To email marketers, email hygiene means everything. To those of you just starting as email marketers, your opinions are soon to follow. Email hygiene is the act of regularly “scrubbing” your email lists to make sure you’re sending to valid and engaged email addresses. Why is that important? Because sending to bad addresses is typical behavior of spammers, and looking like a spammer may land your emails in spam folders. Here are some details on the importance of email hygiene…
1. Deliverability – Email spam filters have grown much more sophisticated over the last few years. Besides looking for terms like “free iPad” and “Viagra,” filters now monitor your sending behavior to see if it looks like spammer behavior. If it does, you are likely to land in the spam folders of all your recipients, meaning you won’t be able to reach them with targeted marketing information. This would prove disastrous for any marketing campaign, so avoid it by engaging in email list scrubbing on a regular basis.
2. Engagement – You don’t want to send emails to users who aren’t engaged. That’s a waste of time for you and a signal to spam filters that you aren’t sending quality material. Sending re-engagement emails is usually a good first step, but eventually you may have to remove users who have been disengaged for between 6 months to a year.
WHAT TO DO?
Invest in quality list hygiene software to start. These programs can take a lot of the tedious work out of email hygiene are a typically not expensive. Next, reform your email opt-in practices to make sure that users are both inputting their emails twice and forced to enter a valid one. You can use validation software to make sure each address is correct. Targeted reengagement emails or double opt-ins can often help with out-of-touch users, but sometimes removal is simply the best option.