Email hygiene is the process of maintaining an email database by removing bad or old email addresses and replacing them with verified, opted-in, reachable email addresses. Email hygiene is important because it directly affects your email marketing performance. A clean email list will improve your brand’s sender reputation, email deliverability, and email engagement. However, a bad email list could harm all these components.

So, what are the signs of poor email hygiene? And what can you do to ensure your email database is squeaky clean?

Signs of Poor Email Hygiene

The health of your email database may be suffering if you are experiencing the following:

  • High bounce rates
  • Decreased email engagement
  • Increased number of unsubscribes
  • Increased number of spam complaints

The consequences of poor email list hygiene are serious and include tarnishing your brand’s reputation by getting blacklisted and/or being labeled as non-compliant with governmental data standards such as GDPR and CCPA. These consequences can result in hefty fines and an uphill battle to rebuild consumer trust. Fortunately, you can easily avoid these costly messes by taking a few simple steps to maintain good email hygiene.

5 Email Hygiene Tips

1. Invest in Email Appending

Good email hygiene is contingent on the quality of the emails in your database. Email appending helps assess the quality of your email database and helps you add missing emails or replace bad emails with good emails in your CRM. An email append can also help you fill in other missing information about your customers and prospects, such as demographics, which enables better email personalization. Learn more about the benefits of email appending here.

2. Prioritize Email Personalization

Did you know that personalized email marketing generates a median ROI of 122%? Consumers are more likely to stay engaged with your emails when they are personalized with their name and offer relevant messaging specific to their interest in what your brand has to offer. Through personalization, the performance of your emails improves, thus strengthening the quality of your email list. Email personalization is achieved through email segmentation, which we’ll cover next.

3. Remove Inactive Email Subscribers

Inactive email subscribers could be adding a lot of dead weight to your database, which in turn affects your email marketing performance. An inactive subscriber is a user who has not engaged with any of your emails after a set amount of time. This lack of engagement could go on for a few weeks to a few months, depending on how often you’re sending out email campaigns. It’s important to note that some inactive subscribers still have value and will engage with your emails in the future. To determine which inactive subscribers to keep, it’s recommended to start a reactivation campaign to re-engage those who haven’t opened your emails for a while. Learn how we can help you send a reactivation campaign.

4. Avoid Spam Folders

Did you know that email spam costs businesses $20.5 billion every year? As a result, every email marketer’s worst fear is ending up in the spam folder. While getting lost in the spam folder can happen to the best of marketers from time to time, ensuring your database is up to date with active subscribers is an important part of practicing good email hygiene. Regularly cleaning your email list by getting rid of bounced or blocked emails will keep it healthy and ensure no deliverability issues hinder your marketing performance.

5. Creating suppression lists

You want to send emails that resonate with your subscribers, so when subscribers don’t want to hear from you anymore, your email marketing operations need to support that choice. A suppression list contains email addresses that have opted out/unsubscribed or have flagged your emails as spam. A good suppression list should also contain bounced email addresses. Repeatedly high email bounce rates are a glaring sign that email hygiene needs to be improved. Repeated bounce errors can also cause your mail server to be listed as a spam address. By creating a suppression list, you’ll maintain your domain and IP reputation, avoid CAN-SPAM penalties, and stay out of the spam folder.

Download the Email Marketing Best Practices Guide

Ready to boost the success of your email marketing campaigns? Our Email Marketing Best Practices Guide outlines standard best practices that enhance email communications, including recommendations to ensure your emails stand out in crowded inboxes and generate ROI.

Email Marketing Best Practices

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