Apparently, apart from the brushing, scrubbing, trimming and endless continuous tense verbs which define our efforts at personal hygiene in our daily lives, we also have the cleanliness of our email lists to deal with. While this doesn’t involve soap or water obviously, the end result is similar to a batch of freshly ironed laundry which is folded and tucked away –an organized wardrobe which is easier to manage.

List hygiene is a conscious endeavor to maintain a healthy mailing list, ensuring it contains only addresses that are up to date and in tune with your business. It comprises all the techniques used to achieve a fresh list devoid of hindrances.

Does cleaning my list really matter, or is this another boring Chore?

List hygiene is essential in sustaining an effective marketing campaign and there are many benefits to keeping a clean email list which we’ll highlight below:

Increased Engagement: this is a no-brainer. If your list has only people who are actively engaged with your business and want to hear from you, it will have a positive impact on metrics such as opens, clicks, etc. This is every marketer’s dream –to have subscribers who are consistently interacting with the content they push through email. You can achieve this by simply taking time to weed some names off your list.

Higher Deliverability Rate: this is a chain reaction from the first point above. Positive reader engagement is one of the ways to improve your chances of making it into the recipient’s inbox. Things like bounces, complaints, and spam traps are usually linked to a cold email list and can hurt your sending reputation with the ISPs . Click here to read more on how to ensure high email deliverability.

Save Money: if you aren’t paying attention to refreshing your mailing list, chances are you’ve been sending emails to a whole lot of dead ends and people who derive no benefit from them, which is a huge drain on resources. Let’s say you send out 1,000 emails on a weekly basis which only records 500 opens, that’s half of your budget which could be put to better use. Thinning your list is a good way to reduce overhead.

Best Practices to Maintain List Hygiene

Grow your list organically: this is the process of gathering subscribers through a voluntary opt-in process. That means no purchased email lists, because they can only hurt your marketing efforts in the long run. Adopt a double opt-in process whereby a confirmation link is sent via email before a person becomes a subscriber. You can be sure that the confirmed mails belong to active users, reducing the likelihood of complaints or falling into a spam trap.

Remove invalid addresses: constant review of your mailing list can reveal duplicate, incorrect, or misspelt addresses. Also pay attention to your campaign reports to fish out hard bounces, which could indicate outdated or non-existent addresses. Non-personal emails like info@abcd.com or admin@abcd.com should be removed, since they do not serve your function. Ask subscribers to update their information periodically to keep your database up to date.

Remove inactive or unengaged subscribers: Inactive subscribers are those who haven’t opened or engaged otherwise with your emails for a while, usually six months or more. There is no point in continuing to send emails to subscribers who don’t read them, is there? This only slows the growth of your engagement rate. Where you have a group of subscribers who show promise by opening your emails, but not clicking or carrying out further action, consider segmenting them off as opposed to deleting them permanently and embark on a reengagement campaign targeted at them. Learn how to do this using drip campaigns.

A good list hygiene is one of the factors within our control in the larger scheme of email marketing variables, so take advantage of this to position your campaigns for success. You also need an ESP which is proactive in ascertaining your needs and implementing best practices, such as your truly. Cloudy ensures your list is clean to some extent, by removing hard bounces, unsubscribe requests and complaints, leaving you with people who truly want to hear from you and present a better chance of becoming customers.

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