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Top 8 Best Practices to Maintain Good Email List Hygiene

A healthy email list will better reach subscribers and offer more accurate metrics on how the campaign is doing. Scrub your list for improved email hygiene.

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Top 8 Best Practices to Maintain Good Email List Hygiene

Email hygiene refers to the set of practices and strategies that help maintain the effectiveness of an email list. Email lists are considered cluttered or ineffective when the emails sent don’t reach subscribers because of reasons such as:

  • Invalid email addresses
  • Disinterest in the emails
  • Emails are marked as spam

When you clean your email list, you are ensuring that email addresses on a mailing list are valid, active, and engaged. This means that the emails should land in the inbox successfully and you should have an acceptable open rate. The goal of email hygiene is to:

  • Improve email deliverability
  • Avoid being marked as spam
  • Maintain a good sender reputation

The purpose of email hygiene is to ensure that marketing emails reach the intended recipients and generate positive results. There are many benefits to maintaining good email hygiene, such as:

  • Improved email deliverability: By removing invalid or inactive email addresses, emails are less likely to be bounced back, which can negatively affect deliverability.
  • Avoidance of spam complaints: When people receive unwanted emails, they may mark them as spam. If too many people mark an email as spam, it can harm the sender’s reputation, which can later affect deliverability.
  • Enhanced sender reputation: Maintaining good email hygiene can help a sender’s reputation and credibility. This can lead to better email deliverability, open rates, and click-through rates.
  • More accurate data: By regularly cleaning and verifying email lists, companies can ensure they have accurate data. This can help them better target their email campaigns and improve overall campaign effectiveness.
  • More subscriber feedback: It’s up to you to decide if you want to try to re-engage with inactive subscribers through a re-engagement campaign, or if you simply want to remove them from your list. Re-engaging with these inactive addresses may be beneficial if you gather valuable customer feedback that explains why they weren’t engaging in the first place. This feedback can help you adjust your email marketing strategy accordingly, as you gather more data on subscriber behavior.

How to Have Good Email Hygiene

The most common practices for maintaining good email hygiene involve:

Use a double opt-in process

A double opt-in process ensures that subscribers confirm their email address and their interest in receiving emails. This helps reduce the number of invalid or fake email addresses on your list.

Regularly clean your email list

Remove any inactive or invalid email addresses from your list to improve deliverability and reduce hard-bounced emails. Hard bounced emails are those which are unable to get delivered, because the email address is invalid or no longer exists.

Segment your email list

Segmenting your list means categorizing your subscribers into specific groups. This can help you target your emails to specific groups of subscribers and make sure that only the groups that are most likely to be interested in your emails are on your list. This can increase engagement and reduce the risk of spam complaints.

Avoid purchasing email lists

Purchasing email lists can lead to a high number of spam complaints and damage your sender reputation. Instead, focus on growing your list organically through opt-in methods and non-email forms of marketing.

Verify email addresses

Use an email verification service to check the validity of email addresses on your list. This helps reduce the number of bounced emails.

Monitor email engagement

Keep an eye on open rates, click-through rates, and other engagement metrics to identify inactive subscribers. Consider removing these subscribers from your list or re-engaging them with a targeted campaign.

Maintain a consistent sending schedule

Try to send your emails at the same time, preferably when your subscribers are most likely to check their emails. Subscribers are more likely to engage with emails if they expect them.

Use good email marketing practices

Use good email marketing practices to avoid getting your emails or senders address marked as spam. These practices include using an honest sender name, providing an easy subscription button, using a clear subject line, and more.

How Often Should I Clean My Email List?

The frequency of cleaning an email list depends on several factors, such as the size of the list, how often emails are sent, and how frequently subscribers engage with emails. However, a general rule of thumb is to clean your email list at least once every three to six months.

This timeframe gives inactive emails enough time to decide whether they want to mark your emails as spam or unsubscribe from your list. If they don’t do either, they are inactive enough to not warrant a re-engagement campaign.

What Tools Can I Use to Clean My Email List?

If you’re looking for a tool or service to clean your email list, there are several tools and services available that can look into, such as:

  • Email verification services: Email verification services can help you verify the validity of email addresses on your list. These services use various techniques to check the deliverability and validity of an email address, such as checking for syntax errors, domain validity, and mailbox existence. Some of the popular email verification services include:
    • Bouncer
    • DeBounce
    • Reoon Email Verifier
    • NeverBounce
  • Email marketing automation platforms: Many email marketing automation platforms include built-in email list cleaning and verification features. These features can help you identify and remove invalid email addresses from your list, as well as segment your list to improve targeting and engagement. Popular email marketing automation platforms include:
    • MailChimp
    • Keap
    • ConvertKit
    • GetResponse
    • Benchmark Email
  • Email deliverability monitoring tools: Email deliverability monitoring tools can help you monitor and improve your email deliverability by identifying issues that may affect email delivery. Some popular email deliverability monitoring tools include:
    • MailFlow
    • Check MX
    • MXToolBox

Using these tools and tips, you can improve email list hygiene and ensure your marketing efforts are more effective. 

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