It’d be an understatement to say cleanliness is on everyone’s minds at the moment. So, while we’re all in that mindset, it might be a good time to learn a bit more out tidying up the email lists in your CRM.

Keeping your email marketing lists in tip-top shape can provide plenty of benefits, from improving open and click rates to boosting your reputation with email service providers. If you’re not cleaning up your email lists on a regular basis, then it’s only likely to generate headaches further down the road.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or hardened veteran when it comes to email list hygiene, Noble Performs are here to provide you with a quick refresher.

What are the benefits of cleaning up your email lists?

If you’re like us, then any form of decluttering or cleaning just helps you feel at peace a little more. For us, that’s one of the key benefits of cleaning your email lists – just to have a tidy, friendly CRM to navigate! But there are also plenty of more concrete benefits as well:

  • More accurate data: By clearing out the cobwebs from your marketing service and removing the bad or inactive emails, you’ll receive a clearer picture of how subscribers are engaging with your EDMs. If 10% or 20% of your list is made up of broken or spam emails, then that’s only going to drag your open rates down.
  • Reduce spam: Mailbox providers, such as Gmail and Outlook, make a note when an email is marked as spam. By cleaning up your email list and removing any unnecessary or irrelevant subscribers, you can lower the number of spam complaints, ensuring you look between in the eyes of email clients.
  • Reduce costs: Some email marketing services, such as Campaign Monitor, operate on a tiered system, charging you more depending on how many subscribers you have. By trimming down your list, you can potentially save some money.

How do I clean up my email lists?

The process of cleaning your email lists is pretty straightforward – simply work your way through each list, checking for emails that seem like spam or that have bounced repeatedly.

Most email marketing service providers will make a distinction between hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces should always be removed, as these email addresses will most likely remain inactive, but soft bounces are a little more complicated. If an email address soft bounces once, it’s best to leave it, however, if it has soft bounced repeatedly, then it’s probably worth removing it.

A few things to consider when removing email addresses:

  • Try re-engaging: If an email address has been unresponsive for a long time, it can be tempting to remove them. We recommend running a re-engagement campaign first – such as a targeted promotion – just in case there’s the opportunity to win them back.
  • Check for typos: This error is more common than you might think. When checking through your hard bounces make sure there aren’t any typos in the email addresses – you might’ve been sending to Jhon Smith instead of John Smith the whole time!
  • Check for duplicates: You may have multiple email addresses for one person in your mailing list – ergo, they’re only like to be reading your emails from one of them! Additionally, one might be an old one, no longer in use, making it an easy removal.

How often you should clean your list depends on how large it is, but as a general rule of thumb, every six months is a good bet.

How do I maintain a healthy email list?

Now that you’ve cleaned up your email list, there are a few things you can do to keep it in good health:

  • Encourage high-quality sign-ups: Make sure your paid and content campaigns are targeting the right people. If you’re getting lots of sign-ups from people who fall outside of your target demographic, then it might be time to reassess.
  • Don’t buy email lists: Just don’t – it’s considered bad practice and it won’t do you any good.
  • Secure your sign-up form: If you’re receiving a huge influx of spam emails, then it might be worth securing your sign-up form. This is simple to do, and if you have a WordPress site it’s as easy as installing a plugin.
  • Give subscribers control: Depending on how many EDMs you’re sending out, it may be worth offering subscribers the ability to personalise which ones they receive. They may be engaging with what you’re sending, but just feel as though they’re receiving too much.

If you need a bit of help with your email marketing – or any other area of your digital marketing strategy – be sure to get in touch. Noble Performs are experts when it comes to all aspects of digital marketing; we’re ready to help you take your strategy to the next level.