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Two simple ways to improve your email list hygiene

This is a guest post by Corina Leslie, PR Manager at ZeroBounce.

How much do you think about your email list? If you’re in email marketing, I bet you keep count of the number of people who come and go. You can’t do much about those who unsubscribe, other than honor their request right away. On the other hand, making sure those who stay are genuine is a must for your emails to perform.

Let’s see how keeping up with your email list hygiene can influence your metrics and how you can do this the easy way.

Why your email list hygiene matters and how to improve it

Email marketing is hot: for every dollar spent, you can expect a return of $42. It’s no surprise when you consider the number of email users worldwide will top 4 billion this year. Email is thus a growing and lucrative channel, but the truth is it takes consistent effort to do it right.

“There are many pieces in this puzzle and each one plays a vital role,” says ZeroBounce founder and CEO, Liviu Tanase. “Number one: your email list. It’s the foundation of your email marketing. Reaching actual human beings, in their inboxes, is the first step to getting results,” he adds.

How does a messy email list prevent you from reaching inboxes? Here are a few ways:

  • When you get bounces, it’s not just those invalid addresses you’re not reaching. A bounce rate that’s higher than 2% (the accepted industry benchmark) is a sign you’re not following email marketing best practices. Email and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t support sloppy senders. On the contrary, they discourage and block them, so your emails may start going to spam or won’t even get delivered.

  • Getting one spam complaint for every 1,000 emails is natural—ISPs won’t punish you for that. However, getting more than that places you in a risky area, where you may come across as a spam sender. Spammers don’t get a spot in the inbox. Their emails go directly to the spam folder.

Bounces and spam complaints tremendously affect your overall email marketing performance. However, invalid and abuse emails are not the only ones that can affect your email list hygiene and derail your campaigns. There are also:

  • Catch-all emails, which are prone to bouncing

  • Role-based emails that hardly anyone checks and don’t add much value to your list

  • Spam traps, designed to expose and block spam senders

Keeping such email addresses on your list has a dramatic impact on your sender reputation and, ultimately, on your email deliverability.

So how do you ensure your subscribers, customers, and prospects are genuine so you can hit “Send” confidently, every time?  Keep up with your list hygiene by validating your contacts regularly.

How to validate your contacts and maintain good email list hygiene

All data degrades, and if you run email marketing campaigns or work within a CRM, you’ve seen it happen. You sent a marketing email that never got opened, or you tried to get in touch with a customer but their email bounced. It’s frustrating, and it slows you down.

The good news is there are two easy ways to:

Let’s see how you can get started!

Use a bulk email validation service

First, you want to remove any obsolete data from your email list—contacts that may cause bounces, spam complaints, and other issues. The easiest way to do that is by running your database through an email validation and verification service. The process is fast and easy: you upload your list on the cleaning platform, allow the system to check and scrub it, then download your results.

With ZeroBounce, you’ll be able to see how many of your contacts were valid and which ones you should remove. The service returns specific percentages so you get a clear breakdown of the types of contacts on your list: valid, invalid, abuse, catch-all, and so on.

Use a real-time email validation API

Now that you’ve removed risky email addresses, you want to keep your list clean for as long as possible. An email validation API is your most reliable tool here. It works just like a bulk email verifier, only in real-time. Once activated, it checks every new contact instantly to prevent poor-quality data from being added to your list.

If you use Zoho, you’re in luck: ZeroBounce integrates with Zoho CRM and can validate any email field in your Zoho CRM with 98% accuracy, allowing you to keep only valid contacts in your CRM.

The benefits of good email list hygiene

Whether you have a list of contacts for email marketing or need reliable data in your CRM system, there are solid benefits to maintaining good email list hygiene. Here are just a few of them:

  • By removing outdated and invalid emails, you keep your bounce rate under control.

  • You can set up the API to reject abuse emails, which means you’re less likely to receive spam complaints.

  • The ZeroBounce API can reject role-based emails (such as info@ or office@), catch-all domains, and disposable addresses.

  • Your CRM data stays fresh longer and you keep a good sender reputation.

  • More of your emails will land in people’s inboxes, giving you a chance to connect, convince, and convert.

Check out our ZeroBounce – Zoho CRM integration to see how easy it is to set up your email validation API.

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