To make sure your email marketing campaigns are as successful as possible, it’s crucial to pay attention to the logistics of managing your email list by keeping it as clean as possible of bad addresses. If you fail to perform proper email verification and end up with a list filled with bad domains and addresses it can negatively affect your open rates, not to mention hurting your sender reputation. Below are 5 steps to take to keep your list hygiene in tip top shape.
1) Run a list cleaning routine on a regular basis. Scrub your list of any bad domains by running it against a register of known bad domains. You should also do a check for duplicate addresses and for role addresses such as sales @ or support @, as those addresses will typically pick up your emails as spam and not deliver them.
2) Analyze your lead acquisition process. If you find that your lead capture programs are bringing in a large number of bad addresses, review your lead acquisition policies to see what you can do to improve this metric. Consider using an email validation system to ensure that only valid addresses are added to your list.
3) Check your failure reports. An excessive amount of bouncebacks due to bad addresses can harm your sender reputation, so be sure to check your failure reports on a regular basis. Immediately remove any addresses marked as bad, and delete “soft” bounces if an address comes back as undeliverable after several attempts.
4) Remove unsubscribes. Don’t wait the full 10 days you are allowed to remove unsubscribes. If possible, remove them immediately to avoid the possibility of having an email marked as spam, thereby hurting your sender reputation.
5) Remove or re-engage inactives. Inactive leads can not only drag down your open rates but also run the risk of eventually becoming bad addresses or leading to spam complaints. Too avoid this, once a contact has been marked as inactive, move it to a separate portion of your list set aside solely for inactive leads. Then, target these leads with re-activation campaigns, by sending out an email asking that they “confirm my email address” or take other steps that show they are still interested in receiving emails from you. Those that don’t respond after a certain number of attempts can be removed from your mailing list entirely.