Email is a high revenue driver for businesses worldwide: for every $1 spent, you can expect an average ROI of $42, according to the Data & Marketing Association. However, not all email marketers reach this goal. What role does email list cleaning play in this context? Let’s take a look at how it influences your deliverability and email marketing performance.
What is email list cleaning?
It’s an email marketing best practice that allows you to keep your database of subscribers up to date. An email list cleaner – also known as an email verifier or email checker – removes outdated and risky email addresses from your list. Thus, it promotes better inbox placement and boosts ROI.
Why is email list cleaning important?
Email marketing has evolved tremendously in the past few years. What used to be a “spray and pray” industry has turned into a legitimate marketing avenue for businesses of all sizes. Although spammers still thrive, email laws and regulations have made a big difference. Also, marketers who are willing to play the long game take responsibility for their emailing practices.
Maintaining email hygiene is one of these responsibilities.
Thankfully, email technology has evolved as well, so pruning your list is now a fast and simple process. The benefits? You’ll be able to reap them right away:
- You’ll build a better sender reputation, which plays a dramatic role in your inbox placement
- As a result, more of your emails will start landing in people’s inboxes instead of their spam folders or Google’s Promotion tab
- You’ll see an increase in your engagement and ROI.
Why you should care about your sender’s reputation
In a nutshell: it determines how your emails perform. For Internet Service Providers (ISPs) it’s an indicator of how seriously you take your email marketing.
Do you get lots of bounces? Anything above 2% is a sign you’re not keeping a neat email list.
How about spam complaints? If your average spam complaint rate is higher than 0.1%, ISPs will start delivering your emails to the junk pile.
On top of these signals, there are other aspects that determine your sender’s reputation:
- the volume of emails you send and your sending frequency
- your overall engagement: open and click-through rates show how interested people are in your content
- the number of people that delete, respond, and forward your emails.
Avoid emailing these types of addresses
Now let’s take a closer look at what an email list cleaning service does and how exactly it helps to improve your sender’s reputation – and ROI.
If you’re in the market for an email verifier, keep in mind that great service should be able to detect and remove:
- Invalid email addresses: they bounce, so not only are they useless, but they also swallow a part of your email marketing budget.
- Spam traps: they don’t belong to real people and are designed to catch spammers.
- Abuse emails: they belong to people who have a history of labeling emails as spam.
- Catch-all emails: not all of them will bounce, but since they’re prone to getting lots of emails, some will cause soft bounces.
- Role-based emails: info@, team@ or contact@ are common in organizations and it’s hard to reach an individual person by emailing them.
- Disposable emails: they self-destruct and bounce, so they pose a risk to your reputation and deliverability.
A trustworthy email list cleaner will detect these email addresses and isolate them from the legitimate contacts in your list. Before you commit to a service, though, make sure it does a great job by testing it first. If the results you get are at least 98% accurate, you know you found a reliable email checker.
Consider using a real-time email verification API
Email APIs have become more popular than ever in the past five years, and for good reason. For instance, once installed on your registration and signup forms, an email verification API instantly checks every new email address.
If someone makes a typo while trying to subscribe to your emails, the API automatically rejects that email address to prevent it from spoiling your list. Moreover, it suggests the user a correction to help them put in an accurate address.
An efficient API will filter out all the risky email addresses we talked about earlier and maintain your email hygiene in the long run. Plus, it’s easy to install. Once you found a good email cleaner, ask for the API key – a piece of code that you copy and paste on your platform.
If you’re not open to this idea, you can still clean your email list in bulk every quarter.
Bonus tips to increase your email marketing ROI
Every email marketer aims for higher open and clicks rates and, ultimately, more conversions. Apart from keeping an accurate list, here are three more tips to help you boost email marketing ROI.
- Write awesome subject lines. If that means coming up with 10-15 ideas before you pick one, do it. The time you spend on your subject lines is time well spent, as they can make the difference between getting opened or ignored.
- Focus on one call-to-action. Unless you send a newsletter that links to several resources, keep your calls-to-action (CTAs) to a minimum. Marketing emails with one CTA perform best.
- Are you pushing your product too much? Then you may notice fewer people engaging with your emails. The alternative is to send out helpful, valuable content, even when you have an offer to promote.
Finally, boosting email marketing ROI is not something you do overnight. Give yourself time, be consistent, and keep testing different types of content. Most of all, make email list cleaning a priority. Staying on top of your email hygiene pays off.