Email List Scrubbing 101: How Useful Is It, and How Often to Do It

Email List Scrubbing 101: How Useful Is It, and How Often to Do It

Email List Scrubbing 101: How Useful Is It, and How Often to Do It

If you want to land in your recipients’ inboxes and stay in the good graces of ISPs, then you’ll need to prioritize the hygiene of your email lists.
You can scan your lists all day, and maybe catch a misspelling or another issue that would render an email invalid. But what about the invalid emails that aren’t so obvious?

Ensuring your lists are free of all kinds of invalid and temporary email addresses can help to maintain your deliverability rate and sender reputation.

Let’s dive under the surface to get a better picture of why email scrubbing is valuable and how often you should do it.

Why do I need to scrub my email lists?

Unlike spring cleaning, your email lists need continuous maintenance. Scouring them from invalid emails can save you and your campaign time and money in the long run.

What is email list scrubbing?

You want your campaign to succeed.

And with 91% of marketers estimating that poor email deliverability affects their bottom line you likely can’t afford to keep invalid emails on your lists or in your database.

Email list scrubbing is the process of verifying the legitimacy of each address and their level of engagement and then removing any invalid or valid-yet-unengaged emails.

There are several ways you can scrub your lists.

Manually pinging email addresses can be time-consuming, but gets the job done. For a larger number of email addresses, you may wish to invest in a more efficient method like hiring a premier email verification service. This solution can help you avoid most if not all of the consequences of keeping a dirty list.

What are the dangers of not scrubbing my email list?

When we don’t keep our email lists clean, this can lead to major issues for the health of our sender reputation and our marketing campaign.

Take deliverability, for example. If you’re sending your campaign to an email list that contains invalid email addresses, the messages will likely bounce. For further insight, your email bounce rate should ideally be less than 2%.

Not only is a bounced email a missed connection, but it’s also a clear indicator to the ISPs that you’re not overly concerned about whether the recipients of your emails are interested in receiving them.

Unfortunately, there are consequences for such neglect. These bounces can damage your sender reputation––a score out of a possible 100 that demonstrates your trustworthiness as a sender.

When that score dips, Mailbox Providers are more likely to either block you or redirect your campaign into otherwise valid recipients’ spam folders–– rather than into the inbox where they belong.

Even if your campaign makes it into the inbox, you can still risk a recipient flagging you as spam. This is another way in which your sender reputation can be called into question.

Ensuring your list is full of engaged and interested recipients can increase the frequency of opens, click-throughs, and conversions.

In the end, this will not only make conversions and sales more likely but will provide you with accurate campaign metrics, so that you enjoy a clear and reliable picture of what’s working and what isn’t.

How often should I be scrubbing my email list?

When it comes to how often you should be scrubbing your lists, the answer is: continuously.

A two-step verification process that includes continuous point-of-capture email verification with bulk list verification is the best way to stay on top of your email list hygiene. This way, you can keep unverified email addresses from even making it onto your mailing list in the first place.

When it comes to verifying your lists in bulk, scrubbing these every 3-6 months is a good guideline to stick by.

Warning signs your email list is overdue a clean

Your email marketing metrics are taking a dip

Have you noticed that your engagement rates have taken a downward spiral?

Perhaps your emails have landed in your recipients’ inboxes, but the open, click-through, and engagement rates are low or lower than usual.

The success of your campaign, in large part, depends on keeping an engaged list. That means not only making sure that your database includes valid emails but also the emails of people who’ve opted in and will be more likely to engage.

Your sender reputation is suffering

If your engagement rates are low and your bounce rates are high, your sender reputation will suffer. This can result in grave consequences for the deliverability of your current and future email campaigns.

Here’s another thing about your sender reputation––it’s a score that builds up over time. It’s subject to change and is based on several factors revolving around your sending behavior.

Bounce rates, message size, email quality, unsubscribe rates, spam complaints, and low open rates can all contribute to your sender reputation.
At the end of the day, the cleaner your lists, the stronger your sender reputation is likely to be.

How to get started with email list scrubbing

Find out if and why your emails are bouncing

Your emails could be bouncing for several reasons.

Although some bounces are permanent––meaning deliverability is impossible––others are temporary.

A permanent or “hard bounce” may happen if you’ve sent your campaign to an abandoned or otherwise invalid email. Maybe the recipient already added you or your sending IP to their blocklist.

For a temporary, “soft” bounce, this usually indicates that the issue may be on the recipient’s side instead of yours.

For example, their inbox may be full or their server could be busy or down.
When this happens, an MBP will usually attempt to redeliver the message. If failure to deliver continues after a few attempts, this could morph into a hard bounce.

Run an email verification check on your entire list

The easiest, most accurate, and cost-efficient way to scrub your email lists is to invest in an email verification service.

This is a clear way to see which email addresses are valid and which aren’t. Here at Kickbox, we sort your email addresses into the following categories to ensure you know what action to take for each email on your list:

  • Deliverable: The mail server has verified the recipient exists.
  • Undeliverable: The mail server has verified the recipient doesn’t exist.
  • Risky: Quality or other issues may cause the email to bounce.
  • Unknown: There was no response from the mail server.

Re-engage subscribers (and remove the inactive ones)

You want to channel your resources into creating quality connections so that means building an engaged list.

In addition to removing invalid or risky emails from your lists, you can also check that each email on your existing lists has opted-in to receiving marketing messages from you.

This will help to ensure that the recipients of your emails are 1) happy to receive them, and 2) more likely to engage with your content.

Remember: A bigger email list isn’t always better

When it comes to email marketing, quality is often better than quantity.

It’s expensive to send emails.

So why waste time and money sending your campaign to addresses that won’t engage?

Staying on top of email list hygiene can help to ensure the quality of your email list remains high. Unfortunately, an email list full of unverified email addresses will often only drag down your engagement rates and sender reputation.

Get started scrubbing your email list today

If the thought of scrubbing your email list has you feeling overwhelmed, you might want to consider consulting a team of experts.

At Kickbox, we advocate for the best practice for email list scrubbing––adopting a two-step approach to email verification.

Simply drag and drop your existing lists into our comprehensive platform for verification. Next, verify all incoming sign-ups at point-of-capture to keep those lists clean on an ongoing basis.

With superior levels of accuracy and an emphasis on security, Kickbox is the email verification partner you need to take your email campaigns to the next level.

Sign-up and let our team become your team, so you can reach your customers over 99% of the time and maximize your campaign’s ROI.

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