Spring Cleaning: Electronic Mail List

electronic_mail_shutterstock_97291331We’re Spring Cleaning this week, and today, it’s time to tackle the electronic mail list. Email verification programs help to ensure that good email addresses make it onto your list, but as folks change providers or abandon accounts, those addresses can go bad.

The first step to cleaning up your email list is to look at bounce reports from your email marketing service provider. If an email address bounces once, do not rush to remove that address from your list. It could be that the recipient’s inbox was full, or there was a temporary glitch. Instead, look at a series of bounce reports to see if an address has repeatedly made the list.

You might also see that every recipient from university.edu bounced, which means the organization probably bumped up security. Instead of removing the recipients, send a note to IT and ask them to add you to the approved sender list.

Also look for email addresses that might have been entered manually. Sometimes obvious errors–like a .com extension instead of a .net–will make the cause of the bounce obvious.

After you clean up your bounces, another thing you can do to help your open rates is look for low activity. If somebody requested your newsletter but has yet to open a single one, they probably won’t notice if you stop sending to them.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay