments.

The Newbie segment should include characteristics like:

  • Just joined your audience
  • Recently attended their first event
  • Donated for the first time

Whenever a subscriber has a “first” with your organization, another opportunity for interaction opens up. Let your Newbies know how much they’re appreciated, and they may become diehard subscribers. This is what makes welcome automations such a key part of email marketing strategy!

Pure Firefly Can Help Level Up Your Segmentation

When it comes to segmentation, the possibilities are almost endless. The Diehard, the Local, and the Newbie are only 3 potential segments nonprofits should target with special messaging. Building segments tailored to your specific organization takes time and careful thought, so consider working with an email expert who can guide you through the process. 

Pure Firefly’s team of email specialists has years of experience in marketing, IT, & design. To take the first step towards more effective segmentation, book a strategy call with one of our team members, or contact us for more information.

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