How to Clean Up Your Email List without Deleting Potential Leads

How to Clean Up Your Email List without Deleting Potential Leads

Looking to clean up your email marketing list but concerned about deleting legitimate leads in the process? You’re not alone. Many business owners are concerned that through the process of email lead scrubbing they may inadvertently remove quality leads.

While this is a valid concern, if done correctly, email list scrubbing will actually improve your business development and lead generation. That’s because such efforts help to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time and money on uninterested, outdated, or bad leads. Email list scrubbing also will:

  • Lower the number of individuals and companies that mark your emails as SPAM.
  • Improve your deliverability and email open rates.
  • Keep you legally compliant by taking unsubscribes off your list.
  • Allow you to better segment your emails.
  • Increase email content relevancy.
  • Save money if you are being charged per email sent.

Marketing experts agree that approximately 25 percent of an email list becomes irrelevant each year. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell which 25 percent have gone bad. If you are wondering what emails you need to remove from your list, here is a quick guide for which addresses to remove:

Unsubscribes: If an address unsubscribes from your list, you are required by law to remove it.

Duplicate or invalid addresses: Every email address needs to be checked to confirm that it is a working address and that it is not being duplicated.

Addresses that didn’t opt in: Removing these emails is the best way to improve email deliverability, as well as open and click through rates.

Alias addresses: When you see an address like [email protected], you should know that most ESPs won’t deliver the email because one or more of the email addresses associated with the alias did not opt in to receive your emails.

Disengaged recipients: Don’t delete these emails immediately, but if a person or company has stopped opening or clicking through your emails, you need to try to reengage them. If reengagement fails, it’s better to remove them from your list before they mark you as SPAM.

Bouncing addresses: While some emails that bounce back do so because of a temporary problem, others bounce back because the address is invalid or blocked. In those cases, you need to remove the address from your list.

Finally, many businesses have trouble deciding how long to keep an email address on their active list. While no one would delete the email address of an active customer, it’s harder to know what to do with email addresses that appear to be abandoned. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of any address that is consistently bouncing or marking you as SPAM, and try to reengage the others. If the other addresses still bring no response after reengagement efforts, it’s time to delete them, as well.