How to fully automate the list-cleanup process so you never have to do it again.
If you do absolutely nothing to keep your list clean, it will slowly go bad from age, lack of engagement, changed email addresses, and simple neglect. This is true even if you are getting a steady stream of new opt-ins. Keeping your list clean is cumbersome, time-consuming, error-prone, and just plain boring. So we let the quality of our list degrade from benign neglect. Until now.
This article will show you how to automatically address each of the following business cases.
- Unengaged Marketable
Contacts that are not opening your email, nor clicking links, and it’s been (4) months since they were engaged.
You need a way to identify them and automatically re-engage them in your content and offerings.
- Unengaged NON-Marketable –
Same as above, but these people have been unengaged for (12) months.
You need a way to identify them and automatically pull them from recurring campaigns, possibly purging them from your list,
and to automatically route unengaged customers differently than unengaged contacts.
- Opting out or unsubscribing.
Infusionsoft recognizes more than one way for contacts to opt out.
You need a way to automatically and centrally tag any opt-outs so that you can accurately and consistently remove them from active campaigns.
- Hard Bounces or No Email Address
25-30% of emails go bad every year.
If you keep sending email to bad addresses, that impacts your Infusionsoft health score.
It also makes your conversion rates look worse because bounced addresses will never convert.
You need a way to automatically tag bad email so you can reach out via other means, else remove them from your list.
In the August 2017 update from Infusionsoft, they outlined HOW to automate this cleanup, but did not provide a campaign to do it. So using that as my starting point, I created a downloadable campaign in the Infusionsoft Marketplace that used the new features and added more functionality that can be applied to other Infusionsoft applications.
Benefits of Implementing An Automated List Hygiene Campaign
- This campaign saves you a couple hours of implementation to do something you know you should be doing anyway.
- It provides an easy way to respond to five scenarios that should have you pull a contact out of a campaign
- It increases the health-score of your list, reducing the likelihood that you will be seen as a spammer.
- A healthier list may increase your overall delivery rates. If nothing else, you’ll stop wasting time sending to dead leads.
- For the Infusionsoft professional, the campaign is documented enough that your users can understand it.
- For an end user, the campaign is simple enough to set-and-forget it, allowing an ongoing clean list
Tags The Campaign Creates and Uses
When you install the campaign, it should automatically create the required contact category (List Hygiene) and the following tags:
- Hard Bounce
- No Email Address
- Opted Out
- Unsubscribe request (Infusionsoft states this is an advanced form of Opted Out)
- Unengaged Non-Marketable
- Unengaged Marketable
- Exit Active Campaign
How to Configure Email Status Automation
To make this campaign work, you will also need to add Email Status Automation (Marketing -> Settings -> Email Status Automation), as documented by Infusionsoft, with the following triggers:
When a contact’s status changes
- When a contact’s status changes to ‘Opt-out‘ then add tag ‘Opted out‘
- When a contact’s status changes to ‘Unengaged Marketable‘ then add tag ‘Unengaged Marketable‘
- When a contact’s status changes to ‘Unengaged NON-Marketable‘ then add tag ‘Unengaged NON Marketable’
When an email bounces
- When an email bounces with status ‘bounce – no email address‘ then add tag ‘No Email Address‘
- When an email bounces with status ‘unsubscribe request‘ then add tag ‘Unsubscribe request‘
- When an email bounces with status ‘hard bounce‘ more than 2 times then add tag ‘Hard Bounce’
How to Populate the Campaign with Existing Contacts (one-time, backward-looking cleanup)
Going forward, new contacts that become unengaged or bounce will automatically enter the campaign. However, for existing contracts, we’ll need to do some manual reporting and tagging to put people in the campaign where they belong based on their existing status.
- Marketing -> Reports -> Email Status Search.
- Filter for Email Status, selecting ONE of the following for each pass through seven steps
- Unengaged Marketable
- Hard Bounce
- Invalid Email (this one gets tagged ‘no email address’)
- When the applicable contacts are shown, select all contacts,
- Press the Actions button
- Select “Apply/Remove Tag”
- Select the corresponding tag with the radio set to APPLY the tag
- Press the Save button.
The result of this process is that you will know right away the real status and health of your list. It also means you need not wait for your list to become clean over time… you can clean it up once and for all, never having to worry about it again.
How and Why Was This Contact Moved Here? (The Use of Tags and Notes)
When any of the tags are applied via Email Status Automation, the relevant part of the campaign will fire. However, we don’t want those tags sticking around because there’s otherwise nothing to remove them. Plus, an unengaged contact might re-engage, then disengage again, and we’d need the tag cleared for it to ever fire a second time in the future. Therefore, inside the sequences of the campaign following the goals, we remove the tag we just saw. This is a campaign about list hygiene, so it should at least be hygienic itself with tags! Some professionals call these trigger tags. But if we remove the tags after applying them, how do we know how, when, and why a contact got cleaned up or entered the pathway that they did?
Inside of each sequence following a goal, we add a NOTE to the customer record saying what just happened. Tags come and go, and you can have so many tags on your contacts that looking for the presence of one, or looking through campaign history is not practical. The notes are a more logical place to document what’s been happening with a contact record.
Exiting Active Campaigns
All of the states that leave a contact non-marketable flow through a common sequence: Add/remove tag: Exit Active Campaigns.
This sequence does just what it says. The tag Exit Active Campaigns is applied, then a few minutes later it is removed for cleanliness.
The purpose is so that any of your existing campaigns can have a goal to watch for this single tag and then short-circuit the campaign. This is easier than monitoring for any of the 5 tags (triggered by states) that all mandate the same result – pulling a contact out of the campaign.
Note: You will have to add a goal to your existing campaigns to watch for “Exit Active Campaign” for that part to work.
Contacts to Purge
After the sequence above, we have contacts that are functionally useless to us, and they can be purged from our list. The Contacts to Purge sequence uses the Fulfillment List to batch contacts into groups until you have (200) contacts, or after (180) days pass, whichever comes first. You can adjust either of those numbers. When the batch is ready to go, it sends you a list of the people who are ready to purge. More likely, however, you’ll go back into the campaign and report on everybody in that sequence so that you can purge them interactively.
One key exception to purging your contacts would be when they already purchased something from you. In that case, you may want to keep them anyway. Just connect the sequence Add/remove tag: Exit Active Campaigns to Customers who lost interest, and put the appropriate rule in place inside the decision diamond based on how you identify contacts who made a purchase.
How to Install The List Hygiene Campaign in Your Infusionsoft Account
There are two options for purchasing the campaign. Once you purchase, you’ll be sent instructions on how to add me as an Infusionsoft partner, then I will be able to push the campaign directly into your installation.
This option includes pushing the campaign, tags, and tag-category to your Infusionsoft application. You will need to configure Email Status Automation to fire the goals that the campaign monitors.
In addition to pushing the above, this option includes making the required
changes under Marketing -> Settings -> Email Status Automation
I’ll also review your 5 most populated campaigns and add the additional goals to monitor for any of the 5 conditions that should remove a contact from an active campaign.
Finally, I’ll run the 8 marketing status reports to populate the campaign retroactively with contacts from your list based on their current status.