It’s Spring Cleaning Time: Why You Need an Email List Cleaning Service
Did you know that all the major email service providers (ESPs) have tools that monitor incoming emails for their customers? Everyone from Gmail to Hotmail, Outlook, and Comcast, all work hard to ensure that their customers only see the emails they want to see.
But what does this mean for you? If you’re an email marketer or business owner who relies on your email campaigns to bring in new sales, then you need to ensure you have an optimal email list. And the best way to do this is to focus on email hygiene.
You can do this by either hiring an email list cleaning service or doing it yourself. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to do, we’ve got you covered. So, keep reading to learn the steps to cleaning your list and to see the benefits of working with an expert.
What Is Email Validation?
How many people fill out a form on your website asking for more information each month? Do you take the time to ensure that everybody entered their information correctly?
Mistakes happen to all of us, we get going fast and mistype our name or mix up a few letters. However, some people also have fake email addresses they give out specifically to get free things online. Either way, your email reputation can be affected if you have too many invalid email addresses.
There are steps, however, that you can take to ensure that each address on your subscriber list is valid. Below you can find the manual steps you can take to verify your email addresses over time. However, you can also take advantage of new API technology that allows you to verify each email address immediately when it’s entered.
What Are the Benefits of Email List Cleaning?
Email marketing is more important now than ever before. So, if you want to see a return on your marketing investment then you need to ensure your next email campaign doesn’t go unopened. You can see here how beneficial it will be for your company to clean up your subscriber list.
1. Increased Open Rates
Too many spam complaints or unsubscribes and you’ll soon find your emails in the Promotions folder. And nobody reads their spam or Promotions emails. When you start to see your open rates decrease you can be sure that your emails aren’t being delivered to your readers’ inboxes.
The best way to combat this is to clean up your disengaged readers. When you do this the people who do want to read your emails will start to see them again. And when they open your emails you’ll be able to build back up your email reputation with the ESPs.
2. Decreased Bounce Numbers
Do all your emails go to active email addresses? Bounced or undeliverable emails will do just as much harm to your email reputation as will unopened emails. You need to be sure that your emails aren’t bouncing due to inaccurate email addresses or full inboxes.
3. Decreased Costs
It costs you money each month to maintain your email list. And if you pay per subscriber to your email service provider, then those disengaged subscribers are wasting your money. So, take the time to clean up your list and you’ll see immediate savings month over month.
4. Increased Conversions
Email marketing already has the highest ROI in your digital marketing toolbox. And now, with your increased open rates you’ll see higher sales conversions. When your emails can make it to the inbox of your engaged readers, you’ll see the results you’ve always wanted.
How to Clean up Your List
Luckily, you can clean your email list yourself. We’ve outlined the six simple steps you can take to optimize your list and increase your open rates.
1. Clear Out Those That Have Never Opened
Watch out for people who signed up for something and then never opened a single email from you. Maybe they changed their mind or possibly they’re not interested anymore. But, regardless, if they’ve never opened a single email from you, then they’re bringing down your overall open rates.
You can quickly delete everyone on your list who’ve never opened an email from you. This one step will help improve your open rate percentage which will look good to the ESPs.
2. Retarget Those That Are Inactive
Now that you’ve cleaned out those that have never opened any of your emails, what do you do about those that might have opened a few emails? If someone was actively reading your emails and then stopped, you might be getting lost in their inbox.
You can send a catchy email with a subject line similar to “Is it time to say goodbye?” or “Did I say something wrong?” These types of subject lines will get noticed and opened.
In the email body have a catchy gif asking your reader to come back. Offer something in exchange for a click to entice them to click a link.
This action will reengage that reader and signal the ESPs that they want to read your emails. This step will improve your overall open rates across the board, and in particular with that reader.
3. Look For Obvious Errors
Take the time to look through the email addresses that have never opened an email from you. Do you spot any obvious mistakes such as “@homtail” instead of “@hotmail” or (dot)con instead of (dot)com? These simple mistakes will bounce your emails immediately even if the person really does want to hear from you.
4. Ask Them Why
Each time someone clicks unsubscribe it hurts your overall score. So, each time someone chooses to leave your list, redirect them to a simple page that asks them why. Give them a few options to choose from such as:
- They’re not interested anymore
- You sent too many emails
- They already purchased
- Emails didn’t provide enough value
These simple options will give you a wealth of information. If a large percent click that they’ve already purchased, this is a good thing. You don’t want to market to those people who don’t need your goods or services.
And if they choose either option about your content or frequency of emails you can use this valuable information to adjust your marketing strategy.
5. Soft Bounce vs Hard Bounce
Some emails will bounce back to you as undeliverable for various reasons, such as their inbox was too full. These will show as a soft bounce and won’t do much harm unless the same email addresses have too many soft bounces in a row. You can segment these addresses and retarget them similar to the step above.
Unfortunately, hard bounces are a different story and will ruin the overall deliverability of all your emails. A hard bounce happens when someone enters an invalid address that will never be deliverable. If you’ve taken the time to ensure there wasn’t a mistake like we described in step three, then it’s time to delete these undeliverable emails.
6. Avoid the Spambots
You can quickly avoid the spam bots by creating some sort of double opt-in option. Many email companies provide an option to ask a second time for each subscriber to confirm they want to subscribe to your email list.
You can also use a reCaptcha form to ensure that a human is actually signing up for your freebie offer and not a bot. These forms ask the user to click on all the pictures with a stoplight, for example. This can be an easy way to filter out the bots, unfortunately, many people will also click off the page due to lack of time or attention.
So, another way to avoid the spambots is to use an API solution that can easily be embedded onto every page on your site with an opt-in box or form. This technology allows you to verify that the email address being used is real and not spam in real-time. It also gives your customers a better user experience as they don’t have to click anything a second time or verify that they are in fact a person.
While you can do these steps yourself, do you really have the time? Your to-do list is never-ending, and your next email campaign won’t wait.
That’s why you should work with an expert. Next, let’s dive into what an email list cleaning service can do for your company.
What Does an Email List Cleaning Service Do?
Besides the ability to add in a real-time API to verify email addresses, a quality email list cleaning service can help you increase your open rates and therefore improve your bottom line. An API can help keep bots off your list, but if you’ve been in business for a while, then you likely already have a large list. And the steps above to clean your list might seem intimidating to find the time to implement each one.
Here at Email Oversight, we work with companies like yours every day to ensure that their emails land in their readers’ inboxes and get opened. Some other services we offer include:
- Automated FTP & SFTP solutions
- PGP encryption and security
- User-friendly application and reporting
- Global Validation & ISP Analysis
These services allow you to get back to creating your next email campaign and increase sales to your active readers. You have a growing business to run and we allow you to get back to work so you can scale to the next level.
Clean Your List to Grow Your Business
You’ve seen why it’s so important to clean your email list. And we’ve given you the steps to do it yourself. However, you may realize that you need to work with an email list cleaning service.
So, if you’re ready to clean up your email list so you can grow your business, then reach out to us today. We’re here to help you increase your open rates and conversions with a clean email list.