A clean email list – understanding how essential it is

A clean email list – understanding how essential it is, but from a different angle

When exploring marketing options for your online business, you don’t have to look far before you come across an article on the advantages and benefits of an email campaign. On the basis the article is from a reliable source, there is no reason to suspect the advice given is not sound. However, what these articles forget to discuss with you is the groundwork needed before you run an email marketing campaign.

The reason why we mention groundwork is because we are assuming that this will not be the only email campaigns that you will be running over time. What these articles don’t tell you is the damage you can do to your future email campaigns if you don’t use a clean email list.

By a clean email list, we mean a list where all the email addresses are verified and, ideally are also ‘opt in’ addresses you are using, perhaps addresses collected from visitors to your website who want to receive updates and marketing material from you.

If your email list is one you have bought from a source you know little about, but who assures you the list fits the demographic requirement you have asked for, you are staking the success of your whole business on the ‘say so’ of a complete stranger. Now if you are relatively new to email marketing, you may be wondering what harm can be done, after all, you’re only sending out harmless emails.

First off, let’s look at the ISP (Internet service provider) or the company whose mail service the email recipient is using. They work tirelessly to filter out spam and unwanted email, and they do this a number of ways. The problem is, like it or not, they can also trap genuine, non-spam marketing email, depending on the reputation of the sender. ISPs have a grading system; every sender of emails will, over time, establish a reputation with that ISP. Not only that, but ISPs do ‘communicate ‘ with each other to create effective firewalls against spam.

Spam can be detected a number of ways – both through identifying content, but also through the individual IP address the emails are sent from. The latter is what matters where having a clean email list is concerned because ISPs operate a reputation system for all IP addresses. If an address is associated with spam, then chances are, any mailshot sent from that address will not get past the spam firewall. Now here’s the scary bit. You only need a few people to report a received email as spam and you can end up on what is known as a blacklist.

Additional ways you can end up with your IP address on a blacklist is if too many emails you send ‘bounce’ – basically they don’t even reach a recipient because the address isn’t valid. The more emails that bounce in an email campaign, the greater chance emails sent in the next campaign will get trapped by an ISPs firewall, and you won’t even know about it. This means that you can also misread reasons for a lower-than-expected response to that email campaign. If people don’t get your email, then of course you won’t get a response.

The other reason why having a clean email list is so critical is when you work with an email campaign provider like MailChimp. They want to work with you, not against you, but if you submit an email list for a campaign through them which will have a high bounce rate or is likely to generate too many reports of spam, you are hurting their business as it is their IP address the emails are sent from. If that happens, you will struggle to be allowed to use their services again. To avoid such a situation, MailChimp also have a number of filters they deploy to stop emails from even being sent in the first place. This may protect them, but once again if too many email addresses prove to be inactive or incorrect, then you will not be able to use their services again either.

So, before you even begin to think about starting your email campaign, you must get your email addresses verified, which is where we can help you. Just remember, the more emails that get through to recipients, and the fewer that are reported as spam or bounce, the more emails will be successfully delivered when you carry out your next email campaign.

Published: 2017-12-12 11:23:00