Practice Safe Append

After flying below the radar screen for awhile now, append is back in the news of late. First, there was a slam in the pages of the venerable direct marketing bible, Direct Magazine. Then, a slightly more nuanced, but still unflattering, write up was found in MediaPost’s Email Insider column.

Once upon a time though, email append seemed like a great idea. Direct marketers had been using data append in various ways for eons, with much success to recommend the tactic. So why not append email addresses to your postal file and quickly grow your email marketing list?

Well, then too many companies did it, consumers got savvy, the “this is spam” button was invented and append got really, really icky. That Direct Magazine piece offers a great example of what this looks like to a consumer. Not a pretty picture.

And yet … append is still so appealing, isn’t it? (It’s okay, you can admit it.) You have people on your house file with a postal address or phone number. Maybe they have signed up for the Do Not Call list, but you can still send them email, right? And, you sincerely believe you have something great to offer them through email.

There is such a thing as a good append. But only if you don’t take the path of least resistance and do it the way you’d append demographics to your house file. As Apple says, Think Different.

Read our Append research brief for a step-by-step guide to appending data safely and effectively.

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