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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Understanding the E-Mail Validation feature in Larkspur Executive Pro

Understanding the E-Mail Validation feature in Larkspur Executive Pro

When we released the CTML (Customizable Trackable Marketing Letters) in Larkspur Executive, we realized that one criteria, above all others, would be paramount to our client’s success in utilizing this new feature: Our ability to deliver high quality email addresses with low bounce rates.

The first task is obtaining emails. This process has evolved over time, and currently our emails come from 3 primary sources:

  1. We purchase emails from external vendors
  2. Our engineers developed a proprietary algorithm to actively find new email address for plans
  3. We have a data team that will do their best to find email addresses at our client’s request

But having emails is not the same as having high quality emails. To have quality, you have to ensure that emails are deliverable. When we first launched CTML, we used commercial cleaning services and ran our emails through a validation process. We still do, but this is far from a perfect system. When you receive the results of your email cleansing process, the list provided comes back in three categories: Good, Bad, and Unknown emails. Categories Good and Bad are self-explanatory, but Unknown is a bit different. As the name implies, they could be Good, or they could be Bad, and often, there can be a lot of emails in this category.

And when you are dealing with 500k email addresses, as soon as the list comes back, it starts to become out of date. And given the expense of commercial cleaning, it is not economical to do this on a monthly basis. So, when our engineers developed the previously mentioned proprietary algorithm to actively find new email addresses, they figured out a way to use this same algorithm to validate emails with excellent accuracy. The problem here is that the speed of validation is much slower than commercial services.

But speed isn’t a problem when you are sending single emails – our algorithm is still fast enough that users can barely tell the email is being validated.

Which brings us to the new campaign features in Pro and Platinum. The campaign feature allows users to send a pre-defined sequence of emails to many users. No longer are we operating in the CTML paradigm where we must simply validate a couple of emails at a time; we now need to validate as many as 300 (for Pro) or even 3000 (for Platinum).

To achieve this, our engineers needed to speed up their validation algorithm. But that alone still can’t handle the volume. So we have started to use more intelligent validation techniques: for example, if an email was validated in the last week, we will not re-validate. If the email ‘looks’ similar to many other executive at the same plan, we will validate one, and consider the rest ok.

If you are reading this and thinking that we are sacrificing quality, you are technically correct. But only slightly. This is one of the reasons we have delayed all campaigns by 1 hour so that our algorithms can clean the data as much as possible. And we feel that the small sacrifice in quality of emails is more than compensated by 2 factors:

  1. Instead of sending a single email to a single user, clients can now set an entire sequence of 6, 10, 15 (or more!) emails to 300 (or 3000) contacts simultaneously
  2. If an email does not validate, we will automatically move to the next executive at the plan

So even if our campaign bounce rate is a bit higher than the CTML process, we believe that it is more than compensated for by the increase in speed, volume and content of the longer marketing campaigns. Plus, system wide, our bounce rate isn’t very high.

Finally, I have to mention that we do quite a bit of email marketing ourselves (it is where the ideas for the CTML and the Campaign features originated). I strongly believe that this is the best email marketing system that is available to a plan advisor by a mile.  The ability to reach all these prospects with email sequences that appear to be written just for that sponsor with details about their plan is simply something that doesn’t exist elsewhere. Not at any price, but especially not at LE Pro’s price (I can’t tell you how many prospects have asked us if the price we are quoting is monthly).

So happy prospecting. And if you are not a client yet, sign up for a demo and find out what the buzz is about.

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