Cleaning your email list can significantly increase three important metrics of your email marketing campaign, namely email deliverability, open rates, and click-through rates. Email list with a significant number of dead contact usually have higher bounce rate, unsubscribe, and spam complaints, even the inbox providers like Google, Yahoo, HotMail, etc penalizes you. And when you do this enough, your email will start to land in the spam folder of your subscriber or even worst they don’t get delivered at all.

Before we go any further, let discuss what do we mean by dead contact? Dead contacts are the recipients who have an inactive email address, incorrect email address, etc.

So, tell us one thing. When was the last time you cleaned your email list and removed dead contacts? If your answer is no, then you are wasting your resource, time, effort, and money on your sales and marketing campaign for people who are just not receiving any messages from you because you don’t have their correct email address.

And if you are not sure whether you should delete the dead contacts on your email list, then you can run the last campaign for re-engagement and try to win back inactive subscribers. According to s survey by ReturnPath, 14% of the subscriber who receives re-engagement campaign opens them; this percentage goes up to 45% for the subsequent messages.

Your email list hygiene matters

If you want your email marketing campaigns to be successful, then it is imperative to maintain good hygiene for your email list. It does take some time and your effort to maintain the hygiene of your email list, but it brings many benefits like

Reduces spam traps: Spam traps are an email address that looks just like real email address, although it doesn’t belong to any real person and is not being used for any communication. As spam traps can’t opt-in or subscribe to any mailing list, the only way they can be on your email list when you fail to maintain a healthy email list.

Decrease bounce rate:Whenever a mailing server fails to send a message, it results in an email response that is automated and is known as bounce. And removing the addresses that are resulting in bounce will increase your email deliverability. Many ESPs will stop your email marketing campaign when you get 2% or higher bounce rate.

Higher engagement rates: A clean email list will increase your email deliverability and gives you subscribers that are interested in your product or service. Meaning, you have a highly targeted list of subscribers who may give you better engagements. Apart from this, sending email campaigns to interested subscribers having active email addresses will reduce the chances of your domain or IP getting blocked or blacklisted.

Restores senders reputation: Your email deliverability contributes quite much to your sender reputation, which further depends on the engagement rate of your subscribers, spam complaints, spam traps hits and bounces. Periodic email list verification and cleaning could help you to avoid these pitfalls which will improve your sender reputation. If you already have the highest sender

reputation, then this help you maintain your sender reputation, else it will help you to improve your sender reputation.

Saves a lot of money:As a marketer, you want to spend money on your campaigns and doesn’t want to waste money on it. And whenever you send an email it cost you a little. So, when you send email to a significant number of subscribers having a dead email address, it will cost you a significant amount of money. And the worst part is that this will do only harm and no good. So, removing dead email addresses from your mailing list will save you a lot of money and at the same time will contribute to the success of your email marketing campaigns.

Why you need to clean your email lists

The first step for any successful email marketing campaign is to ensure you have access to a good email list of subscribers to send your email campaign. Although, too many spam complaint, unsubscribe, and bounce to your email marketing campaigns can lead to your email account suspension from your email service provider (ESP), or your domain getting blacklisted, and in the end, you will be left with unsuccessful email campaigns.

Many ESPs remove unsubscribe and spam request automatically from your email list, but you can’t totally depend on them to do everything for you and even if do depend totally on them you won’t get 100% accuracy on your email list. The only way you can be sure whether your email will bounce to a specific email address is by sending an email to that address. You can use the double opt-in method to ensure you have no bounce email address on your list. It will also help you to get more inbox placement. The best way to increase your chances of success from email marketing campaign is by actively monitor and clean your email list periodically to make sure you have only active and highly targeted list of subscribers on your list.

