A lot of people I speak to, whether that be customers or prospects, know that email validation can provide significant benefits, yet sometimes they struggle to make an impactful case for implementation. For me, there are 3 key areas that are often not fully understood, and therefore undersold when building a business case for investment. Here’s my advice on how to meet these head-on:
Time and time again business cases are built and presented without really answering the question ‘is this helping the business get to where it wants to be?’, but actually if this isn’t done, the probability of allocating budget to your proposal is slim. The very first thing to do is ensure you fully understand the business objectives, and how email validation helps meet them.
Is this helping the business get to where it wants to be?
Typically, businesses will have objectives around 3 key areas:
…this may also include strategic objectives enabling the business to do things like increase market share, bring a new product to market or gain competitive advantage.
But that’s not all. People buy based on what is personally relevant to them, so your pitch should change depending on who it is you’re presenting to – if you’re talking to a Marketing Director, they’ll want to know about how email validation will help increase their pool of prospects, increase conversion rates, or decrease website drop-offs. On the other hand, these aren’t going to be important to a Contact Centre Manager, who is more likely to be interested in how email validation can, for example, save time on the phone to decrease customer waiting times, or get through more sales calls in a shift.
Find out who it is you need to present to and build the benefits based on what will help them achieve their role-specific objectives - in terms of persuasive power, it’s the things that really matter to the decision makers (i.e. meeting their objectives) that will have an impact that lasts.
How you can help increase revenue should always be part of your case, so make sure you get the numbers to show tangible evidence. Usually email validation isn’t something that attracts additional customers (unless we’re looking at increased sender reputation which I’ll come on to), but a great way to show real value is by looking at missed opportunity cost – how much revenue might your business have missed out on as a result of having incorrect email addresses? If you’re using an ESP, you should be able to get the numbers quite easily; this is the basic equation you’ll need:
Let’s say you’re not reaching 1000 customers for each email send, your typical conversion rate is 3% and your average order value is £50 – that’s £1500 you’re missing out on in just one send – multiply that by the typical frequency of sends per annum and the numbers quickly start adding up!
There will also be a number of email addresses you’re not able to deliver to if you don’t look after your email list hygiene (see my previous post ‘Email: Higher volume, higher return?’). By removing the bad email addresses using email validation, you can increase your sender score, thus email deliverability – meaning you increase the pool of people who will see your email. Using the conversion rate and average order value you found earlier, you can incorporate how much more revenue you could be generating as a result of identifying and removing bad email addresses.
Gathering the information to demonstrate real benefits can be a time consuming and difficult task, and although you will have the content to your presentation, make sure your delivery is realistic, believable and impactful - after all you’ll be presenting it to decision makers and potentially other stakeholders. If they don’t understand something they may not admit it in front of the group, and they’re unlikely to be bought into your idea - so spend time before the delivery to get fully prepared to tackle each stakeholder’s individual concerns before you walk into the room.
A great starting point is to get an analysis report of the validity of your current list, and an idea of how many incorrect email addresses you’re currently collecting. You can get this by visiting our Email Validation page and upload your list here.