Importance of a clean email list

Your business doesn’t just need an email list, it needs a clean email list

It is very easy to make assumptions in this day and age of digital marketing when it comes to the most effective way to promote your business and interact with potential customers. Two things spring to mind immediately. First, you can make contact with anyone, virtually anywhere in the world. Second, digital promotion, such as an eShot or direct emailing, costs very little in relation to the number of people you can contact.

While these two points may be true, there is one thing that you may not realise. You can do your business a great deal of harm if you aren’t careful about the emails or eShots you send out. However, we are not talking about the quality of the text in your messages, we are talking about who you send these emails to.

Emailing randomly can damage your business in the noticeable ways, and by the end of this article, we won’t need to convince you of the benefits of having a clean email list of verified people, you will already know that if you haven’t done so recently, or ever, you need someone to go through your emailing list and clear out all the damaging ‘dead wood’.

Dead wood is those email addresses which are incorrect (do not exist) or which have typos and therefore will come back undelivered, or it is those addresses which a person no longer uses – they may have changed ISPs or it could have been an old work email address and they now work elsewhere so no longer use or need that address. You would be surprised just how many ‘fat fingered’ people make errors when adding their email address to subscribe to a newsletter or product announcements, and each time this happens, it hurts you, not them.

Right now you are probably wondering what harm having a few wrong email addresses on your mailing list can do. Well the straightforward answer is that it can severely damage your ‘sender reputation’, it will greatly increase your ‘bounce rate’, it will negatively affect your return on investment (ROI), and as crucial as any of these other points, it will skew any analysis of results of an email campaign.

A good sender reputation is critical for your business and the easiest way to explain why is to liken it to your credit rating or credit score. The better your credit score, the easier it is to get a loan. Now what you may not know is that mailbox providers, such as Yahoo and Gmail, in looking to weed out unwanted spam from the inbox of their mailbox users, will check  the sender reputation of any emails sent, and the worse your reputation, the more likely your emails will end up either being blacklisted, or going straight into the spam folder of the intended recipient.

Your sender reputation can also be damaged beyond repair if names on your email list are not people who have directly agreed to be contacted by you, whether as a result of using a partner website, or they are on an email list you have acquired. If too many people (and it isn’t a large number) report you to their mailbox provider for sending unsolicited ‘spam’, that email box provider will blacklist you, and this will stop you from being able to contact any of their subscribers.

Bounce rate will also affect your sender reputation, and the idea is to ensure you run at less than 10%. The more emails that bounce, the more your emails to genuine recipients will end up in their spam box. Then, of course, there is the analysis of any email campaign. To know if you are targeting the right people and that calls to action are working, response rates are critical. However if 30 percent of your emails aren’t getting delivered, then your actual campaign may be more successful than you realised. There again, if the campaign is not successful, you may struggle to clearly identify why as 30 percent of those who failed to respond never actually got an email.

So what is your best course of action? Get your email list cleaned up, and clean it each and every time before you start a new email campaign or send out any new promotional content. If you are unsure what this means, or if you do not know how to clean your email address list, then get in touch with us, we may be able to help you in more ways than you may realise.

Published: 2017-05-10 17:12:35