What is email list cleaning and how to do it

email list cleaning

What is email list cleaning and how to do it

How often do you clean your email list? See why this practice is important and how to do it without risking losing important contacts

Anyone who works with Email Marketing knows that to get good results it is always important to do good email list management.

Don’t spam, send emails with adequate frequency and relevant content always helps to keep the email list “hot” and the results getting better. Still, there are other concerns that must be considered in maintaining a healthy foundation.

There is also the case of several companies that have not had the discipline to send messages frequently and want to re-establish contact with an old base of emails.

However, the most common step they end up taking — importing that list into their email marketing service — can be a real shot in the foot, which ends up negatively influencing the reputation of the company’s email.

To prevent this from happening, there is an action called cleaning the email list, which Blue World City will deal with in this post.

Why sanitize the email list

First of all, it is very important to keep in mind that sanitization is not for a purchased email base. We have already explained before why your company should not buy an email list and that, even if sanitized, a purchased base will never have the relevance and quality of a legally and organically acquired email list.

The fact is that over time there is a process of depreciation of the email base: many people change jobs and thus change their corporate address, others change their email service and so on. It is normal behavior and there is no way to avoid it. However, you must always be aware that the damage is not even greater.

That’s because Internet services are looking for ways to combat spam. If your company is sending emails to many addresses that do not exist, this is seen as a strong sign that the list is not of quality and is not treated with due care.

Thus, the sending email server is “unseen” and, even when the message is relevant and the recipient wants to receive the email, the content can end up in antispam filters.

Therefore, the main objective of sanitization is to remove from the base all emails that are neither valid nor relevant for the next campaigns of your company. Cutting out irrelevant emails is essential to maintain a good reputation and ensure good deliverability.

Sanitizing a Current Email List

If your company already maintains an Email Marketing sending routine and the base is used to receiving emails, the process is a little easier.

There is some information that most tools provide that are very important for list maintenance:

  • Hard bounces are those emails considered invalid. This includes those that already existed and no longer exist, those that were purposely mislabeled and also emails with typos;
  • Soft bounces: these are valid emails, but for some reason, they could not be delivered. The reason is usually that the box is full;
  • Spam complaints: in the vast majority of email services it is possible to mark a message as spam. This indicates that the user was annoyed and believes that your company did not have the right to send this email to him;
  • Unsubscribe requests: it is an obligation of every company to offer an unsubscribe option in the emails sent. This means that the user no longer wants to receive these messages.

With frequent submission and this information in hand, it is easy to keep the list sanitized. Just remove, before each submission, users who have already had hard bounces, spam complaints and unsubscribe requests.

In the case of soft bounces, a few more sending attempts are recommended. If we reach, for example, 10 undeliverables, it is also recommended to exclude from the list.

Most Email Marketing sending tools (including RD Station Marketing ) do all this automatically.

Sanitizing an Old Email List

When we talk about an old email base, we are referring to one that is lost or forgotten for some time. Contacts may have been generated through normal forms, in exchange for eBooks or, for example, received in courses and workshops held by your company for some time. The fact is that the list has not been used until now and will be placed active.

This case is much harder to handle. That’s because server analytics to identify spam are often done in percentage terms. When we go a long time without submitting and therefore a long time without getting feedback to clean up the list, a series of problems tend to happen.

Generally, invalid emails accumulate, generating a high rate of hard bounces. Many people no longer remember having registered and mark the email as spam or ask to unsubscribe. The consequence is that the reputation of the sending email server is severely damaged.

Most companies that offer Email Marketing sending services can notice the poor performance right at the start of the trigger and then stop sending the rest of the campaign. This poor performance can result in blockages and even definitive deletion of an account, after all, if the service deliverability goes down, it loses value and, therefore, customers.

If the list the company has is really good and targeted to a relevant audience, there are two very important things that must be done:

If you are an RD Station Marketing customer, read the following articles to understand how to practically clean your list:

  • How to delete Leads in batches?
  • How can I view all Leads that are disabled to receive emails from my company in a single list?

Try to eliminate hard bounces

If your company leaves it to find out who the hard bounces are at the time of sending, the chances of the campaign being blocked and failing are great.

There are several services that specialize in checking if an email is valid (such as Email Checker ) and, as much as you need to spend a little, it’s very worth it. This should considerably reduce the number of invalid emails and is the price to pay for staying out of touch for so long.

Some useful tools:

  • Email Checker
  • Data Validation
  • SafetyMails
  • TheChecker

Choose the submitted content very well and start slowly

In addition to reducing the number of hard bounces, it is also necessary to reduce the number of spam and unsubscribe complaints. In that case, there’s no big magic to be done. The secret is to take it easy.

Don’t start using the list to promote a product or service, try to generate more value. Offer a great article, a free eBook or talk, a list of pointers to things valuable to this potential customer. This type of content tends to have a much greater receptivity and that is why it should be the focus at this time of rapprochement, in which the relationship is fragile.

Also try to keep the topic that brought the person to your list. For example, if these contacts were captured in a course; or captured by downloading some material, make the campaign about similar subjects.

Finally, be careful how often. Someone who has not received emails from your company for a long time will find it strange if this happens with much greater frequency.

 

How often do you clean your email list? See why this practice is important and how to do it without risking losing important contacts Anyone who works with Email Marketing knows that to get good results it is always important to do good email list management. Don’t spam, send emails with adequate frequency and relevant content always helps to…