How to identify and clean my housefile of disengaged constituents

To ensure we have the best deliverability, what can an organization do to segment their house file? What steps can we take to avoid sending to spam traps and constituents that will report my messages as spam?
Luminate Online offers tools that allow administrators to gauge and act on their most engaged constituents.  Emailing all constituents regardless of their activity results in poor deliverability and bad mailer reputations due to stale email addresses. Emailing addresses that are invalid (fakeaddress@gmail.com), inactive, or consistently soft bounce will earn you a bad reputation amongst various Email Service Providers, such as Hotmail, Comcast and Verizon, etc.

The first step to segmenting your housefile is to establish a baseline of constituents that definitely want to hear from you.  You can create a group of your disengaged constituents and contact them to verify which users in this audience can move into your engaged constituent group.
  1. Go to Data Management > select Tasks
  2. Select the Task List tab
  3. Create a New Task
  4. Choose Email Response Rate Segmentation
  5. Name this task something you'll recognize later, such as "Disengaged Constituent"
  6. Give it any description that you want and any Security Category
  7. Next to "Active?" mark Yes (If Daily is selected, then this task will update the engagement factors daily)
  8. Choose an Engagement Factor field that is not currently in use
  9. For the drop down menus, give Email Opens a weight of 1
  10. Under “Include e-mail responses up to this many days old” type in 180.
  11. Under "How often should I run the segmentation?" mark Run once a day
  12. Click Save
  13. Repeat steps 1 through 12, but for this new task, make the only weight on "Emails Received" of 1, and choose another unused Engagement Factor field.
This task will run every night and will populate your engagement factor fields with however many email sends and opens that the constituent has had. Now we need to create a query to populate a group containing constituents that are disengaged.
  1. Go to Data Management > select Query
  2. Click Create a New Query
  3. Give the query a name that you'll remember, such as "Disengaged Constituents." Keeping the names of your Task, Query and Group will make all of them easier to find later.
  4. Enter a description of your choosing and select a security category.
  5. Click Save
  6. Click the dropdown menu next to Field Type and select System
  7. Click the dropdown menu next to Field and select Active Status
  8. Click Add Field Clause
  9. In the popup window, click the dropdown menu at the top and select not equal to
  10. Click the dropdown menu below and select Removed
  11. Click Save
Repeat steps 6 through 11 to add the additional clauses below:
  • Field Type: System - Field: Active Status not equal to Removed
  • Field Type: Email - Field: Accept Email equals true
  • Field Type: Transaction Information - Field: {Engagement factor for email opens} less than 1
  • Field Type: Transaction Information - Field: {Engagement factor for emails received} greater than or equal to 3
  • (optional) Field Type: System - Field: Creation Time falls on or before 30 day or days prior to today
In summary, this query is going to find all active constituents that are opted in to email and have received at least 3 emails in 180 days, but have not opened any. The last query logic is optional and the reason is that you may not want to be too quick to consider newer constituents as disengaged. This clause is going to exclude users that were created in the last 30 days, so that they have a little more time than older users to get engaged with your organization's emails. Your query should look something like this:

User-added image
  1. Once complete, click “Save query”
  2. Click “Run Query”
  3. When the query has completed, click “Use Query”
  4. From the popup menu, select “Create a Group” and Go
  5. Configure your group containing disengaged constituents and save it
At this point the group membership is not accurate as we have not run the task to populate the Engagement factor. If you would like the tasks to run now, then you can go to Data Management > Tasks, then click on “disable” next to your newly created task. Once disabled you can click run, then re-enable so it will run on schedule going forward. After the tasks run, you can now go back to the group you created and click on "Rebuild Group" to get accurate numbers.

Now you have a group of stale constituents that can be rebuilt when you would like to email the group. You can set up a delivery to contact this group - be sure to include a line in your message that verifies the constituent would like to receive your messages and that they can unsubscribe if they would not like to receive messages. When you send the email to the group, be sure to rebuild the group on delivery. If the user opens the message and does not unsubscribe, they will automatically be removed from the stale constituents group the next time the group is rebuilt.

Going forward on all normal email correspondence you can use the stale constituents group as a "Do not mail" group to avoid contacting these constituents that can hurt your delivery reputation. For constituents that have not been receptive to email for over a year it is a good practice to opt these constituents out of email completely to avoid emailing them.

Using this group of disengaged constituents as a suppression group will greatly improve email reputation and this will reduce your overall spam rating. You should not email your stale constituents more than once every six months to avoid negative affects from emailing inactive users.

Environment

 Luminate

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