7 Reasons to Clean Your Email List Today

Proactive email list cleaning is an essential part of any successful email marketing strategy; by the time you discover that you have an issue with email hygiene it’s generally too late - you’ve already wasted resources and done damage to your brand.

July 01, 2017

By the time you discover that you have an issue with email hygiene, it’s generally too late—you’ve already wasted resources and done significant damage to your brand.

That's why proactive email list cleaning is an essential part of any successful email marketing strategy.

So don’t wait. Here are 7 important reasons to clean your email list today:

1)  Increase Email Deliverability

Deliverability is the celebrity of email statistics-- it gets all the glamorous headlines and the Google search volume. It deserves most of that attention, though; a high deliverability rate means that you are doing many important things the right way. 

As your deliverability rate lowers, so does your reputation with internet service providers (ISPs). A poor reputation will lower your deliverability even further. Avoid this death spiral by cleaning your email list regularly to eliminate invalid data and keep your VIP stat looking polished and healthy.


2)  Reduce your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a vital sign indicating the general health of your email list.

List cleaning keeps your bounce rate tiny by removing the invalid, discontinued, and fake emails that are responsible for most hard bounces and identifying risky ones that could lead to additional hard or soft bounces. 

If your bounce rate goes above 3 to 5%, you will immediately see a negative impact on your deliverability and inboxing rates. At 8 to 10%, your delivery rates will start to drop dramatically.

Additionally, some systems employed by email service providers, like Omnivore by Mailchimp, will suspend your account if you just exceed the standard bounce rate for your industry.

Want to learn more about email verification? Click here for our explainer article.

3)  Find the Inbox

Just because your deliverability rate looks good, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. If your email hygiene isn’t excellent, some of those emails are most likely being “delivered” to junk mail folders. 

According to research by Return Path, 79% of emails worldwide found their way to their target inbox in 2016 and a full 13% of all emails sent ended up in the junk folders. Of all that mail delivered to the junk folder, only about 1% of them were found by the user and moved to the inbox.

What is the moral here? You need to find your own way to the inbox if you expect strong engagement with your campaign. 

Email design best practices play a role in inbox placement rates but email list cleaning is essential to a successful inboxing strategy as well. No matter how relevant your subject line, if your company is known for sending to unresponsive, closed or inactive email accounts then there’s a higher chance that your emails will get flagged and redirected to the junk folder. 


4)  Protect Your Reputation(s)

Undelivered emails and spam traps can do a number on your sender reputation in a hurry. The internet is kind of like high school-- once you get a bad reputation word spreads quickly. You will soon find yourself blocked from the inboxes you want to reach.

And you don’t have just one reputation to protect.  Once upon a time, your email sender reputation was all about server (or IP) reputation. While server reputation is still very important, it’s equally important today to watch out for your domain reputation

Your domain reputation reflects permanently on your brand and will follow you wherever you go—even if you change servers or switch email service providers—and it plays an increasingly large role in deliverability. A bad domain reputation doesn’t just impact your marketing efforts:  your sales and customer service teams might start finding their daily communications lost in clients’ junk folders as well. 

Clean your email data regularly to weed out any problematic addresses and prevent unnecessary damage to your reputation. 

5)  Avoid Complainers and Spam Traps

Spam traps, also known as honeypots, are valid email addresses created expressly for the purpose of catching spammers at work. They are like kryptonite for your sender score and can even get you blacklisted by ISPs. 

The best email verification services update their databases of known spam traps continually, to help you avoid being tripped up by one. No service can truthfully promise to remove all spam traps from your lists. But following email collection best practices and regular list cleaning will help to keep you off the ISP hit list.

6)  Lower your sending costs

Would you change email service providers to save 22% on your annual bill? If so, then why are you wasting money sending to an email list that hasn’t been cleaned? 

Email data degrades at an estimated rate of around 22% per year as people switch jobs, change addresses or otherwise disappear from the digital space. If you haven’t cleaned your list in a year then you are paying to send emails to accounts that are no longer active. We definitely don’t recommend this; neither does your accountant.

7)  Increased data accuracy leads to superior strategies

It feels great to hit benchmarks for email collection. Your company database just hit half a million contacts? That’s great! But if you’re hanging onto dead leads in your database just to pad your stats it is nothing but vanity. And it’s most certainly hurting your deliverability. 

A good strategy sometimes involves making tough decisions. Swallow your pride and cut your list down to its true size by eliminating invalid addresses, then you can start making better strategic decisions for your company based on accurate data.

Wrapping It All Up:

Cleaning your email list will generate immediate positive results that bring you greater returns on the time, energy, creativity, and money that you invest in your mailing campaigns.

The negative effects of invalid data are cumulative, so don’t wait until you can see the damage.

Execute an email list cleaning now or before your next email campaign to avoid much bigger issues down the road.

Verifalia can clean your email list accurately and super quickly - Sign up and clean your mailing list now!

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