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List Hygiene


This week, I want to take a quick moment to go over list hygiene and managing your list "the right way".

We get lots of questions asking about deliverability over time, and list hygiene is one of the bigger factors. Certainly things like spam complaints, bad addresses, etc. goes without saying. However, there's another piece of the puzzle that's largely ignored for one reason or another, and that's engagement.

Let's back up just a little bit.

Several years ago, if Subscriber Sam clicked the spam button, it had little effect on your overall email program. But, as time went on, the ISPs began to look at that as an indicator as to how subscribers view your messages in general. Too many spam complaints = subscribers don't really want these messages, so we'll send them all to the spam folder. The few folks that DO want the messages can go into the junk folder and pull them out. The goal is providing the masses the emails that they want.

Fast forward, a similar thing is happening with engagement. While you may THINK that it doesn't cause any harm to continue to email subscribers who no longer open your messages, the contrary is true. The few people that are engaging with your emails, the higher the probability that the ISPs will filter more and more of your emails to the spam folder, REGARDLESS of how you sent your email.

What this means to you:

1. You simply MUST clean out the unengaged users. PERIOD. (Or be okay with lower overall open rates across the board). If they're not opening your emails, they're no longer interested. Start with a re-engagement campaign and try to get them back on board. If they don't bite, move to other methods to reach them or, at the very least, mail MUCH less frequently.

2. The marketer with the best list segmentation wins. Not every offer appeals to every subscriber. Start segmenting based on behaviors and send offers that subscribers are more interested in hearing about. While this means you may not be sending an specific offer to your full list, it does mean that you can send multiple offers to SEGMENTS of your list.

3. If you're offering solo ads or similar, it's time to look at new USPs where you charge based on segments or opens or clicks, rather than total sends. In the long run, this is simply hurting your delivery across the board and will reduce opens and clicks long term.


For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability.  Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.

Know more about list hygiene by visiting http://www.emaildelivered.com/list-hygiene/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketer

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June 12, 2015


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