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Email inbox anxiety is a real thing, and no wonder: Billions of emails are sent every day.

Today, the last day of National Clean Out Your Inbox Week (Jan. 22-28), is a good opportunity for marketers to think about how we contribute to our subscribers' email stress.

Here are four email best-practices that will help your subscribers get a handle on their inboxes—and also improve the return on your email marketing investment.

1. Acquire email addresses ethically—and smartly

Before you launch your next email campaign, ensure your email lists contain true opt-ins only and every address on the list is valid.

Validating addresses is important because even opt-in lists can contain email addresses that have syntax issues, and using lists with errors like that can get your company blacklisted. Also, it's best-practice to not buy email lists. Marketers who deal with list rentals or buy lists from less-than-reputable companies are often unaware of the negative legal and ethical ramifications and sometimes end up being the ones sending to high-risk addresses.

Another common email acquisition issue that creates problems for subscribers occurs because marketers don't include a mechanism that allows subscribers to update their email address without unsubscribing from their original account.

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image of John Landsman

John Landsman is manager of research analytics at SparkPost, an email analytics and delivery platform.

LinkedIn: John Landsman