In business-to-business email marketing, every email address that goes bad means lost revenue and potentially a lost relationship. That was the case for one of our B2B senders, eager to keep clean, up-to-date contact data in their emfluence Marketing Platform account. Earlier this year, they synced their customer data to their emfluence account, to keep a current list for their regular product and newsletter sends. As part of that sync, they also received information back from emfluence when a customer unsubscribed or bounced too many times.

Bounced Contact

An unsubscribe means no more email — this sender realized that. But a bounced email address means opportunity. The marketing team set up the 2-way data sync, but the sales team realized they could be using this to reach back out to customers that had changed roles, companies or had simply mistyped their information, to get an updated email address. This way, they keep customers in the marketing database if they’re still a viable prospect.

The contact record update process goes like this:

  1. The sales person, Sarah, adds a new customer to the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) database. She types the new customer’s email address, but is off by one letter:
  2. The CRM syncs to the company’s email database in the emfluence Platform.
  3. On the next email send, marketing sees that John’s email address hard bounces, meaning it’s a bad address and doesn’t exist.
  4. emfluence sends the hard bounce information back to the CRM. The CRM admin created a custom list of any Held contacts in the CRM, so that sales people, like Sarah, could reach back out and get the right contact information.
  5. Sara sees the error right away — she flipped the m and the s when typing — and updates John’s email address to
  6. The new email address is synced with emfluence and starts to receive email.

This seems like a simple process, but can potentially make a big impact. The Held list is likely to find customers who are no longer with the client company and can alert sales to be reach back out to for a new contact. Sales reps could reconnect with a customer months earlier than they otherwise would have noticed, just by monitoring for an inactive email address.

This B2B sender story is one of my favorites not only in its simplicity, but because it shows what sales and marketing can do when they think on the same project from their own perspectives, and align their customer data together. Marketing wins because they have a sales team eager to clean up bad data. Sales wins because they can keep an ear to the ground simply by seeing marketing reporting data.

Best of all, the company wins because this is a good step towards retaining client companies, especially in the fragile time when a primary contact leaves.

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