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email list hygiene

7 Tips for Cleaning your Email Lists

How to Cleaning Email List

Email list cleaning is a critically important part of reaching your customers with targeted email marketing messages. Poorly-maintained email lists with lots of invalid email addresses look like spam to most filters, so you’ll running the risk of missing many customers and losing your sending reputation if you don’t regularly clean your email lists using email list cleaning service like ListWise. Here are 7 tips to help boost your email list hygiene.

  • Verify email addresses

    When new users sign up, have them input their email addresses twice, then use an email validation service such as ListWise to make sure the email address is valid and real. This will avoid both typos and fraud on the part of your users.

  • Double opt-in

    Once a user signs ups, have him or she verifies that they want to continue receiving your service. This can be accomplished by email and will up your average engagement level significantly, you use our email sending product Maxmail for this.

  • Decide on bounces

    A bounce happens when you send to an “undeliverable” account. Oftentimes, this is because that account has closed or the user has blocked your address. Other times, the account may be experiencing technical difficulties or be set to “vacation” mode. Eventually, accounts that continue to bounce must be removed.

  • Check on feedback loops

    Using a quality tool (more on that in a moment), check to see if people are marking you as spam. If so, you should email them personally asking them to reconsider (as long as you aren’t actually spamming, of course).

  • Track open rates

    Some recipients have valid addresses but simply never open your emails. You should either try to engage these users with personalized emails or remove them completely.

  • Get quality email scrubbing software

    Good software will take a lot of the hard work out of email list cleaning. Plenty of programs are available, so choose one that fits your needs.

  • Be vigilant

    Email hygiene is one of those things that’s often swept under the rug. Don’t skip out on cleaning your email just because it seems like busywork.

How to Remove Spamtraps From Your Email Marketing List

How to Remove Spamtraps From Email Marketing List

If you are rigorous in your acquisition policies by using double opt-in procedures your email marketing lists should be relatively free of spamtraps – those emails that can get your email service provider (ESP) placed on the blacklist and your company banned for sending spam emails.  However, if you don’t have a policy to clean bad/inactive emails from your lists, over time valid email addresses initially added to your list can become spamtraps even if the contacts initially opted-in to the list.  Some suggestions for removing these emails follow.

Proper List Acquisition Procedures

In the first place, make sure you don’t add emails to your list that have bad domains or haven’t gone through the double opt-in procedure.  Also, be cautious when purchasing lists unless you know exactly how the leads on the list were acquired.  Utilize email hygiene software when possible to help with the process of verifying your list and scrubbing it of bad addresses.

List segmentation

To remove those spamtraps that have made it through your lead acquisition process, first segment your list by activity.  For instance, note the leads which have opted-in or clicked on a link recently, say in the past month or so, and put them in one segment.  Then make another segment of those leads on your list that have been active in the past 3 to 6 months or so.  Once you get past a certain threshold, usually anywhere from 3 to 9 months, make another list and categorize the contacts on the list as inactive. 

The inactive and less active leads can then be targeted by a re-engagement campaign, with the inactives who fail to respond being removed from your list.  Performing this type of list cleaning routine will remove any spamtraps you might have acquired along the way, without the necessity of positively identifying them as spamtraps.

Spamtrap Testing

You can also split your list into portions, say ½ or 1/3, and then send emails to each list separately and check your bounce rates and blacklist results to see in which portion of your list the spamtrap fell, and then focus your cleaning efforts on the contacts on that portion of the list.  If a positive result is achieved in more than one portion you can split those portions in turn and perform the same procedure again until your list is clean.  Email list scrubbing services can be helpful in this process by searching pre-existing lists of bad email addresses as well as checking for domain misspellings and other such errors.

How to Get the Best Value Out of an Email Contact List

how to Review and analytics email campaign and Email Contact List

The email list that you build today can be worth a lot of money to you in the future, but you need to maintain that list in order to ensure that it is in the best shape possible.  How can you get the best value out of an email contact list?  A starting point is to keep your list clean, and practice email hygiene. Many people do not consider the importance of this point, but it is crucial to the health of your list.

·         When you sign up for an email service provider, opt in for the analytics package.  This may cost you a little bit of money, but it will save you a lot in the future – your online reputation and your pocketbook will thank you.

·         Review your analytics when you send out an email campaign.  You can glean a lot of information from the report after your email message has gone out – and that information may keep coming in for up to a week after you send out an email.

·         Always ensure that you use online email address verification when people sign up for your email list.  An opt in box should lead to a person receiving an email in their inbox to which they must confirm receipt.  This prevents people from receiving your freebie offer without providing a “real” email address.

·         Review your email list and eliminate any email addresses that have not opened your messages for the last month or two.  These people obviously no longer wish to receive your emails, although they can’t be bothered to unsubscribe.  Help them out and remove their email address from your list permanently.  If they want to receive your emails in the future, they can always resubscribe.

·         Check for unsubscribes in your email list count.  Ensure that these are permanently deleted from your subscriber list so that they do not count against you.  If there are less than 100, it is probably something you can accomplish yourself.  If there are plenty of them, you may need to get your email service provider to help you by deleting these unsubscribes.

If you have an extremely large list, an email scrubbing service can be the answer to keeping your list clean.  Every business owner should be building and growing their email list constantly, at every opportunity that they can find.  If you are not keeping your list clean, you are not getting the best value out of your email contact list.