Why You NEED to Clean Your Email Marketing List

3 min read

Did you know that email lists decline by 20-30% each year?  This means that up to one-third of your subscribers will never even open your carefully crafted emails or click on your call to action. 

Regardless of the reason you're hoarding your list, it’s high time you clean your email list. 

The Importance of a Clean Email List

It’s important to do an email clean at least a couple of times a year. If people aren’t opening and clicking on your emails, they aren’t converting into sales. And trust us, they probably never will.  

Why waste time, effort, and money on trying to talk to people who aren’t interested in listening? If you notice an increase in unsubscribes and spam complaints, and a reduction in open rates and click-through rates, it’s probably high time you do a purge. 

By cleaning your email marketing list, you are removing unengaged subscribers, giving you more room to focus on the people who are actually interested in your business and want to receive your emails. 

Top Benefits of a Clean Email List

Better Open and Click Rates

Removing those who are not opening your emails means that you’ll be able to improve your open and click rate percentages.

But what should the open and click rates percentages be on a healthy, clean list? According to Klaviyo, for a campaign of around 50,000 people, the unique open ate should be anywhere between 15 and 25% and the unique click rate between 1.5 and 4%.

Have less subscribers? You should still be hitting the same averages! If not: CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN!

Fewer Spam Complaints

People can often mark your email as spam because they don’t remember signing up. Unfortunately for you and your business, mailbox providers such as Gmail and Yahoo, log spam complaints. 

If you receive too many complaints, these email providers will begin to send your emails straight to the spam folder for everyone on your email list - not just the people who reported you. 

This significantly affects your opportunity to get leads and sales from your email list.  It’s better to improve your sender reputation and ensure that your emails actually make it to a subscriber’s inbox by removing the subscribers who are annoyed enough to mark your emails as spam. 

Fewer Bounces

An email can bounce because of full inboxes, changed email addresses, or a simple technical error. 

Similar to spam complaints, the number of bounces can negatively affect your sender reputation which, in turn, can affect your email deliverability.  

Lower Monthly Fees

Many email marketing services charge based on the number of emails you send or the number of subscribers you have.

This means that every unengaged subscriber is costing you money. Clean your email list and improve your email marketing ROI today! 

Better Reporting

Last but not least, cleaning your email list will give you a better idea of your email marketing statistics.  This accurate data will help better guide your marketing strategy going forward. 

How to Clean your Email List

We recommend starting with your most active email list.  This is most likely the list driving conversions, leads and sales.

That being said, it’s important to pay attention to older lists too,as unengaged subscribers can be skewing your statistics.  As mentioned earlier, it’s beneficial to clean your marketing lists a couple of times a year. 

For bounced emails, be sure to check why the email bounced.  Was there a typo in the email address?  Does the email address even exist? Was it simply a temporary issue? Fix any glaring mistakes.  

Be sure to also remove any duplicate email addresses or duplicate names with different email addresses.  You should also remove spam email addresses.  Typically, these are easy to spot because they contain a strange letter or number combination.

Take note that most email providers like Klaviyo or Omnisend will do this for you automatically, but it's still important to be aware and cautious.

Finally, if you bought an email list, remove them now. Most likely, they are not doing anything for your business and they will have a negative impact on your email deliverability.

Once you’ve identified your inactive subscribers, you can try to pique their interest through a win-back email campaign. A fresh approach could be just what’s needed to re-engage them. 

Otherwise, make sure to remove or suppress them from your active lists. Make sure to export them first though, these lists are still HIGHLY valuable! You can actually reuse them in PPC retargeting ads.

Managing your Clean Email List 

Now that your email list is clean, do your best to keep it that way.  A great way to engage your subscribers from the get-go is by sending a welcome email.You can also give your subscribers the ability to control their email settings by allowing them to opt down instead of opting-out completely.  




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