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New Year… New Email List?

Every year, email lists decline by 20–30%. Moreover, at least one-third of subscribers never open emails, and even fewer click on calls to action. Marketing to disinterested people is a waste of time and resources which is why it’s a good idea to purge your email lists. What better time than the new year?

After scrubbing disinterested emails from the list, expect the following improvements:

  • Better click-through rates
  • Decreased marketing costs
  • Decreased spam complaints
  • Fewer bounced emails
  • Higher open rates
  • Higher ROI
  • More accurate reporting

Before You Begin, Check for Hard vs Soft Bounces

Before removing emails from the list, check to see why they’re bouncing. Hard bounces should be removed, while soft bounces may be resolved.

Reasons for hard bounces include:

  • Delivery is blocked by the email server
  • The domain name doesn’t exist
  • The email address no longer exists

Soft bounces, however, are often corrected by ensuring there are no typos in the email address or by waiting for the host server to resolve on its own. If and when a soft bounce turns into a hard bounce, the email service will notify you or will simply “clean” the email address automatically.

Attempt to Re-engage Subscribers

If you have subscribers who have engaged with your content at least once but are now inactive, try winning them back before removing them for good.

Segment the inactive users and send them a fresh re-engagement email. Try reconnecting on an emotional level using phrases like, “We miss you” or “we want you back” and include a video or image that makes them smile, (kittens get us every time!)

It’s also a good idea to incentivize the re-engagement by including a special offer, discount, freebie, or lead magnet. The whole idea is to nurture them back into the funnel, so they wind up converting in the future.

Purging Instructions

Many CRM and email service providers do much of this work automatically, but it’s still a good idea to understand the scrubbing process.

Remove Duplicate Email Addresses

Sometimes people don’t remember they’ve already subscribed to an email list, so they do it again. Some websites automatically subscribe customers when they make a purchase, even if they’re already on the list. Whatever the reason, marketing to duplicate emails reduces ROI. Plus, if someone starts getting your emails numerous times, they may report it as spam or just unsubscribe.

Also, be sure to look for customers who are subscribed under multiple email addresses, those duplicates should also be removed.

Delete “Spammed” Email Addresses

In addition to security concerns, sending to spammed email addresses is a waste of resources. Remove all suspicious-looking addresses, easily identified by random combinations of letters and numbers, misspellings, and public domains if you’re B2B. (The best way to avoid spam is to use Akismet and ReCaptcha on all of your forms.)

Remove Unsubscribed Emails

Again, it’s a waste of time and money marketing to people who aren’t interested, plus sending emails to unsubscribed addresses is considered spam.

Delete Purchased Emails

If an organization offers or sells a company a legitimate email blast to its subscribers, then it sends the email – it doesn’t give out the email addresses. Buying email lists is a bad idea, as the subscribers aren’t exclusive to you and didn’t give permission to be contacted. Using these lists can cause issues with the email service (which may terminate your account) or get your company labeled as a spammer. Remove all purchased emails from your list.

Consider a Scrubber Service

If you have an enormous email list (or several lists to clean) or your CRM doesn’t offer purge functions, consider a scrubber service. For a fee, purge platforms offer the following:

  • Bulk email list verification
  • Disposable email address provider checks
  • Email address typo correction
  • Email list validation
  • Fake email address blocks

Clean List Management

Once you’ve purged your email list, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top shape! Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of your star-studded subscriber list!

  • Embed a lead magnet popup on exit intent. When someone moves their mouse to leave your website, a popup appears asking for their email in exchange for a “gift.” This ensures that those subscribing have a vested interest in your company.
  • Send welcome emails to new subscribers. Show those who join your list that you appreciate them. This also keeps them engaged right off the bat.
  • Write quality emails. Use complete sentences and proper grammar and keep it short, sweet, and interesting. Asking for customer feedback and inviting them to join you on social media also keeps them engaged.
  • Write amazing subject lines. People shouldn’t consider opening your content – they shouldn’t be able to stop themselves because you’ve captured their interest so well!
  • Drip on new subscribers. Channel new subscribers into awesome drip campaigns right away. Focus on where they are in the funnel so you’re hitting them right when it counts.
  • Give options. If you send a lot of different emails, allow subscribers to choose what information they’d like to receive. Giving them control keeps them subscribed.

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