Every email subscriber is not the same. It is important to evaluate your email list regularly and delete those that are hurting rather than helping! Despite the difficulty of cleaning up your email list, it is key to achieving healthy deliverability and avoiding spam traps. The most common way to gather information when building a list is via a Signup Form.
You can get either good or bad quality subscribers with this one since they regularly offer an incentive in exchange for personal information. It can sometimes be difficult to filter them, so you end up with many unengaged subscribers that only join because you offer a nice incentive, not because they care about your brand.
Due to all these subscribers you have on your email list, you should clean it at least every few months, so it stays healthy and avoids spam traps and high spam rates.
Benefits of Cleaning the Email List
- Deliverability rates are increased
- Improves OR and CR and reduces spam and unsubscribe rates
- Enhances IP reputation
- Increases engagement
- Keeps your IP address from being blocked by spam traps
Best Way to Clean the Email Marketing List
1. Determine unengaged subscribers/profiles
Utilize the following conditionals to identify unengaged subscribers from the past 365 days:
- Have received at least 10 emails over the past year
- No recent openings
- No emails have been clicked in the last 365 days
- Your profile is not suppressed
You may have to adjust these conditionals based on how many emails you send per week, how old your list is, and whether or not the number of profiles shown makes sense for you. You can change the number of emails or days received by duplicating the segment.
2. Delete or suppress profiles
Export only the email column from the segment file, so you don’t include the segment you’ve already created. You can now manually suppress those profiles by adding this CSV to your Suppressed profiles. Unengaged subscribers will still be listed in your history, so suppressing them won’t erase that data.
The process of suppressing the profiles may differ between platforms; please read the instructions to ensure the subscribers have been suppressed and will not receive additional emails.
It is also possible to delete the unengaged profiles, but this is not the recommended solution since you will be deleting all the information and history of the profiles. Before deleting the profiles, make sure you want to do so.
3. Your campaigns should be free of soft bounces.
Inboxes will send your emails to the Spam Folder when emails bounce or go unopened too often—because of this, cleaning out bouncers will boost your reputation and deliverability.
2 types of email bounces: Hard Bounce and Soft Bounce
- Hard Bouncers:
There are two distinct reasons as to why an email may be considered a Hard Bounce:
- Invalid email address
- a non-existing email address
- Soft Bouncers:
Soft Bounce is different from Hard Bounce in that it is caused by a temporary issue, such as an email server going down momentarily or a full mailbox. Depending on the platform conditions, soft bounces are considered hard once they bounce several times. Hard bounces are automatically suppressed in most email marketing platforms.
Your campaigns should exclude soft bounces as a good practice. Make a segment in which bounced emails are at least four overall times and exclude it in each sent email.
You’ll be left with a smaller list that’s much more engaged, and your email metrics will soar as long as you take the time to take a look at your users from time to time and follow the above steps.