BroomWith the weather finally getting warmer, it’s time to start thinking about your spring cleaning. But, it’s not just your home you need to think about. When was the last time you gave your email contact list a clean up?

A successful email marketing campaign requires much more than just an extensive list. Quality is just as important as quantity. Spring cleaning is not just something you should do when you notice your campaign is flagging. Try to get into the habit of regularly reviewing and cleaning up your contact list. You’ll quickly notice the benefits.

There are two main ways you can give your email contact list a spring clean; by managing bounces and by re-engaging with inactive users.

Managing Bounces

Over time, it’s inevitable that some bad email address will end up on your list. A potential subscriber may mistype their email address when signing up, or an address may just become inactive or unused over time. A user may shut down their email account, leave a job where their email address was hosted or simply abandon an account when their mailbox gets full, effectively leaving you with a ‘dead’ subscriber. Any messages you send to addresses like this will be bounced back.

Try to get into the habit of regularly checking your list for these bad email address. Any message you send to a ‘dead’ email address will register as a bounce. Any bounces you receive when you send an email with have an impact on your sender reputation. Email service providers assumes that responsible senders have the time and resources to regularly remove these dead email addresses from their lists, unlike spammers who do not. An abundance of bounced emails could mark you out as an irresponsible sender.

Get in the habit of regularly checking your email list for address that will bounce, and remove them as soon as you can. That is the best way to ensure you keep your good sender reputation.

Re-engaging with Inactive Users

On your contact list, it’s likely that you’ll have some subscribers that never click on, or even open, your emails. While there are no financial disadvantages to having these disengaged users on your list, it certainly won’t benefit your business. In some cases, a relatively large amount of low-activity users could mark you out as a spammer. Thankfully, there are some ways you can avoid this.

Go through your contact list and find all the users that haven’t read or clicked-through your emails in at least 6 months. Then, send an email to these subscribers that encourages them to engage with your brand again.

Take a look at this example from Beauty Expert:

Re-engagement email from Beauty Expert

This email had the subject line ‘We Miss You’, adding a personal touch which subscribers could find intriguing. The body of the email, although fairly simple and minimal, contains a number of things which could encourage a reader to click-through; the addition of new brands which the subscriber might not have seen, along with a discount on their next purchase. They have also reminded the subscriber of a benefit that the brand has always had over their competitors (free worldwide delivery). Aim to do this with your re-engagement campaign.

In this email, you should also give your subscribers the option to receive less emails from you, or even unsubscribe completely. This should go some way to keeping your list clean. However, if a subscriber still fails to engage with you after these efforts, it’s probably safe to remove them from your contact list.