Originally posted by Salsa Labs

by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa

Swapping lists seems to be a popular past time in political circles. I mean, it’s a cheap and easy way to grow a list right? But there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this.

The wrong way is to just give each other lists to add to your database and send. The biggest reason is that you don’t know what’s being handed to you and as shown in previous blog posts, you’re not just getting a list from them, but from everyone else they’ve gotten lists from.

The right way to send swamp lists is to send an email from your system to your list linking to a page of theirs and vice versa. This way, you know exactly who you’re sending to, can see the results and protect your data integrity.

I’ve been told that handing each other actual spreadsheets is the quickest way to go about this process, which has always left me scratching my head. Let’s look at the steps needed to do this method versus the proper method of sending emails out of your own system on each other’s behalf.

List Swapping

Sending Emails on Each Other’s Behalf

Step 1: Determine the Universe to Swap Step 1: Determine the Universe to Swap
Step 2: Export the Universe Step 2: Write the Email
Step 3: Import the new list into your system Step 3: Get the other orgs ok for the email
Step 4: Write the email Step 4: Send the email and wait for results
Step 5: Get the other orgs ok for the email
Step 6: Send the email and wait for results
Step 7: Clean up the imported list post email send

And that’s a condensed version of list swapping. I’ve left out cleaning the list to import and checking to make sure you don’t have duplicate people, which you might need to do either way.

Not only does the right way of doing “list swaps” cut out numerous time consuming steps, it also protects your organization from negatively being impacted.

I see too many dirty lists being traded back and forth, filled with supporters who either don’t exist, have unsubscribed or have complained to their email service provider. This laziness dirties lists and opens up organizations to being shut down by the various anti-spam systems out there. Doing the first way, you’re guaranteed to eventually run into trouble. It’s not a question of if, but when.

Doing lists swaps the proper way not only nets you individuals who care and will support your organization, it doesn’t add those that don’t, saving your time AND your reputation. Overall, there’s more of a net gain with less cost!

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