Anyone who works with Email Marketing knows that to obtain good results it is always important to manage the email list well.
Not spamming, sending emails with adequate frequency and relevant content always helps to keep the email list “hot” and the results getting better and better. Still, other concerns must be considered in maintaining a healthy foundation.
There is also the case of several companies that did not have the discipline to send messages frequently and want to re-establish contact with an old email base.
However, the most common step they end up taking — importing this list into their email marketing service — can be a real shot in the foot, which ends up negatively influencing the company’s email reputation.
To prevent this from happening, there is an action called cleaning the email list, a subject that we will address in this post.
Why clean your email list?
First of all, it is very important to keep in mind that cleaning is not for a purchased email base. We have already explained why your company should not buy an email list and that, even sanitized, a purchased base will never have the relevance and quality of an email list acquired legally and organically.
The fact is that over time there is a process of depreciation of the email base: many people change jobs and thus change their corporate address, others change their email service, and so on. It is normal behavior and there is no way to avoid it. However, it is necessary to always be attentive so that the damage is not even greater.
That’s because Internet services are looking for ways to combat spam. If your company is sending emails to many addresses that do not exist, this is taken as a strong sign that the list is not of good quality and is not treated with due care.
Thus, the sending email server is “badly regarded” and, even when the message is relevant and the recipient wants to receive the email, the content can end up in antispam filters.
Therefore, the main objective of cleaning is to remove from the base all emails that are not valid or relevant for your company’s next campaigns. Cutting out irrelevant emails is essential to maintain a good reputation and ensure good deliverability.
Cleaning a current email list
If your company already maintains a routine of sending Email Marketing and the base is used to receiving emails, the process is a little easier.
There is some information that most tools provide that are very important for list maintenance:
- Hard bounces are those emails considered invalid. This includes those that already existed and no longer exist, those that were purposely wrongly indicated, and also emails with typos;
- Soft bounces: are valid emails, but for some reason could not be delivered. The reason is usually that the box is full;
- Spam Complaints: In the vast majority of email services it is possible to mark a message as spam. This indicates that the user was annoyed and believes that your company did not have the right to send this email to them;
- Unsubscribe requests: every company must offer an unsubscribe option in emails sent. This means that the user no longer wants to receive these messages.
With frequent sending and this information at hand, it is easy to maintain the sanitized list. Just remove, before each send, users who already have hard bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribe requests.
Cleaning an old email list
When we talk about an old email base, we refer to one that is lost or forgotten for some time. Contacts may have been generated through normal forms, in exchange for eBooks, or, for example, received in courses and workshops held by your company long ago. The fact is that the list had not been used until now and will be put into active use.
This case is much more difficult to handle. That’s because server analyses to identify spam are usually done in percentage terms. When we go a long time without sending and therefore a long time without getting feedback to clean the list, a series of problems usually happen.
Invalid emails usually accumulate, generating a high rate of hard bounces. Several people no longer remember having registered and marked the email as spam or asked to unsubscribe. The consequence is that the reputation of the sending e-mail server is greatly damaged.
Most companies that offer email marketing sending services can see the poor performance right at the beginning of the trigger and then stop sending the rest of the campaign. This poor performance can result in blocks and even in the definitive deletion of an account, after all, if the service deliverability goes down, it loses value and, therefore, customers.
Try to eliminate hard bounces
If your company leaves to find out who the hard bounces are at the time of sending, the chances of the campaign being blocked and failing are high.
There are several services specialized in checking if an email is valid and, as much as you have to spend a little, it’s worth it. This should considerably reduce the number of invalid emails and is the price to pay for being out of touch for so long.
Choose your uploaded content very well and start slow
In addition to reducing the number of hard bounces, it is also necessary to reduce the number of spam and unsubscribe complaints. In that case, there is no great magic to be done. The secret is to take it easy.
Don’t start using the list to promote a product or service, try to generate more value. Offer a great article, a free eBook or lecture, a list of pointers of valuable things for that potential customer. This type of content usually has a much greater receptivity and therefore should be the focus at this rapprochement moment, in which the relationship is fragile.
Also, try to stick to the topic that brought the person to your list. For example, if these contacts were captured in a course; or captured by downloading some material, make the campaign about similar issues.
Finally, be careful with the frequency. Someone who hasn’t received emails from your company for a long time will be surprised if this happens much more frequently.