De-duplicating Multilist Mailings

In FeedBlitz there is often more than one way to achieve any given goal. For example, we’re occasionally asked how to mail the same message to multiple lists, while making sure that subscribers don’t get that email more than once, even if they’re on more than one of the lists involved.

There are two ways you can do this in FeedBlitz. One way is to make use of the new suppression list capabilities I wrote about a few weeks ago; another is to use triggers to create a “Master List” and use that instead.

But which to use, Phil? Which?!

The answer largely depends on how often you think you’ll need to send the same mailing to multiple lists in your account. If it’s likely to be rare, use suppression lists. If it’s likely to be more a matter of routine, use a Master List. Why? Because setting up a Master List is more involved, but it ends up being self-maintaining and easier to use once you’ve put that up-front work in.

Here’s a quick “how to” for each technique. Pick the one that seems to work best for you.

Suppression Lists

Say you have three lists, A, B and C. Send your mailing to list A, generate a suppression list from its active subscribers, then send your mailing to list B, using the suppression list you just created. That stops anyone on List B who is also on List A from getting the mailing again. Then, update the suppression list with active users from list B (so now it contains active subscribers from both A and B), and use it on the mailing sent to list C. Rinse and repeat for each feeder list.

Pretty easy to do. What you end up doing is sending individual mailings to each list, with the appropriate suppression list making sure the net result is that nobody is mailed more than once.

Master Lists

Using a master list approach is a little more involved, but the benefit in the end is that you will send each multi-list email just once, using that master list, instead of multiple times to lists A, B and C.

Here’s how to set it up. From List A’s dashboard, go into its settings and clone it. Since you’re only going to use the Master List for one-off mailings, set its schedule to be On Demand and mark it as private. Then, for each of the “feeder” lists (A, B and C), do the following steps using each feeder list’s “Subscriber Management” tile:

  1. Choose “Triggers”.
  2. Create a “subscribe” trigger. Use it to add the new subscriber to the Master List.
  3. Ceate an “unsubscribe” triggger. Use it to remove the subscriber from the Master List.
  4. Choose “Move / Transfer” and copy the existing subscribers from the feeder list into the Master (this is silent, the subscribers aren’t informed of this).

When this is done, the Master List will be populated with all the unique subscribers to each feeder list, and is also kept updated as subscribers come and go on any of the feeder lists.

To finish up, on the Master List’s dashboard, go into “Triggers” and create an unsubscribe rule, one for each of the feeder lists. When someone unsubscribes from the Master List, this will remove them from all the feeder lists as well.

So yes, this is more work, but here’s why it pays off if you’re going to want to send the same email to multiple lists on a somewhat regular basis: To send the mail, you simply send it once, to the active subscribers on the Master List. Getting the mail sent is therefore a much simpler process when you have a master list set up, and why it makes sense to go to the effort if you’re going to be running this kind of email marketing campaign more than occasionally.

Happy mailing!