What’s an Email Database? How Can Your Business Build One?

By Raubi Perilli

      Jun 30, 2022     Solutions    

Whether you have ten or ten-thousand customer email addresses, one thing is the same for all businesses. You need an email database to manage the information.  

Let’s look at what an email database is, why your business needs one, and how you can set one up to meet email marketing and database best practices and legal requirements.

What Is an Email Database?

An email database is a directory that stores information organized around a customer’s email address. It allows you to manually make changes or use automation to update data. An email database is usually a part of an email marketing software. The email database is stored in the email marketing software, and the software allows users to send emails.  

Related: 45 Email Marketing Ideas to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Why Do You Need an Email Database?

An email database is one of the most important marketing assets you can build for your business.  

Email marketing is the most direct way to stay in contact with customers. Plus, it is data that your business can own. Unlike social media followers, an email database belongs to your business. There are no gatekeepers that can lock you out of your account.  

If you want a direct line to your customers, you need a robust email database that allows you to manage your contacts and market your business in multiple ways.  

Related: Why It's Important to Own Your Business Data and How to Start Collecting It

What Does an Email Database Need to Be Able to Do?

Not all email databases are equally useful and valuable. As you build an email database, make sure it has what it needs to meet email marketing and database best practices and legal requirements.  

Your email database should be able to:  

Create multiple lists. The email database shouldn’t be restricted to one master email list. Instead, it should offer a multi-segment database that allows you to create separate lists using tags and filters.  

Offer automated segmentation. A good email database will offer automated audience segmentation tagging based on user actions such how a user signs up for the list, what links they click on in emails, how often they open emails, and more.  

Recognize duplicate entries. If someone joins your list twice, you don’t want two entries. You need a database that can identify duplicate entries and merge two users if they join your list in multiple ways.  

Offer multiple opt-in options. To build your email list, you will likely need multiple ways to add customers to your database. Use an email database that makes it easy to add users manually (if you have a list of customers to upload) as well as through multiple opt-in options (such as through landing page forms, text to join, etc.).  

Provide easy unsubscribes. The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that prevents the misuse of commercial-related emails. Under this law, you must give customers an option to opt out of your email list. Make sure your email database offers reliable unsubscribe options.  

Offer user preferences. To prevent full unsubscribes, use an email database platform that allows users to choose which emails they want to receive. This option can limit opt-outs as users can choose to receive news or user-related emails while opting out of promotional content. 

Accommodate additional user data. The best email databases include information beyond email addresses. Use a platform that can add supplemental information to each customer such as their name, location, birthday, and more.  

Related: The 12 Pieces of Consumer Data Your Small Business Needs to Monitor  

Track performance data. If you want to create great email marketing campaigns, you need data that tracks the performance of each of your initiatives. Use an email marketing platform that tracks open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes.  

Ability to clean your list. A good email database is a well-maintained email database. You don’t want a list filled with invalid entries or customers who don’t open your emails. Manage your data in a platform that makes it each to monitor and clean your list. Use a tool that offers double opt-ins, tracks bounce rates, and regularly identifies and removes spam accounts.

How Can You Set Up an Email Database?

Most email marketing software is also an email database so you can start using simple software like Mailchimp to start building an email list. But many email marketing accounts offer limited data use and management. For that reason, MyArea Network recommends taking your email database in a different direction.  

To get the most out of your email database, we recommend building a full customer data platform.

Elevate Your Email Database to a Customer Data Platform

An email database is centered around email addresses. A customer data platform is centered around individual customers.

A customer data platform is superior to an email database because it offers ways to use data to reach customers, as well as get to know customers and learn from customers.  

It combines email data with data from point-of-sale (POS) systems, customer management systems (CRM), social media profiles, website analytics, surveys, and other third-party data sources to create robust customer profiles that offer more insights about customers and more opportunities to connect with them.  

A customer data platform can offer all of the benefits listed in this post and then even more ways to use data to increase revenue and improve operations.  

Learn More: How Multi-Location Restaurants Can Use Data to Increase Revenue & Improve Operations

Build a Better Email Database Today

Every business needs an email database that stores contact information for prospects and customers. We recommend that businesses take it one step further and turn their email database into a full customer data platform.  

If you’re interested in building an email database that can act as a full customer data platform, let’s talk.  

MyArea Network can help you combine your data points and build one system that collects and manages information about your customers.  

Start building a better customer database today. Contact us to learn more.