Email List Cleaning: Why Bother?
Taking the time and effort necessary to keep your email list clean can seem like a waste. After all, if people aren’t interested in your emails, they can just ignore them, right? Alas, there is a lot more to it than that, as a few bad apples that spammed their email messages to consumers unrelentingly have made both email platforms and consumers more sensitive than ever to unwanted emails.
As a result, sending emails to uninterested consumers can cause your emails to be marked as spam, hurting your sender reputation and potentially causing your email platform to penalize you or even ban you from sending emails. Some things to keep in mind when it comes to making valid email addresses the main component of your list by keeping it clean of bad addresses are as follows.
Spam complaints, Undeliverables and Unsubscribes
Email platforms will typically devise their threshold ratios for determining sender reputation around formulas relating to spam complaints, undelivered emails (typically caused by bad or non-existent addresses) and unsubscribes. If your score in these metrics breaches the threshold, you may be fined or have your ability to send emails blocked. As a result, keeping your lists as clean as possible makes good business sense, both from the perspective of ROI and of avoiding the penalties that can come with a bad sender reputation.
Cleaning Up Your List
While your email platform will generally provide you with reports allowing you to monitor your bounce-back rates, identify bad domains and undeliverable addresses, it’s up to you to scrub these bad addresses from your list. You can also use software programs that allow you to check email address by domain to make sure they are valid, as well as helping to identify duplicate addresses on your list. ListWise is an online software program that does this. It also verifies every single email address in your list.
Lead Acquisition Policies
Be cautious when purchasing email lists, as these may be full of bad addresses that will reflect poorly on your sender reputation. If at all possible, try to generate leads through methods you control, such as contests and visits to your website. If you do purchase lists, you should clean the list with an email validation tool. Again, such as ListWise.
Inactive leads can turn into bad addresses or result in spam complaints if not attended to. To deal with leads that have not responded to your emails for set amount of time, say, 6 months or a year, you may want to attempt to re-engage these leads with a targeted campaign.