Email list cleaning is dirty work, but somebody has got to do it. Fortunately, there are several email list scrubbing services available online that make the whole job a lot more sanitary. However, before you rejoice in the knowledge that there is help at hand, you need to understand that not all list cleaning services perform equally.
As dirty as the job is, making sense of how the email hygiene business works can be even messier. Some services make list cleaning appear very easy to do—some, in fact, merely sell the software so you can do it yourself. What makes it even more appealing is that the software sells for a fraction of what you would normally pay for a full cleaning service. Still others go so far as guaranteeing a 100% clean list all the time.
Sounds like a very cost effective solution, right?
Sadly, their claims are simply too good to be true. Wasting your time on ineffective software and empty promises can do more harm than good to your email marketing strategy, particularly to your IP reputation.
There are steps, however, that you can undertake to prevent anyone pulling a fast one on you. Asking questions will help shed light on which service legitimately provides the best service for your email marketing
What services do they offer?
Do they only clean the list or do they provide an email validation service as well? What type of addresses can they scrub off your list? Do they merely take out those with invalid domains? Are they able to take out “dead-end” email addresses, those generic and no-reply ones that can be usually found in bulk lists? Are they capable of taking out spam traps? How about addresses with typographical errors? Do they have the ability to correct them?
How much volume can they process on an hourly or daily basis? Would they be able to accommodate your volume? How clean can your list get after it gets processed?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask when discussing their service. They should also be able to effectively explain how they plan to clean your list. Be very wary when they cannot properly explain the process or use this response: “We cannot share that information as that is a trade secret.”
Do they provide you with after-market support?
If you decide to purchase an email list cleaning software, make sure that they provide a support hotline that you can reach for questions and concerns. You will likely have questions later after you’ve used the software for some time, and your provider should be able to address them.