Data cleanliness is next to marketing automation godliness.
But so often data is either hidden, labelled weirdly, or is so esoteric you may not have any idea what it means or how you should be using it... Ultimately you're often left in the dark with vital information going undiscovered and potential for growth, improvement and insight untapped.
Not to worry, we like the dark - and we're here to switch the light on for you! We're starting a Hidden Data series to help you get all the vital information you need to get you reaching your true potential.
So let's hit our first topic:
Each email address stored in Infusionsoft® is assigned a status. This is crazy helpful for finding out who your unengaged contacts are, who has marked you as spam, or even who has just opted-out and is bloating your list... But how do you see those statuses en masse?
If you've ever dug into Infusionsoft's reporting you'll know that it can be very frustrating to get the information you're looking for easily and quickly.
Thankfully opt-in or email status is one of the reports that does what it says on the tin, is easy to access and provides super valuable information!
However, there is a barrier in the way of getting the information you want out - all the different types of opt-in status....
Never fear, we'll be covering everything you need to know on how your audience breaks down by email status by showing you:
1. How to easily search for Opt-in or Email Status
2. What all the Statuses actually mean
3. BONUS: How you can automate triggers when statuses change
Opt-in or email status is all about what permissions you have to market/contact your contact, whether they have opted out, if their email address is still viable or how engaged they are.
This is vital know how for list cleanliness and hygiene purposes.
But first you need to get to the data itself.
1. Hover over the Infusionsoft logo and go to Marketing > Reports
2. Click on Email Status Search
3. Click the New Search button to clear any data that may already be visible
4. This will bring you to the Search Criteria.
And Now you have about a bazillion options to choose from! A bunch of information and no idea what it means! Yay!
Let's clarify some of them:
Email status is what their status is inside Infusionsoft®. There is a full description of the different types further down the post.
Last Sent Date is when you last sent an email to that contact
Last Engagement Date is when they last engaged with you or your content
The Last Engagement Interval allows you to see a time frame in which contacts last engaged with you
Then ID, the Name, Company and Email fields are all the standard Infusionsoft® search fields that you can also search by
You also have your General, Address, Phone/Email, Custom Fields, Misc, and Column tabs as you normally would for any other search.
Pro Tip: Combining criteria from across tabs can give you very powerful, very specific information!
5. For now, let's stick with Opt-Out, and click Search1
This gives you a list of all your contacts who have opted out combined with the criteria you have imposed in the rest of the search! Pretty awesome 🙂
Now you can clean these contacts out of your application, or if you like manage them in whichever way you see fit.
My favourite search to do is for "Unengaged" contacts, and add them to re-engagement campaigns to warm them up again.
But what about all those other options you have to search with? All the different types of email status?
Lets go through them all for clarity...
This is your default permission to send automated marketing communication to the provided email address.
If you import a contact or list (and say you have permission to market to them), manually add a contact, or if you manually change or update their email address on the contact record - Infusionsoft® will default to Single Opt-In.
This is also the default status for anyone who opts in via a webform etc, until proven otherwise with a confirmation link etc.
This will be your status for any email that has clicked on a custom double opt-in link - which is also referred to internally in Infusionsoft® as a legacy confirmation link.
If you do not check the box saying "I have permission to market to this contact" when either importing a list, or manually adding a contact, Infusionsoft® will mark your contact as Non-marketable.
You can ONLY send individual emails directly from the contact record to these contacts, you won't be able to send them any automated communication, ie. Broadcast emails, follow-up sequences, campaign emails etc. The system will simply not allow you to.
You can of course update a contacts email status by clicking on "Manage Email Status" on their contact record to change their status if you've marked them Non-Marketable by accident!
From time to time Infusionsoft may get involved with you if your email marketing activities are causing a problem to Infusionsoft's deliverability... This is very rare of course. So you should hopefully never see this status. This simply means Infusionsoft has locked the records with this status and you can't do anything with them until they come out of lockdown. As Infusionsoft says: "This status is rare and only pertains to customers that are working with our email services team."
Soft Bounces generally mean that your contact is not getting your emails because of a *temporary* problem with either their inbox or their email provider. Further info on this can be found here.
Examples are things like full inboxes, an email that is too large etc.
If the soft bounce keeps happening, the status will automatically get changed to a hard bounce. At that point the email is considered lost.
But if the issue clears - the status will be updated.
As with the previous status, this could be from an email soft bouncing too many times, or simply that the email address doesn't exist. You can see more information on these bounce types here
This means your contact has unsubscribed from you.
You can still send single emails (ie non-automated emails) if you believe they have erroneously opted out. But you won't be able to send them any campaign or broadcast emails.
If you were recently affected by SPAM bots, you may see a few contacts with this status. This status means the contact has either been opted out by Infusionsoft®, or by a user of your Infusionsoft® account.
This means the contact has opted out of specific communication - but not all of it.
You've been spammed! Or rather, your contact has pressed the SPAM button directly inside their emails, reporting you as SPAM directly to their Email/ Internet Service Provider. Not good!
When your contact unsubscribed from an email, Infusionsoft® asked them why. If they then chose that the email was SPAM, they would come up as Reported SPAM. They have reported you as SPAM to Infusionsoft rather than to their Email/Internet Service Provider. Still really not great, but better than Providing Feedback.
This means that the email address has weird characters in it or is missing vital information (e.g. an @ symbol, .com/.net/.org, etc.)2. Very useful to find the contacts that are nonsense within your database (ie just a string of number etc).
On the contact record you have these awesome little icons that let you see at a glance what the email status is for that one client:
They are even colour coded for your convenience!
So here is a rundown of what the colours mean:
(You'll notice that there has been a recent update on them, which is why there is an old and a new column)
Now it's all good and great if you run this type of in depth search on at least a monthly basis to keep your list clean and up to date. But that's a waste of time! You can easily automate for part of this for all the different bounce types.
Whenever there is a bounce, it affects your email deliverability. So if you are having deliverability issues, this is a very important automation to put in place.
When a hard bounce happens, we can add a tag to the contacts record to add them onto a list of hard bouncers on the dashboard. Or even start a campaign with that tag that adds the contact to a fulfillment list to be dealt with.
Pro Tip: You can get really clever here with rule automation to reach out to contacts based on certain criteria to find other ways to contact them.
1. Hover of the Infusionsoft logo and go to Marketing > Settings
2. On the left hand Navigation panel, under Template Settings, go to Email Status Automation
3. From here, select a trigger type as "When an email bounces" and then click Add Trigger
4. This window then pops up with all the different types of bounces. Choose the type you would like to address and then set the next criteria to "at least" 1 time.
5. Then choose "Apply or Remove a Tag" from the action dropdown and select the exact tag that you would like to apply.
6. Follow this up with doing a saved search for your dashboard or starting a campaign with that tag application and hey presto! Automated housekeeping for super awesome list hygiene!
Let us know how you get on. If you have any questions at all - hit us up here.
Kenda Macdonald is an Automation Ninja. With a background in Forensic Psychology and an affinity for statistics and behaviourally intelligent automation – she’s not your average expert. She’s been living and breathing Infusionsoft since 2011 and has spent over 14 500 hours learning new ways to automate what people think is impossible. She’s a true nerd, and spends her waking hours helping businesses understand behaviour for super effective marketing, and relishes in simplifying over complicated processes for truly intelligent automated marketing. She’s the founder of Automation Ninjas - Experts in behavioural automation. Expect enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge – not normalcy.