Email marketing has been around for a while now. For the most part, this is a very good thing, as it shows just how successful a marketing tool it is for businesses. Indeed, there’s every chance you have had your own email marketing in place for years and have been reaping the rewards.

However, for every silver lining, there’s a cloud, and in the case of email marketing, that cloud can grow and grow until it’s a huge, overwhelming mess. What are we talking about? Your email marketing subscriber list, or rather the old and redundant emails that are still part of it.

When was the last time you took a good look at it with an eye to cleaning, trimming down, or weeding out the fat? Yeah, we thought so!

Getting your voice out there to your customers – past, present, and potentially future – is a great thing, but shouting into the void..? That’s more of a waste.

Join us now as we talk through the administrative freshening-up that is cleaning your email list.

The Importance of Email List Cleaning

 So, what is email list cleaning? To put it simply, it’s going through that database of email addresses that you have built up over the years and removing all the addresses that are no longer serving you. 

While this may sound like a waste of time; after all, so what if an email goes somewhere it’s no longer wanted? But no! One of the key parts of successful email marketing is that it is targeted and not just an exercise in unwanted spam.

Email list cleaning is a regular update of your email list by removing inactive, incorrect, or unresponsive email addresses, which is crucial for maintaining the health and efficiency of your marketing efforts.

Come on then; let’s tell you why.

The Benefits of Email List Cleaning

Improving Your Email Marketing Data

Before we go any further, let’s talk about your email marketing metrics – those statistics that let you see if you’re doing well. Any good marketer knows that campaigns build on each other and that you have to learn, tweak and adjust your methods along the way. 

You discover something isn’t quite working, so next time, you do it a little differently – or you find that something really does work, so you make sure to do it again.

Analysing that data is essential, and if the data is inaccurate, then the analysis can end up being equally rubbish. 

You can end up wasting hours, days, and even weeks creating future campaigns that are based on false information and junk metrics. That’s not good for you, it’s not good for your results, and it certainly isn’t a good use of your marketing budget.

It’s easy to see, therefore, that good data is essential – it’s utterly vital that you know when your emails work and when they don’t. 

And when your email list is filled with old, unwanted emails, it plays havoc with your metrics, ultimately leading to fewer sales. Consider the following:

Improved Deliverability

Email deliverability measures whether your email actually reaches the target inbox and is one of many important metrics in understanding the efficiency of your email campaign. 

It’s not about the technicality of the email being delivered to the right server (that’s rather confusingly called email delivery) but about whether, once it gets there, it doesn’t get flagged as spam and ends up in the perpetual void that is the junk box.

Obviously, sending emails out to people who have you automatically junked is bad for your deliverability data. 

Enhanced Engagement Rates

Some people may have been enthusiastic about joining your email list in the past but have moved on and no longer bother to read them – yet, there you are, still sending them emails every month. Unengaged subscribers ruin your engagement rate results, dropping your open and click-through rates significantly and leading to you thinking things are worse than they are.

Why are you still sending them emails? Cleaning is needed!

Engaging with Your Email Service Provider

It’s not just about your marketing data; you also have to consider your reputation in the wider world. Sender reputation is a term that defines how email service providers see your business – look at it as a credit rating for your email activity – and when it’s bad, it’s possible to be blacklisted, meaning you won’t be able to send bulk marketing emails at all.

It’s rare to end up in that position, but with most major email providers working more and more to try to prevent their users from receiving unsolicited spam, each year, the net tightens and the idea of sender reputation becomes more and more important.

Cleaning your email list helps your service provider in the following ways:

Reduced Bounce Rates

Your bounce rate is the emails boinging back to you because they don’t get to where you thought they’d go – and a really, really good email marketing campaign has a bounce rate of zero, or close to it. If yours is 5% or more, then your sender reputation is being harmed – don’t let a messy email list be the reason for that.

Cost Efficiency

Many email service providers charge based on the number of subscribers you are sending out to, so it’s easy to see how cutting away the chaff is going to save you money – why throw your money away?

Enhanced Engagement Rates

Didn’t we mention this already?! Yes – but it’s worth noting here that not only does improving your engagement rate improve your marketing statistics, but it also looks good to your service provider, improving that sender reputation. Huzzah!

How To Clean Your Email List

Ah, the crux of it all. What to do..? Thankfully, it’s not as laborious as going through each email one by one and deleting those you know aren’t working for you any more (though do feel free to do this if you want!). Nope, in this world of automation and clever things, there’s plenty to help you clean your email list:

Identify Inactive Subscribers

Your email software will help you identify anyone who hasn’t engaged with your email over a chosen period; depending on your industry and expectations, you can make this anything from three to 12 months. Then, you can choose to either send over your re-engagement campaign or simply remove them from the list.

Use Email Verification Tools

Tools like Zero Bounce automate the process of checking the validity of email addresses. This is key to working on that all-important bounce rate issue. You can remove hard bounces, high spam complainers and any invalid emails with ease.

Build a Re-Engagement Campaign

A re-engagement campaign is a targeted email campaign designed to ask your subscribers if they’re still into what you do or whether they’d like you to leave them alone now. A good re-engagement campaign will quickly turn into a productive sales campaign in its own right, as lapsed customers are reminded of why they liked you in the first place.

When constructing a re-engagement campaign, it’s key that you consider your audience and design an email that’s going to turn them around, rejigging your relationship and bringing as many old customers back into the fold as possible. 

Email Marketing Maintenance with SCM

Keeping your email list clean is an important part of your email marketing strategy and, depending on the size of your list and the frequency of getting new subscribers, is something that you should do regularly. 

It will boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and provide accurate data for you to build on for the future, so be proactive and keep your email marketing a successful part of your ongoing strategy.

Want to learn more – why not give us a call? We can advise on every aspect of your online marketing and will help you get the most out of your email list. If you ask nicely, we’ll even help with the cleaning!

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