Without This, You’re Destined For the Spam Box

Apr 26, 2021 | Email Copy

When it comes to email marketing, your natural instincts can hurt you.

Instead of “the more the better,” think “less is more.” This will keep your email database pristine and your company off spam lists.

The Dangers of an Unclean List

Nearly a quarter of your email database will become obsolete this year. And every year. People change jobs, create new email addresses, and abandon old ones.

Email providers try to control spam and unwanted emails for their clients. They track the emails you send and note your open rate. If your open rate is low (because subscribers change email addresses or don’t read your emails anymore), they’ll place your email low in the inbox or flag it as spam.

When this happens, your IP reputation plummets.

It’s vital to maintain a healthy email list.

By “healthy” we mean an engaged audience, not a large audience. Here’s your 4-step guide to doing that.

1: Delete Emails That “Bounce”

Invalid addresses cause emails to “bounce.” There are two kinds of bounces: hard and soft.

Hard Bounce: Your email can’t be delivered because the email doesn’t exist (double check your spelling, if you entered it manually), the domain no longer exists, or the user has blocked your emails.

Soft Bounce: Something temporary – like a full mailbox, an offline server, or too large a file – prevented deliverability.

These bounces damage your email marketing performance and your IP reputation (as mentioned above).

Delete all hard bounces immediately. Try re-sending to soft bounce recipients a couple times. If they still don’t go through, delete those as well.

2: Check in with Non-Responders

Just because your email gets into their inbox doesn’t mean you’ve succeeded.

“Non-responsive” or “inactive” subscribers can hurt you.

Segment them into a separate group for a “re-opt-in” campaign. This is an email campaign meant to pique their interest and double check they want to continue receiving your emails.

Give them several options: re-opt-in (i.e. stay on your list), change their email preferences, or unsubscribe.

If you still don’t hear back, delete them.

3: Remove “Role Accounts”

Think email addresses like info@…, support@…, socialmedia@…, and so on. They spell trouble.

Since they’re generic addresses, you have no idea who’s reading it. There could even be multiple people checking the account simultaneously.

The original info@… user may have loved your emails, but the new info@… user may delete them immediately.

There’s much uncertainty with these email addresses. Delete them in favor of personal email accounts.

4: Create a “Double Opt-In” Email

When you add email addresses to your database after a conference, trade show, mixer, or other event, send a welcome email.

This welcome email should do two things:

1. Reveal how interested and engaged they are. If they don’t click the button to confirm their opt-in, take the hint and remove them.

2. Help you get to know them and their preferences. Their answers will tell you what information they want versus what they’ll delete immediately. Sending them what they’re interested in will keep your open rate high.

Make It a Lifestyle

Now that your list is clean, it can grow again… as long as you keep doing your “spring cleaning” every six months.

Emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database,” says HubSpot, which specializes in inbound marketing.

Oh, and never augment your database using third-party lists. That could negate all your list cleaning in a matter of moments.

To your unlimited business growth,

Carol Parks

Carol Parks helps entrepreneurs and companies grow and scale via digital copywriting and smart marketing strategy… both B2B and B2C. Need copy now? Check-out her Services & Copywriting Packages!