PMC + Contact Databases


In this tip, we will be reviewing a best practices strategy in handling new contacts when two small businesses merge.


As small businesses do not have the resources of large businesses, they must utilize small business tools (e.g. Mailchimp). It is easy to get into Mailchimp prison if you throw around new lists of contacts with an email address contacts have never seen before."If you’re sending a lot of email over time, you’re likely to see some spam complaints, but industry standards recommend a complaint rate under 0.1%." - Mailchimp. This is scary for a business that utilizes internal marketing to drive continued revenue.


In this particular case, we had a client who was acquiring another small business, but a business that was twice their size and had 40,000 contacts from the past 20+ years. That may sound like a gold mine of contacts, but you could receive a lot of complaints hitting contacts who are 20 or even 5 years old and have no idea who you are. After analyzing the data, Purple Marketing Consulting came up with the following notes and recommendations to consider.


1. The addition of this many contacts in Mailchimp would cost $640/month in Mailchimp. Jumping even to 10,000 total contacts has a $300/month cost. 2. 31,000 of the contacts are 5 years old or older. My concern here is if we contact all of these contacts, we could get a very high unsubscribe and complaint rate which would ban the email account from sending.3. I would recommend only adding the emails of contacts 5 years old or newer rather than all contacts at once. My recommendation is this. Only add contacts that have had service in the past 5 years. We will monitor the complaint and unsubscribe rate. If this proves to be a successful and profitable move after we send a month of campaigns, we can then look at adding contacts from 6 years ago. If that still is good after another month of campaigns, we can continue adding years until it starts to look like poor results. If we see poor results, we MUST stop adding contacts and throw the rest (older ones) away.

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