Why You Need To Clean Up Your Email Marketing List For The Best Results
When you invest the time and money in email marketing, maintaining a high quality email marketing list is a priority. Email marketing professionals refer to this ongoing process as list cleansing, or list hygiene, and removing from your list any email addresses that could negatively affect your results.
Why list hygiene is so important to email marketing success
There are two main reasons list hygiene is so important to email marketing. First, if you’re not posting messages to a clean list, you are likely wasting a lot of time and effort and seeing lower performance metrics than you might see.
Low quality lists contain a large number of email addresses that are undelivered, disabled, or even spam traps. If you keep sending to these email addresses, not only will your results be bad, but your domain reputation will also deteriorate over time.
This leads to the second reason list hygiene is so important – to make sure your future email messages are sent to inboxes rather than spam.
How a poor quality list affects your email deliverability and results
Email service providers (ESPs – like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Apple, etc.) have sophisticated algorithms in place to detect whether email senders are sending content that users actually want or not. A lack of engagement or a negative engagement with your messages (e.g. never open, delete without opening, mark as spam, block you as a sender) shows that ESPs are not sending content that is wanted by others.
As a result, your domain reputation (also known as sender reputation) will decline. As your domain reputation goes down, so does the number of messages you get to the inbox. Instead, ESPs start associating your domain with spam, and more and more of your messages are being moved to recipients’ spam or junk folders until you take steps to fix your domain reputation.
How to Clean Up Your Email Marketing List
An important part of building successful email marketing programs is continually cleaning up your list by removing unchecked and problematic email addresses.
Remember, engagement is a huge part of the puzzle of cleaning up lists and getting your email messages to inboxes, but it’s not the only piece. To ensure that your list is high quality, you need to remove hard returned email addresses, unsubscribed email addresses, and spam trap email addresses as well.
In summary, to protect your deliverability and get the best results from your email marketing investments, you need to clean up your list of the following problem addresses:
Remove deactivated email addresses
Contacts who were not engaged in your messages should be removed from your email marketing list. There is no specific “rule” as to when deactivated contacts should be removed from a list. It depends in part on how often you send messages to them, whether or not you send to a subscription list, and more.
A simple rule of thumb is this: suppose after you have contacted someone multiple times (say five times) without engagement, put them in the disabled state and try to reenable them in the future (say six Months). .
Remember, lack of engagement will hurt your domain reputation. Therefore, you need to monitor the recipient’s engagement for your messages and proactively remove unchecked contacts from your mailings to protect your domain and deliverability in the future.
Remove permanently returned email addresses
There are two categories of email bounces – soft and hard. Soft bounces are delivered when an email address is temporarily unavailable to accept messages. For example, an email address might get a soft jump when the recipient’s inbox is full. Soft bounces don’t need to be removed from your email marketing lists as they should work again in the future.
Hard bounces are delivered when an email address cannot be permanently delivered. This can happen, for example, if the email address is not valid or something is wrong. Hard bounces should be removed from your email marketing list ASAP as they will never work.
Additionally, when you send messages to hard-bounce addresses, ESPs assume that you don’t bother cleaning up your lists and that your domain reputation and deliverability go down.
Remove the spam trap email addresses
If you buy an email marketing list from a poor quality source, it could contain spam trap email addresses that could affect your domain reputation and deliverability. All you have to do is send an email address to a spam trap for instant damage to your reputation.
There are two types of spam trap email addresses that should be removed from your email marketing lists immediately: Recycled Spam Traps and Honeypot Spam Traps:
- Recycled spam traps: Email addresses that were valid and belonged to someone at one point in time, but have since been abandoned and become spam addresses.
- Honeypot spam traps: These email addresses are also known as pristine spam traps and did not belong to anyone. ESPs created them to use robots to trap spammers to crawl websites and remove email addresses. ESPs hide these addresses on websites to catch scrapers and people buying poor quality lists.
Sending to recycled spam traps shows ESPs that your list quality is low and your reputation and deliverability are falling. Posting to honeypot spam traps will show up ESPs that you send to low quality scrapped lists and your domain reputation will be instantly impacted. As a result, your future messages will not make it to the inboxes and your email marketing results will suffer significantly.
List Hygiene and the Cannabiz Media License Database
When using the Cannabiz Media License Database to send email marketing campaigns to cannabis and hemp industry license holders, you don’t have to worry about list hygiene as most of the process is done automatically for you. Let’s take a look at each process:
How Cannabiz Media deals with non-activated email addresses
Cannabiz Media will automatically bounce email addresses that haven’t looked at your last five messages. So you won’t be able to email them again until they’re on one of your previous messages or after six months have passed.
If you’d rather control this process conservatively, you can use custom disable and re-enable tags to move email addresses to and from your lists. However, you can always rest assured that no email address will receive a sixth message until you see one or more of the previous five messages you sent to them.
How Cannabiz Media Removes Hard Bounce Email Addresses
Cannabiz Media removes all hard-bounce email addresses from the license database, so this part of the process is done for you without your intervention.
How the Cannabiz Media License Database has no email addresses for spam traps – ever
Because the email addresses in the Cannabiz Media License Database are not from websites or purchased from third parties (they are all obtained and verified by our team of human researchers through reliable sources), there is no need to worry about spam traps. There are none in the license database.
Important notes on the importance of using a clean email marketing list
The success of email marketing depends on a combination of the right audience, the right content, the right call-to-action, and the right timing. However, all of your efforts are in vain if you don’t send messages to a clean list.
This is because when you send messages to “bad” email addresses, your domain reputation and deliverability decrease. So only send to trusted, clean lists for your email marketing to be successful.