Email List Hygiene

Five Essential Email List Hygiene Tactics Ideally, your email marketing list should be populated exclusively with email addresses of people who are actively engaged with your company and want to receive your emails. The ideal list isn’t a rented one. If you are using a rented list, then list hygiene is paramount since compiled lists often contain unknown users, SPAM traps, and inactive subscribers.

List Hygiene Tactic #1: Remove Unknown Users

source link An unknown user is a recipient that never existed, has been terminated by the mailbox provider, or was abandoned by the end user. When servers see an unknown or inactive subscriber, they return a “hard bounce code” to the sending server. Proper list hygiene is to remove any bounced subscribers immediately. If you continue emailing them and the percentage of hard bounces exceeds 10% of your sent emails, it will cause future deliverability problems as servers will likely block all of your emails. In some cases, you may be able to correct any errors in the email address to keep them on your list.

List Hygiene Tactic #2: Remove SPAM Traps

SPAM traps are like black holes.  Fall into them, and people won’t see you.  Mailbox providers, filtering companies, and blacklist administrators create and manage SPAM trap networks and monitor email received at these addresses. SPAM traps are fake email addresses that are used as bait to lure spammers into using them. These addresses don’t belong to a real person. Sending emails to them will instantly flag all of your emails as SPAM or block them altogether.

Sending emails to a SPAM trap causes mailbox providers to question the sender’s list quality and reputation.  They indicate that the sender is a legitimate entity with poor list hygiene or acquired the email addresses through questionable means. When this happens, mailbox providers place “verdicts” on the sender’s IP address, domain or content. These allow email filtering companies to temporarily or permanently place blocks on the sender’s email.

Having all of your emails blocked for using a SPAM trap will have an adverse impact on your open rates since even legitimate subscribers can’t open a blocked email. To avoid this outcome, don’t purchase or use a rented list and don’t scrape for email addresses on websites. If you’re not sure if you have SPAM traps on your list, get your list cleaned. (See Tactic #3 below.)

List Hygiene Tactic #3: Get Your List Cleaned Regularly

If you’ve already purchased a list, have it cleaned by a company that can identify and remove SPAM traps as part of the list hygiene process.

Even if your list is composed of subscribers who’ve opted to receive emails from your company, experts recommend you have it cleaned every six months.

The list cleaning process isn’t complicated. You just export a .csv file of your email list and upload it to a list cleaning service provider’s website. They will return a .csv file with flags that indicate bounces, known SPAM traps, improperly formatted addresses, and other problems that could impact deliverability.

List Hygiene Tactic #4: Remove Inactives

Mailbox providers use engagement metrics (opens, clicks, etc.) to determine whether an email deserves placement in an inbox or SPAM folder. If subscribers are not engaging with your emails, you should reduce the frequency of emails sent to them or stop emailing them altogether as part of your list hygiene protocol. Continuing to email non-engaged subscribers will weaken your sender reputation.

List Hygiene Tactic #5: Remove SPAM Checkers

Major ISPs offer SPAM feedback loops (FBLs) that notify you when recipients mark messages as SPAM. Such behavior is a negative engagement metric.  From a list hygiene perspective, it’s best to remove these recipients from your list. Continuing to email them will negatively impact your sender reputation.

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