7 Tips To Cleaning Your Email Lists

Email Lists

Did you know that the digital world is changing? No longer is it a viable solution for marketers to simply buy a list of contacts and blast out email messages to thousands of recipients. Instead, you need to spend the time needed to market to specific audience personas. However, before you can begin your marketing efforts you need to ensure that your email lists are clean.

Optimize Your Email Verification Process

Cleaning your email lists is an important step that must be taken if you want to avoid hefty fines, maximize your marketing potential, and more effectively communicate with your network. We have gathered together the following seven tips to help you successfully complete an email verification for each of your marketing lists.

Tip #1. Check The Hygiene Of Your List. — A clean email list will be void of misspellings, typos, or false emails. Conduct both a manual and an automated check of your email list to correct any mistakes, remove distribution email addresses (such as Sales@Business.com), system email addresses, and any fake email addresses. As a general rule of thumb, an email list that has good hygiene will have a lower bounce rate.

Tip #2. Manage The Bounce Rate. — An email that is undelivered, or bounces back, can often be one of the most frustrating things for an email marketer. Unfortunately, more often than not the bounce codes lack standardization and are completely cryptic, which makes it harder to understand why the email wasn’t delivered. Rather than become bogged down with the nuances of analyzing every single instance of a bounced email, you can instead focus on the soft and hard bounces. A soft bounce occurs when there is a temporary deliverability problem. For example, a soft bounce might occur when an inbox is full or the server is down. A hard bounce occurs when there is a permanent deliverability problem. The most often case for a hard bounce is an invalid email address. An email that receives a hard bounce will never be delivered, which means that you should immediately remove it from your list. Remember that if you deliver too many bounced emails, then Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might start to block your electronic messages. 

Tip #3. Monitor Feedback Loops. — In addition to bounce rates, ISPs use feedback loops to monitor the reputation of your company (as well as its emailed messages). If you receive too many complaints, then your electronic messages will be blocked from delivery. One of the most common complaints occurs when recipients unsubscribe from a message and mark the reason why as “spam.” To avoid being blocked, make sure that you monitor your feedback loops and promptly remove complainers from your list. 

Tip #4. Eliminate Unsubscribers Immediately. — We’ve all been there. We accidentally subscribe to one too many email lists from a company, and next thing we know we are receiving unwanted messages Every. Single. Day. As the capitalization stresses, the unwanted marketing messages are not only irksome to consumers, but they can result in an immediate unsubscribe request. To avoid losing a potential consumer or business contact completely, make sure that you immediately remove people who unsubscribe. While the person might not want to receive your weekly news update, they still might want to receive the monthly newsletter. By immediately honoring the request you can better tailor your future marketing messages to meet their desired communication preferences. 

Tip #5. Be Wary Of Spam Traps. — A spam trap is a decoy email address that is used by a blacklist or ISPs to catch intentional spammers. If these email addresses end up on your list, and you send them a message, then your reputation will take a severe hit. Avoid making the mistake too many times or you will find yourself completely blocked from electronic communications. By cleaning your email lists, practicing good list hygiene, and avoid purchasing email addresses from disreputable sources, you can more readily avoid spam traps. 

Tip #6. Remove Inactive Subscribers. — Before you balk at the idea of removing a hard won subscriber, read this tip in its entirety. A person who subscribed to your emails, but no longer opens any of them, is not actively interacting with your company, which means that they are probably not purchasing products or services. Instead of sending your inactive subscribers the same types of emails, you can remove them from your email lists, and instead create a new email marketing campaign that is made specifically for inactive subscribers. This simple act can create two benefits: 1) since you will be sending emails only to interested parties, your ROI can improve for your regular email lists, and 2) you can deliver new marketing packages that are specifically designed for your potentially uninterested audience to effectively reconnect in a new way. At the end of the day, it is better to send an email campaign to 10,000 active and engaged individuals, than it is to send it to 20,000 people if half of them delete it, unsubscribe, or report that it is spam.

Tip #7. Streamline Your Data Capture Process. — Collecting and subsequently cleaning your email lists starts with the right data. Instead of using the standard data collection forms, try to use a double data-entry field. You should also use a real-time email verification service, that will allow you to instantaneously correct and verify data as soon as the form is submitted via your website, blog, or other digital publications. Through the latter tactic you can ensure that only accurate and verified data is added to your email lists. 

The Bottom Line: Clean Your Email Lists To Achieve A Higher ROI

A high ROI for your email marketing efforts can only be achieved when you have clean email lists. Without clean email lists your bounce rates, feedback loops, subscriber preferences, and audience persona data will be skewed. Instead, by using the above seven tips to clean your email lists, you can ensure that you are working with the clean slate needed to properly analyze and improve your email marketing efforts.

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About Alex Norbert

Alex is the Founder and CEO of SendYourMedia.com, a sales and marketing platform that enables you to create multimedia packages to present the products and services you offer. It features detailed tracking including the view duration of videos and documents, views of your images and duration of audio files. It helps turn prospects into customers and get more attention while growing your business.

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