How to maintain a clean email list

‘Hygiene’ is the word which has it’s own importance everywhere, whether it’s your personal things or your work place/culture or marketing ways. You need to follow some good steps to become successful towards your goals. When it comes email marketing it becomes even more important. Cleaning your email list regularly is the key to successful deliverability in many ways. Building a quality email list can feel like it’s as much an art as it is a science, and the result is exceptional deliverability and a higher ROI for your email marketing program.

You must have noticed that engagement pattern changes over the time. People may change their interest in many ways – they can change email address, they may have multiple emails, they may switch jobs, they may change their mailbox, their mailbox memory can be full or suspended. That’s why it’s important to ensure you take time several times a year to maintain email list hygiene. It may feel counterintuitive to remove names from your list, but fewer, more engaged audience members are better than more uninterested names on your list.

Here we’re going to talk about how to maintain good hygiene for your email database.

Constantly remove all invalid email addresses – as soon as they become hard.

There may be various reasons to it including most popular as below

  • Mailbox full.
  • DNS failures
  • A typo in the email address – before or after ‘@’
  • Suspended Mailbox.
  • The email address no longer exists / Invalid recipient

You can also opt for validation service. There are many but one of the leader in email validation is Mailgun

Confirm the email subscriptions

There are various ways but most popular method is double opt-in. Whenever a user signs up to your email program just ask them to reconfirm their subscription – this is mainly done for two reasons

  • Avoid typo addresses – confirmation mail can’t be sent if email is entered invalid.
  • Someone else may subscribe using other person email (if they know their email) just to spam – so when a confirmation email is sent to that address the owner of the email address won’t confirm it.

Introduce preference center avenue (if you have’t already)

Know your customer asking their preference. This will help you understand the difference between customers need and want. Customer’s need tends to conversion whereas customer’s want tends to learning and awareness about your brand because they may not be as much confident about you. Convert the ‘want’ into ‘need’ so you can have not only better conversion but also you’re boosting deliverability organically.

Forget (and forgive) your inactive audience

Like everywhere else you need to learn how to forget (and forgive) you inactive subscribers. The number of email records in your database doesn’t mean they all love you. Many of them hate you, forget you or no longer needed you. Learn about them and remove from your mailings list. The best way to do is something like below:

Try to segment your audience in four broader ways

Active – [0-30 days engagers]

Engaged – [31-60 days engagers]

Lapsing – [61-90 days engagers]

Dormant – [91-365 days engagers]

Super dormant – [1-2 years engagers]

Inactive – [2-3 years engagers]

Keep track how the above segments grow or shrink – try to learn about the reason. Though the recency period may depends on which vertical you belong to but this is best suitable for Travel and Holiday companies. If your vertical belongs to health care then ‘Active’ definition may change to 0-90 days engagers and so on.

Build re-activation program

You need to bring your inactive audience back to reduce your shrink size. Instead of launching re-activation campaign try to build a re-activation journey based on their past interaction.

A clean email list is better for: 

  • Your sender reputation – avoid email bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. 
  • Your ability to reach your entire subscriber base – this includes your best or most engaged customers.