One of the LEAST enjoyable tasks associated with any holiday eCard campaign is going through contacts and creating a clean, up-to-date recipient list. It's this task alone that generates a high percentage of support requests, and it's not uncommon for people to say, "I wish I knew about this sooner. How can I get this done by the end of the day?" Our advice? Start as early as possible! Start gathering and refining your holiday eCard list now rather than waiting to the last minute.
Another equally important, and related consideration, is an unclean list may affect your email open rates which can lead to disappointing results in your eCard campaign or party guest list. It is imperative to verify that your email list is up to date and you have removed any bounce backs or unsubscribe requests from your last mailing.
Most contact manager software and email address books allow you to export an Excel spreadsheet of your contacts. Before you spend a lot of time entering contacts into a contact manager, make sure that the software or service allows you to get the information out. Once you save your data, you may need to open up the spreadsheet and delete columns that contain unnecessary or unwanted data.
If you plan to import your contacts into CorpNote's online address book, you will need - at minimum - each contact's first name, last name and email address. You are not required to use the address book to send your eCards, but it enables the following benefits:
While first name, last name and email address are the minimum required data to use the CorpNote address book, you may also wish to export and save your list with Company, Category (such as vendors or clients), Birthday, Anniversary and start date. "Start Date" lets you assign a date that a contact became a customer or an employee was hired. All of these fields are very helpful if you want to send a recurring eCard series in the future, not just for automated holiday cards but for birthday cards, employee milestones and more.
After you have cleaned up your holiday email list make sure you save a backup copy and give it a recognizable name that includes the date. A format that works well might look like this: Holiday-list-10-15-17-Final.csv. Equally important to having a good file naming convention is having a good method of saving it to a folder that will be routinely backed up, and is easily recognizable or accessible in future years.
There are many advantages to using CorpNote's address book, such as the ability to set groups of contacts, better tracking and better integration with our online invitations and online surveys.
Here are some of the primary advantages to using the address book for holiday eCards:
Start with a Clean List: One of the keys to getting the most out of CorpNote is to have a quality email list. It's important that the people on your list have given you permission to send them email (they are also more likely to open an email from you if they have) and that you have diligently removed anyone from your list for which you received a "bounce back" or undeliverable message, or if they've unsubscribed from your list, as required by federal SPAM laws. (FAQ: How do I know if my eCard recipient's email address is valid?)
Importing and Managing Contacts: If you already have a list of people and addresses in another program such as Outlook, Excel, or any other contact manager software that lets you export a ".CSV" (comma separated value) file, you can easily transfer your contacts into your CorpNote Address book. (View the tutorial: Address Book - Importing Contacts)
Tip: Each eCard you send has a 'Manage Your Email Preferences' link. eCard recipients can select to unsubscribe from your eCard list and your CorpNote address book is automatically updated. (Learn more in this tutorial: Unsubscribe/Subscribe for eCard Recipients)
Create Groups before your send your eCards: A huge time saving tip is to Create 'Groups' in your CorpNote Address book, which will make sending eCards to large lists even easier. Groups can be accessed with a single click when you are addressing your eCard.
Managing Invitations and working with the "Invitation List": Each time you send an invitation eCard, your recipients are automatically added to your Invitation List. Even if you send multiple eCard invitations, as long as you link the eCard to the same event, the Invitation List lets you easily track and follow up with the people you invited. By using contacts from your address book, you will then be able to view the people you have invited by name, rather than just by their email address.
These are just a few of the advantages to using the CorpNote address book, and I'm sure you will find many other advantages based on your own needs!
Bonus Tip: By taking a few extra minutes after sending your eCards, you can easily download your CorpNote address book contacts and not have to worry about losing your information if you deactivate your CorpNote membership.
Read the next blog in this series: Creating & Sharing eCards