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Outfitting Cabela's with the right email verification data

As the largest Ecommerce site for outdoor gear and with 29 destination stores located across the country, Cabela’s® provides a unique shopping experience the whole family can enjoy. The massive storefronts house nature displays you might expect to see in a museum alongside a vast selection of superior merchandise for hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities. Cabela’s customers tend to be nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, so it is only natural that they love the retailer and enthusiastically subscribe to communications from the World’s Foremost Outfitter®.

Emails running wild

After collecting email addresses through various channels and validating only the form and syntax of those collected through their Ecommerce channel, Cabela’s had amassed a large number of suspected “bad” email addresses. For years, the retailer monitored email bounces and separated any bounced emails from the general marketing population. In their attempt to minimize email spam, Cabela’s did not distinguish between hard and soft bounces. Treating soft bounces the same as hard bounces, however, ignores that soft bounces are not always bad email addresses. Hard bounces reflect emails that have invalid domains, user names, or other errors that cause an email to be undeliverable or rejected by the recipient domain. Soft bounces, on the other hand, signify that that single email could not be delivered, but does not indicate that all future emails will be undeliverable. A soft bounce could simply indicate that the customer’s inbox was full or their server was busy. By removing even the soft bounces from their marketing lists, Cabela’s was potentially preventing large numbers of opt-in subscribers with valid email addresses from receiving communications.

Over a 10-year period, the pool of bad emails had grown to be quite large and left Cabela’s marketing team wondering if any portion of the suspected bad addresses might actually be valid. Without a way to keep the truly bad emails off their list, Cabela’s had no choice but to miss out on communicating with those customers whose email addresses soft bounced.

Experian Data Quality hits the mark

Luckily, Cabela’s contacted Experian Data Quality to help tame their wild email list. After doing a data test on a small portion of their suspect bad addresses, Cabela’s decided our email validation solution was just what they needed to sort the soft bounces from the bunch and get back in touch with some of their loyal customers. Our batch cleansing solution could sweep through all the suspected bad email addresses to check for various errors and determine which addresses were valid or not.

Our batch email cleansing solution was a quick and easy fix that required minimal effort from Cabela’s. We helped them recover a significant portion of email addresses that could be included back into email marketing communications. Dean Wynkoop, manager of data management at Cabela’s, said, “We reached ROI on the project in far less than two weeks. The data test had given us an estimate of what to expect from the cleansing, but the results far exceeded my expectations. This was 100% worth our time and money.” Cabela’s now has greater confidence in the quality of its email data and reaches more subscribers with each of its weekly marketing campaigns.

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