How to clean your email lists

Cleaning your email list can be tedious and could take a lot of your time, but it can also be rewarding in terms of the result. You can do it either manually or using any email verification tools. These tools let you input your email list and then after quickly scanning your list for invalid, and unknown email addresses, it gives you a list after removing these types of contacts from your list that helps you to reduce your bounce rates. After you have checked your list using these tools, you should then go on to manually check your email list for a typo, inactive subscribers, and unsubscribe to ensure you get the highest email deliverability and contact accuracy on your email list.

Implement the following to deep clean your email list and exclude all the dead contacts from it;

Always deploy the double opt-in method

A double opt-in subscription is a process where a user has to confirm their interest to join any subscription list by opening and clicking the call to action in the confirmation email.
A double opt-in subscription takes place in two simple steps;

In the first step, a user submits his email address in the sign-up form.

Then in the second step, the user receives an email regarding the confirmation of their subscription where the user has to confirm their interest to be on your mailing list.

Using a double opt-in method to add new subscribers to your email list you will get the most of both worlds; you can be sure that all the subscriber on your list have given you an explicit confirmation to send them emails and you have their actively used email address. Also, it will help you to get higher inbox placement as when you send the confirmation email to a user and if it goes to their spam folder instead of their inbox, they will just go to their spam box to confirm their subscription and move the email to their inbox. So the next email you send them will have a very high chance of landing in their inbox. So, asking the user in the confirmation email to move your email into their inbox is a very good idea.

Delete bounced email addresses

Bounce is a response that gets sent automatically by mailing servers when an email fails to get delivered to the recipient email address. Bounces are of two types;

Hard bounce: These are caused by the following issue that is permanent;

Email is blocked by the recipient’s server

Invalid or non-existent address

Soft Bounce: These are caused by one the following issue that is temporary;

The server is busy or is down

Recipient’s inbox is full

Size of the email is very large.

While you should not send any emails to soft bounce email addresses unless you identify and resolve the issue that was causing soft bounce. But, you should never send any emails to the email addresses on which you have received a hard bounce response and removing these addresses is the only way to maintain a healthy email list.

Remove all the role-based emails

Role-based email addresses are associated with a department or the company and are not used by an individual person. Some of the common examples of role-based account are the following;

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Role-based email addresses are notorious for resulting in spam complaint hampers your email deliverability. Because of the following reasons;

These email addresses are usually displayed on their company’s website.

  •    Spammers usually scrape websites and other web pages to collect email address.
  •    The IT teams are very cautious about the security of these types of email addresses, and as a result, sending email to these addresses will decrease your email delivery rate.

These email addresses are just mailing list and are not an individual personal contact email address.

  •    Even though an individual person opts to be on your mailing list, other individuals in the
    department haven’t.
  •    This may cause any individual from the department to mark your emails as spam.

Do a re-engagement campaign

Whenever a user subscribes to your mailing list, this is the time when they are going to be highly engaged with your emails and your company and are probably excited to receive your emails. But eventually this excitement fades away as you send them regular emails, and your emails turn into something that they usually see when they check their emails but prefers to ignore them. This will turn them into non-engaged subscribers.

There could be a lot of reason as to why they are not engaging with your emails, you need to identify the issue and resolve it to win them back and again turn them into your engaged subscriber. Failing to do so will hamper your reputation and email deliverability rate. Internet service providers (ISPs) keep an eye on the open rate of your emails. And when your subscribers don’t open your emails, It is highly likely that the ISP may push your email to your subscriber’s spam folder.

It is quite easy and cheap to retain your existing subscribers rather than adding new subscribers to your email list. So, you should create a re-engagement email campaign to re-engage with your non-engaged subscribers.

The very first step for creating a re-engagement email campaign is to identify the inactive subscribers on your email list. So, determine a time frame by which you will separate your active subscribers from your inactive subscribers. Usually, when a subscriber doesn’t show any engagement for a time period of three months they are considered as inactive subscribers. Then go to your ESP account and create segments for active subscribers and inactive subscribers.

