Keep it Clean! The Importance of Email Marketing List Hygiene

Email marketing

Your email database is foundation of your whole email marketing strategy. And if you email bounce-rate is larger than 3-5%, it’s a clear sign that your email list needs a good clear out.

The email ecosystem is constantly changing and this impacts on the way we plan our email marketing. Tactics that worked five years ago may not work today.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) look at many different variables when determining whether to deliver one of your marketing emails to one of your customers.  Every ISP does its utmost to protect its customers from spam and unwanted email. So therefore, it is essential that as a marketer, your priority is to ensure that your marketing emails are not mistaken for spam.

This is where the hygiene of you list comes into play –  it is critically important to establish and maintain good email hygiene practices and continuously monitor and update your list to assist the long-term success of your marketing campaigns as well as overall deliverability.

One way of doing this is to regularly clean your lists – now a standard practice for marketers.

Why clean?

Enhance your deliverability: Whilst list hygiene doesn’t guarantee 100 % deliverability it can make a big improvement. Make sure you identify bad records to eliminate from your list prior to sending.

Avoid spam traps: Failure to manage your email lists makes you vulnerable to spam traps, invalid email addresses, sign-ups with non-deliverable domains or simple typos. Email list cleaning helps you avoid all of these.

Enhance your online reputation: If you start a campaign using list of cold, duplicate, or unverified email addresses, you will risk producing high spam complaints – this has a negative effect on your reputation. Compare that with an email campaign sent to a clean list of engaged people – this enhances your online brand and can boost your return.

How to clean

Accurate subscriber information: Your subscriber’s contact information is valuable to your business but this information is useless, even detrimental, if it’s not accurate. Ensure your subscriber information is correct.

Remove bounce data: It’s a waste to send to emails that simply bounce right back. Stay on top of bounce data and remove bad emails from your list.

Unsubscribes: If someone unsubscribes from an email campaign and you continue to send emails to them, you put your reputation at risk. Responding to opt-out requests immediately is an essential part of cleaning your email lists and a legal requirement under CAN-SPAM and the new GDPR rules.

New leads: Check each and every new lead and contact you get to assess its fit for your business before you add it to a list. Make sure the lead is added to the correct list and entered correctly for best results.

Allow recipients to opt-in to your emails: With the new GDPR rules, this is now becoming a legal requirement. Obtaining permission ensures your list is filled with engaged recipients who are eager to receive your content.

Clean out cold email addresses: Any email address that hasn’t seen any engagement such as opens or clicks in a given period of time (eg a year) should probably be removed from your list or targeted for a re-engagement campaign.

Use an online tool: List cleaning is a long tedious task. There are many online programmes and software that can quickly clean up your lists. Recommended options are: BriteVerify or ZeroBounce

So get cleaning and protect your digital reputation!

April 5, 2018