Automate List Cleaning With Workflows

Matt Davis, Senior Product Manager

Author Bio

Matt Davis is responsible for delivering solutions at the heart of the Bronto Marketing Platform, including workflows and automation, reporting, analytics and API, to help retailers maximize the impact of their marketing campaigns. He has over a decade of experience in product management and marketing in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) space. Prior to Bronto, Davis served as product manager at Deutsche Bank Global Technology and iContact. In 2006, he helped start Futures, Inc., a forward-looking SaaS startup in southern California, where he played a crucial role in the development and launch of the cloud-based Pipeline platform, focused on candidate and employer matching, career marketing and professional networking. Prior to Futures, he worked in marketing and sales for Apple, Inc.

Let’s face it: Cleaning your contact lists manually is never fun. But we have made it infinitely easier in Bronto!

Bronto’s Segment Builder now includes three new criteria to help you segment more efficiently for contact engagement. When combined with the awesome power of Workflow Automation, this enables fully automated list cleaning.

The new criteria are:

  • Bounced Contacts
  • Non-Engaged Contacts
  • Orphaned Contacts

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Bounced Contacts

Bounced Contacts can be found in the ‘Contacts’ category. When selecting this option, you can segment contacts based on the number of consecutive bounces.

Bounced ContactsFriendly reminder: By default, Bronto automatically makes a contact inactive after five consecutive bounces (this can be changed in Home -> Settings -> General Settings); however, if you want more granularity for list cleaning, this option will come in handy.

Non-Engaged Contacts

Non-Engaged Contacts can also be found in the ‘Contacts’ category. Add this criteria to segment contacts based on the number of consecutive messages received without being opened or clicked.

Non-Engaged Contacts

As with the List Clean page, this criteria takes ALL message types into account, including marketing, transactional and test messages.

Orphaned Contacts

Unlike the first two criteria, Orphaned Contacts does not have a dedicated option. It is a new menu item within the existing List Membership segment criteria. When clicking the drop-down menu within the criteria, you’ll notice a new option for ‘Not On Any List.’ It’s pretty self-explanatory and allows quick segmentation for contacts that have no home on any list.

Orphaned ContactsThe Hip New Way to Automate List Cleaning

New segment criteria is always helpful, but the real magic happens when you combine them with a Workflow. Previously, your list cleaning options were limited to the Contacts > Manage > Clean page. You had to select bucketed options within each criteria section and re-run this manual process every time you wanted to clean a list (or all of your lists). Now you can get the same functionality with more flexibility, and you only have to set things up once. Workflows will then handle the cleaning dynamically as contact conditions change within your account.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Create a new segment with any of the new criteria options mentioned above. Feel free to add any additional criteria if necessary. To replicate existing Non-Engaged contact filtering behavior from the List Clean page, here’s an example segment to start with:
    New Segment Example
  2. Create a new workflow and drag in the ‘Segment Membership’ trigger node. Target the segment created in step 1 to be used for this node.
  3. [Optional] If you’d like to limit your list cleaning to just one list, add in a ‘List Membership’ filter node and select the list of your choice.
  4. For cleaning across all lists, skip Step 3 and attach a ‘Change Contact Status’ action node directly to the trigger node from Step 2. (If you opted for Step 3, attach the action node to the filter node, but remember that you’re limited to the list selected in the filter node.) This will switch the non-engaged contacts’ status to unsubscribed.
  5. [Optional] You can automatically move the contacts you’re trying to clean onto another list or remove them from the specified list you’re filtering on. To do this, skip Step 4 above and drag in a ‘Change List Membership’ action node instead. From here, you can choose to either add or remove the non-engaged contacts to or from the list of your choice respectively.

Here’s an example of a List Clean Workflow aimed at a specific list:

Sample Workflow

In this example, the workflow is triggered when contacts meet the criteria within the ‘Non-Engaged Contacts’ segment (which we built earlier in the post). At that point, the List Membership filter node refines the flow to only include contacts who are on my VIP list. The subsequent action nodes add the contacts to my Do Not Contact list and then remove them from the VIP list.

There are many different methods when it comes to the tedious task of contact cleaning. The good news is that Bronto can now help you automate the process, saving you valuable time and giving you engaged contacts to target going forward.

Like this new feature? Let us know by posting a comment below!

  • Travis Clark

    Thanks for this. It was extremely helpful.

  • Rachel Plut

    this is great, thanks for the information.