The core of your re-engagement email marketing strategy should be your email strategy. An effective re-engagement email campaign strategy needs a planned series of emails instead of a single email. According to ReturnPath, 14% of subscribers that received re-engagement or win-back emails engaged with them in the beginning, and it increases to 45% for the subsequent emails they received.

Inactive subscribers are usually appealed into engagement by exclusive offers, discount, a free gift, etc.

When you have developed a better understanding of your inactive subscribers, it’s time to start giving them lucrative incentives and offers through your re-engagement email campaign. There are several options to be included in your re-engagement email campaign. Following are the most appealing

  •   A special discount/promotion
  •    The information they may have missed out
  •    Free e-book, report, etc.
  •    Asking them to modify their email preference (like email frequency and topics of interest)

Now, after you have finished your re-engagement campaign, just remove all the subscribers who did not engage with our re-engagement email campaign at all. Spending more time and your resources on this inactive subscriber is a lost cause.

Now that you are sure that the dead contacts on your list are really dead and keeping them on your email list will do you more harm than good. This is where data appending comes into play. Before we go any further let’s explain what data is appending.

Data Appending

Data appending is the process of adding data to an existing database containing data like name, email address, phone number, company, etc.

Data appending involves matching and then adding the third party data into the original file.

There are several benefits of using data appending to remove dead contacts on your list. The top benefits are;

Increased email deliverability

What’s the point in putting so much effort, time, and money if no one or very few people see your email? Once you use data appending for your email list, your email deliverability will increase.

When data appending is done on a data file, you will have an alternate email address for the dead contacts on your email list. And as a result, you will have more active subscribers on your email list and at the same time, you will not be sending email to those dead contacts. This will increase your email deliverability based on the percentage of dead contact in your file. Meaning, if you have more dead contacts on your list, your email deliverability will increase by a lot and vice versa.

Increased open rate

It’s quite obvious that you will get a higher open rate when you have higher email deliverability for any campaign.

When you send emails to people on their active email address with a relevant subject line, your recipients will open your email. Since they have shown some interest in your product or service, it is highly like they will open your email, irrespective of where they are in your customer journey.

You have to keep in mind that there are many other factors that impact the email open rate. Your subject line and the email preview text are the most critical aspect for increasing your email open rate.

Better domain reputation

Domain reputation is a lot like your reputation in the general world. In the general world, your reputation affected by your past and with whom you are associated with.

Similarly, in the email marketing world, your domain reputation is affected by your IP reputation and your email content. BTW, your IP reputation and your domain reputation are two different things but can affect each other.

So, when you stop sending emails to dead contact and instead send email to people with an active email address who actually opens and reads your email, it increases you domain reputation over a period of time. Domain reputation is not something that can be improved instantly, but you can tarnish your domain reputation almost instantly.

When you send email only to active contacts, you will receive better engagement on your campaigns. When Inbox provider and internet service provider (ISP) sees that campaigns from your domain have higher engagements, it increases your domain reputation

Reduce overall cost

The average ROI is $48 for each $1 spent on email marketing. But when you keep sending emails to dead contact, it adds up to the total cost.

So, when you stop sending emails to dead contacts and instead send emails to active contacts, your campaign will be more successful. And over a period of time, you will see a significant cut in the overall cost.

Reduced chances of getting into spam traps

Spam traps are email addresses which are not actively used but are monitored actively. To deal with the increasing spam, organizations like internet service providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers set spam trap to identify spammers.

A spam trap looks just like a valid address but it is not used by any real person and hence cannot be used to make a conversation. Since spam traps can’t opt-in to any list, but somehow you managed to get them on your email list, it means that you are not maintaining a healthy email list. Or maybe you are not following the rules.

So, with the help of data appending, you can simply avoid any spam traps on your email list. This will not only increase your reputation but will also save you from any legal troubles.


So, data appending won’t just help you to achieve your marketing goals, but will also ensure you don’t end up in any legal trebles.

To learn more about how Infotanks Media data appending services can help you, contact us today.

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