The Importance of Email List Hygiene

Email-List-HygieneA clean, targeted email list is one of the most important assets any business can have. Email lists reflect users who have demonstrated interest in your brand by opting in or making a purchase, so these subscribers could have a high lifetime value.

One problem: Email lists start to decline in accuracy not long after they’re created.

These days, most consumers have an email address they keep for a long time. Such is not usually the case for B2B decision-makers, however, who might switch roles or leave for a new company. An inaccurate email list is of little value. In fact, it creates overhead!

Some accuracy issues are inevitable, but you can keep your list clean through email hygiene.

Here’s how:

Start at the Bottom by Fixing Typos

In a clean email list, every address is formatted correctly, goes to a valid domain that accepts email messages, and corresponds to a real person. As email addresses are collected and moved between files and spreadsheets, human error can be introduced. Start by checking your list for obvious typos so you can restore as many addresses as possible to service.


Reach the People You Expect

B2B email lists tend to go out of date faster, since addresses might be associated with roles rather than with people. Email addresses like “Info,” “Support,” and “Help” are unlikely to convert for your future offers. Eliminate these and see if you can find an individual email address in the target organization that corresponds to the person who originally signed up.

Validate at Opt-In

If you purchase email lists from a commercial vendor, it’s important to subject them to additional scrutiny. Double-check lists to eliminate addresses that are obvious “spam traps”. For your own in-house list, be sure to validate each new subscriber’s email address. This verifies that the true address owner intentionally subscribed.

Focus on Long-Term Value

Once upon a time, it took effort for anyone to generate a fresh, new email address. Nowadays, it’s possible to sign up for thousands of free email accounts in a single day. When users can get an immediate, untraceable payoff by subscribing to your list, like an instant coupon, they’re more likely to game the system. For quality leads, provide medium and long-term incentives.

Experts have predicted that, by 2020, more than three billion people worldwide will use email; now’s the time to develop your email list maintenance routine. By increasing customer retention by even 5%, you could achieve 95% growth in profit – and optimizing your subscriber list may be the single fastest way to reach that goal. The core lesson? Always do your best to verify list accuracy.