Email Hygiene: Definition, Best Practices, And Services

what is email hygiene - illustration

Among the most encountered suggestions for improving an email campaign is cleaning your email list to get rid of inactive subscribers. This is where the topic of email hygiene comes in.

What is Email List Hygiene?

Email hygiene is defined as the process of verifying or removing invalid email addresses from an email list. This is also called Email Scrubbing. According to a Prospectify studyout of 1,000 random contacts, 4.5 percent of them were no longer valid after 28 days.

The success of any email marketing campaign is based on multiple best practices. Things like catchy subject lines, enticing incentives, high-quality content, etc. But there’s one factor often overlooked that every campaign struggles with. That is, having accurate and up to date data in your email marketing lists. Email Hygiene is considered by some to be the most critical component of any successful email campaign.

Email Hygiene Best Practices

Some email list hygiene best practices include:

  • Removing of inactive email subscribers.
  • Avoiding spam folders.
  • Using personalization techniques to build relationships with subscribers.
  • Segmenting email lists to prevent irrelevant messaging and complaints.
  • Creating suppression lists to maintain good sender reputation.

Understanding List Suppression, Soft Bounce, and Hard Bounces

Maintaining a clean list requires understanding hard and soft bounce.

soft bounce means that an email address was valid and the email message reached your recipient’s mail server. However, it bounced back because the server was down or the message was too large for the recipient’s inbox. It could also be because their inbox is full but this is seldom the case.

hard bounce occurs when a message is sent to an invalid address or to one that doesn’t exist. These emails are to be added to a “suppression list”. A suppression list is a list of email addresses that are permanently excluded from future emails.

Email providers have become smarter and more sophisticated in checking for spam. Many ESPs (Email Service Providers) are now using machine learning algorithms to determine inbox placement and delivery. This means a clean list is a must when it comes to getting emails delivered to the right place. By continuously sending emails to the wrong addresses (or to the wrong audience), overall email deliverability rate will steadily decline.

They are digging in deep to the emails you’re sending, and the engagement recipients are having with those messages. They check for things like open rates, clicks on a link, unsubscribes, inactivity and more.

Once a recipient opts into your content, it is extremely important to track and update data over time. Opt-ins do not last forever, and even the most engaged subscriber can lose interest as time passes. Even if your list is built strictly on opt-ins, 20-30% of email addresses decay within one year.

For that reason, maintaining a clean email database is crucial and imperative to the long-term success of any email campaign.

Tips for Keeping Your Email Lists Clean

  • Only acquire lead lists from credible sources. Before purchasing an email list, ensure you research the reputation of the data provider. Here are 9 things to check when accessing a data provider.
  • Use Data Validation Tools. You can avoid many mistakes by using data validation tools and email cleaning services like our email list hygiene services.
  • Hire An Expert. If you’re like most, spending time trying to update data manually just isn’t a viable option. At Stirista, we offer end-to-end email marketing services from data validation to deployment.

The Benefits of Email Hygiene

We have covered some reasons why maintaining a clean email database is important, however here are a few more benefits:

1.) Accurate Email Campaign Stats.

Keeping inaccurate emails in a marketing database will always produce the wrong stats. An invalid email is never going to open or engage with a message. Getting rid of them will ensure your email campaign stats are always accurate.

2.) Good Sender Reputation

Sending emails to incorrect email addresses dings your sender reputation causing messages to end in spam folders. Same is true if an email campaign continuously get really low engagements. This could be because messages are being sent to outdated addresses that are no longer being monitored. By ensuring all email addresses are up to date, the chances of getting quality engagements are high.

3.) Lower Bounce Rates

As stated before, a high bounce rate is a key indication that messages are being sent to invalid emails which will hurt your inbox delivery rate. The less hard bounces an email campaigns get, the easier it becomes to reach your prospects.

4.) Improved Conversion Rates

The best offer to an undeliverable email can never convert. Proper email list hygiene helps ensure that time and effort is not being wasted; hoping for a conversion that may never arise.

5.) Saves Money!

Sound obvious but bad emails will cost a business more money than it makes. Owning (and maintaining) an email database can become expensive really fast without the proper monetization strategies in place. Email hygiene helps do away with email addresses that are clogging up your database and helps make room for quality subscribers.

Stirista Email Hygiene Services

Stirista email hygiene services help protect your sender reputation by removing spam traps, honeypots, and moles via our real-time network scan. We also cleanse your current data of inaccurate information, curate your lists and leave you with relevant, responsive emails. Finally, we use Mx Lookup & SMTP Checks to ensure your prospects can actually receive your email and marketing communications.

Contact us today and let us show how our award-winning team can work for you!