by Anna Wybieralska Feb 10, 2016

Find out more about email list management to get the most out of your delivery, sender reputation, and email campaigns.

We know managing an email list doesn't always sound too exciting, but if you can think of the time you spend keeping your contacts in order as a way make the most of your relationships with every person on the other end of that email address, we think that sounds a lot more compelling.

How to manage email distribution lists? Useful tips

Use a confirmed or double-opt-in list

This is considered the "gold standard" of email lists. A confirmed or double opt-in list is a list made up of email addresses that have not only signed up to receive your mail, but have received an email from you asking them again to confirm that their email address is real and that they are a real person and this step includes them clicking a link to signal that they have agreed to receive mail from you. You can find out all the benefits of using double-opt in addresses here.

Important tip: Don't Use a Purchased List!

It's against many spam laws to use a purchased list and it's a sure way to get the attention of email service administrators who will shut down any account that appears to be using a purchased list. Don't do it.

Your Email Service Provider is not a list cleaning service

If you're just getting going, or you haven't sent to your list in over 6 months, don't use your first campaign as a way to clean your list. Not only does it damage the very IPs that you want to send on, but it means you can damage your sender reputation too and it can be really challenging to earn a good reputation back. Plus, you run the risk that your account sending gets stopped until our team can help you sort out the problem.

What do I do if I have an old list?

Use a proper tool or service designed for cleaning up your list and verifying your good emails. There are lots to choose from, a quick google search and you'll have several to choose from. You can find out more about how to send to an old list here.

Important Tip: Avoid Hitting Spam Traps!

It’s the job of ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and mailbox providers like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail to protect their users from unwanted or unsolicited emails. They do this in a variety of ways, one of them is by creating and using spam trap addresses. Sending to one of these addresses can mean trouble for you so it's crucial to learn how to avoid the spam folder.

How to clean up your email list effectively?

Are you wondering why and how to clean up your email list? Cleaning up your email list is essential to maintaining a healthy sender reputation. It also ensures that your emails reach the intended recipients. To clean up your email list, use specialized tools or services that can verify email addresses and remove invalid or non-responsive ones. Additionally, segment your list to identify inactive subscribers and consider re-engagement campaigns to win them back. Regularly updating your list by removing duplicates and correcting typos can further enhance your email marketing efforts. By keeping your email list clean, you improve open rates and reduce the risk of being flagged as spam.

Removing bounces and complaints

You can choose to remove bounces and complaints from your sending lists. The best way to do this is by keeping your main contact list, including your block list (made up of any address that has complained, hard bounced, or unsubscribed) intact and then using list creation and segmentation tools to make separate, clean lists to your Active and Engaged contacts.

You want to keep your formal block list intact because it will prevent you from accidentally sending to addresses which have already denied your mail, even if you upload a list that includes some of these addresses.

Important Tip: Understand the Different Email Statuses!

The difference between Active and Engaged contacts is that Engaged contacts have interacted with your mail - meaning they have opened or clicked it within the last 6 months. We move engaged contacts back to active after 6 months of no engagement

Segment your lists and focus on sending more often to your Engaged recipients, this will provide you with your best email marketing results

Making sure you have an unsubscribe

It's a standard requirement for most emails to include a working unsubscribe option. Part of knowing how to clean up your email list is to ensure that anyone who no longer wishes to receive mail from you can choose to no longer receive it. It might seem like you want to make this difficult for subscribers, but trust us, you want to make it as easy as possible. Recipients who can't easily unsubscribe from your mail may instead choose to mark it as spam or complain, this is damaging to your sender reputation. You can find out more about how to add an unsubscribe link to every one of your emails here.

Important Tip: Your Email Template is Not Complete Without an Unsubscribe!

If you start sending without including an unsubscribe, your sending could be paused until one is included.

Different recipients may be receiving different mail types

As you organize your lists of contacts, you'll want to take note about whether or not you send different types of mail to one group versus another. Are you sending Marketing mail to a particular group while sending only Transactional replies to another? Make sure you know the difference and separate your mail if necessary.

Important Tip: Know What Type of Mail You Send!

There are different types of mail that could mean different list management techniques for your contacts. You can find out more about types of mail here.

Wrapping up

Email list management does take a bit of finesse and some time and attention, but the rewards of a healthy, active, engaged email list are many. You'll experience better delivery, a better sender reputation and more.

As always, if you have questions or comments, contact our support team who are available to help you 24/7!

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Anna Wybieralska

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