Email list cleaning isn't too popular a concept regarding email marketing. But it is almost as important as email list building is. Many marketers dread the idea of removing subscribers from their list, even when these people have not been active for several months.
What if you realized that cleaning out inactive recipients from your email list can improve your deliverability, increase your engagement score, boost your ROI, and help you make your campaigns more targeted? Indeed, email list cleaning should regularly be a part of your email marketing strategy. I bet you'll think so too when you test it out.
Some businesses think that the idea is best for people who bought their list. While that is true, email list cleaning can also help businesses that acquired their contacts through willful opt-ins to improve their marketing results.
In this post, we share some reasons why you should try out email list cleaning today. But before we dive right into the benefits, let's touch a little on what email list cleaning is.
What is Email List Cleaning?
Email list cleaning is the part of your email marketing strategy that focuses on regularly updating your email contact list by removing outdated and inactive contacts and being responsive to your recipients' preferences. The result of this exercise is a clean email list that delivers more effective targeted content to your contacts and yields better results for you.
Email list cleaning is an essential part of every successful email marketing strategy. Most email service providers offer email cleaning services. It can be hard to let go of your hard-earned contacts, but the results do pay off. Unlike email list building, email list cleaning (also known as email list hygiene) knocks out inactive or dormant emails from your list.
When you consider this thoroughly, you'll agree that those inactive contacts could be emails that the owners no longer have access to, or it could be that the recipients are no longer interested in seeing your emails. Despite all your hard work to build your list, it is also in your best interest to let them go when they lose interest in whatever you have to say.
Remember that you pay for every email you send out. Keeping inactive contacts any longer than you should only lead to waste. Besides, the day they consider you offensive, you just might be headed for the spam box. That's a place you don't want to be. Also, when email clients begin to flag your emails, your bounce rate will likely rise significantly and seriously affect your campaigns. In the next section, we'll discuss the benefits in more detail.
1. Increases Your Email Deliverability
Email deliverability is the metric that measures the number of emails that reach your recipients' inboxes. When your contacts block your emails, you send to spam traps, or your emails have a high bounce rate, your deliverability takes a plunge.
You can improve your email deliverability by cleaning your email list, especially when you've noticed that many of your subscribers do not read your emails or some of your newsletters do not reach their destination (which is your contacts' inboxes).
Your reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) also drops, and that can even affect your deliverability further.
2. Reduce Your Email Bounce Rate
Bounce rate indicates how many of your emails are not reaching your recipients’ inboxes. If it is high, it means that your email health is poor. The lower your bounce rate, the better your email deliverability. Bounce rate is a vital sign that tells you the general health of your email list.
Email list cleaning takes care of this. The more invalid, fake, inactive, discontinued, and full email addresses you have on your list, the higher your bounce rate will be. To keep this very minimal, you should clean out those emails from your list as often as needed. In the end, you’ll have a cleaner, more responsive email list.
Generally, if your bounce rate is above 3% to 5%, it will impact your deliverability negatively. And anything above that can be detrimental to the success of your campaigns in general. In fact, some email clients will suspend your account if your bounce rate exceeds certain thresholds.
3. Avoid Complainers and Spam Traps
When building your email lists, chances are, you’ll add honeypots to the list. These are commonly known as spam traps. They’re valid email addresses specifically created to catch spammers. If you fall into this trap, you risk being blacklisted by (ISPs), and you’d have to start afresh.
Email verification services can help you update your list so that you can avoid falling prey to spam traps. Another strategy that can help you avoid spam traps is following the best email list-building practices. This is often the best way to stay off ISPs hit list. Then again, every so often, you have an email list cleaning service to help you out.
4. Lower Your Email Sending Costs
Another significant benefit of executing email list cleaning at least once a year is cost savings. The people you’re sending to switch email addresses, they change their jobs and stop using old emails, their inboxes get full, and who knows, they may even no longer be interested in what you’ve got to offer. Perhaps, they only signed up to get a free ebook, take advantage of a promo, or something else, and now they’re done.
It is only wasteful if you continue sending out emails to those people. Keep in mind that each mail you send costs money. Purging inactive contacts from your list makes simple economic sense, even though you hate to see them leave.
5. Improve Your Email Marketing Metrics
Not only does email list cleaning purify your subscribers’ list and connect you to the right audience, but it also improves your email score. Your bounce rate, deliverability, unsubscribe rate, open rate, click-through rate, complaints, and ROI will all improve as your list becomes cleaner. In fact, you can now send out more targeted content and drive higher engagement with your customers.
As much as you hate to purge your email list of inactive contacts, there’s really no point in keeping the deadweight. It is a waste of resources. Generally, any recipient that has not read your emails in over 4 months or 120 days needs to go. There’s really no guarantee that they’ll one day see your email and open it. Even if they do, you’re not so sure that they’ll remain consistent.
So, you want to save yourself the trouble and focus only on people who are interested in what you have to say. Luckily, most email service providers provide you with an easy option to use an email list cleaning service as often as necessary.