How to Maintain a Clean Email List

As a business targeting success, your work doesn’t end in acquiring email addresses and devising your Unsubscribe and opt-out process. There are a couple of things you would want to ensure are happening in order to keep a clean list and keep running a successful email marketing campaign. It is highly advisable, for instance, to use email validation services to determine validity and metadata information about email addresses.

Here are some steps to take to manage and keep your email list in its healthiest, fittest shape possible.

Here’s a fact: email addresses eventually atrophy or go bad over time, no matter how much monitoring or checking you do. Email users may either abandon an email account (until inbox becomes too full to receive any more message) or shut it down for good Email1and1. This is why a “bounce” happens – an email that you attempted to send bounces back and remains undeliverable.

More bounces means more impact on your sender reputation, since most service providers believe that responsible email senders delete bad addresses from their lists on a regular basis. As it is, spammers usually have high bounce rates. Would you want to be associated with spam practice or have bounced or bad addresses regularly removed from your database?

It is suggested that you do not remove email addresses as soon as they bounce ounce, because, for example, what if it’s just temporary technical failure on the part of the service provider? You may keep your email list clean by having a threshold of three to five bounces before removing it from your database. Track undeliverable addresses and make sure that they are removed from your email list, too.

Use a web-based email address checker: it has flags that provide detail beyond whether or not an email can get past a server. Through this, marketers like you get the kind of information they need to reduce bounce rates and improve open rates in their campaigns. To verify an email address also means protecting yourself against getting blacklisted by email messengers.

Many email marketers simply continue sending to their email lists even if many users have not opened a single email in months. You don’t really lose money here, but this scenario impacts your sender reputation score as determined by email service providers. What can you do to address this problem and avoid landing in the spam box for a segment of low-activity email users?

You have to know what is considered “low activity” usage. An active user may be one who opens one email a month (if you send weekly newsletters) or someone who opens an email every three months (if you send monthly newsletters). There is really no metric that you can apply here, which means you should use your own judgment.

Query all of the email addresses that do not meet your ideal criteria for your email database and place them on a separate list. This isn’t to ignore them; you just want to limit your frequency of emails to them. You should also identify those who may be looking at your email but not registering as an opened email due to images that don’t load or those who are forever on a preview-pane view.

Email everyone on your low email usage list and inform them that you are doing regular email maintenance. Ask them if they are still interested to receive your mails (of course with a call-to-action to continue subscription), and if they are, provide a confirmation link or an email address where they can complete steps to return to your main email list.

“This email and the documents accompanying this email contain information which may be confidential or privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.” Many get emails with disclaimers and warnings that begin like this. When you see this kind of notice at the bottom of an email, what should you do? I think in most cases, you can safely ignore such disclaimers and warnings, and just use common sense.

Such warnings and disclaimers usually continue with text like this: “The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named on this transmission. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this information is without authorization and is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately.”

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer. Emails sent to you that have disclaimers and warnings are not contracts, because contracts are not unilateral. Both sides must agree to the terms of contracts, and usually consideration must be specified for both sides. When someone (only) sends you an email, that does not usually obligate you, except to perhaps admit you received the email.

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