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Four Things to Dump From Your Email List Right Now

October 10, 2012  
List churn is not an uncommon phenomenon; people change personal addresses, leave their former work addresses, or enter misspelled addresses when opting in. And that can be a problem if you don't clean your lists on a regular basis.

"Did you know an email list with a large quantity of invalid email addresses can delay your email campaign delivery for hours?" asks Marla Chupack at Mass Transmit. But that's only the beginning; it can get even worse. Sending to a high percentage of bad addresses "can result in your message ending up in a spam or junk folder, or prevent your email from reaching valid subscribers on your list," she notes.

To avoid deliverability disaster, conduct regular list maintenance, making sure you remove:

  • Email addresses that bounce. Even a single hard bounce can indicate you have an invalid or nonexistent address.
  • Malformed email addresses. Typos might abound; look for addresses with misspelled top-level domains and missing @ symbols. You might also discover URLs masquerading as email addresses.
  • Fake email addresses. People and spam bots enter fake addresses for a variety of reasons. "These usually look abnormal or impersonal as they include lots of random letters/numbers," says Chupack.
  • Inactive email addresses. Messages sent to these addresses don't bounce, but neither are they opened. Attempt re-engagement, but if you still don't get a response, remove them from your list.

The Po!nt: Things change. Even a scrupulous opt-in campaign will experience list churn. To protect your reputation, periodically weed out problem addresses from your list.

Source: Mass Transmit.

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  • by lori feldman Wed Oct 10, 2012 via mobile

    I always send one last ditch personal email to opt outs. First, to be sure they meant to opt out and second, to ask why. I have a great 2-sentence templat if anyone would like it.

  • by Amy Lyn Thu Oct 11, 2012 via iphone

    Lori, I would love it - please email to Thanks so much!! Amy

  • by Amy Lyn Thu Oct 11, 2012 via iphone

    I mis- typed my email! It's: Sorry! Too early here!! ;)

  • by John Mon Oct 22, 2012 via web

    We use a list cleaning/validation service like to keep our data current and stop the bounces. It works well for us.

  • by Ali Swerdlow - LeadSpend Wed Apr 24, 2013 via web

    An email hygiene service is definitely a great investment. LeadSpend accurately identifies harmful email addresses at the point of collection and on the back-end, allowing you to remove those addresses before mailing to them. By removing bounces and identifying, known traps, monitoring domains, blackholes, disposable addresses, invalid domains, and other nefarious addresses, the service significantly improves email marketing results. We're more than happy to run a free test on a sample of your list or at the point of collection on your website or landing page.

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