A clean list is the key to effective email marketing.
Email marketing is an incredibly efficient means of getting your brand in front of your target audience. Studies show returns upwards of 4300% on your investment (Direct Marketing Association). That’s a pretty sweet deal.
However, those kinds of returns are not simply a given. Your marketing automation platform is a high-performance engine, and it requires the right fuel to operate at peak performance.
If you’re dumping in low-quality fuel (purchased lists, scraped lists, or other non-opt-in records), you’ll see poor performance initially, and it will only degrade further over time.
How do you ensure your list is premium octane?
A clean list.
There are two primary ways to achieve a clean list – record validation and a list scrub. We wrote about validation here: Validation isn’t just for parking, so let’s focus on list scrubbing lists in this post.
List scrubbing companies like Impressionwise have compiled databases of known malicious email addresses, and developed algorithms to identify new ones by consistent behavioral patterns. These malicious records include spam traps, moles, collaboratives, seeds, keys, and others.
You submit your list and receive back a list of the email addresses that match or have exhibited behavior similar to the known baddies. This bad list is then uploaded to your email sending provider (ESP) or marketing automation platform as a suppression list, leaving you with a clean list to target for your next campaign.
When you hit send, the system cross-checks your target list against the suppression list and prevents you from torpedoing your sender reputation by emailing the landmines.
Don’t think you need a clean list? Let’s run through some common scenarios to see if any of them sound familiar.
“Our list is mostly opt-in records we’ve collected over the years, we don’t need to scrub it, right?”
Your list may be opt-in, but how old are those records?
Spam traps are often created from dormant emails addresses that have been purchased by or gifted to anti-spam/blacklisting companies. While John at Doe Inc. may have legitimately opted-in back in 2008, he could have since moved on, leaving his old email to die on the vine. This address will now hard bounce (bad for deliverability) or worse, it may have been converted into a spam trap or other malicious address (terrible for deliverability).
“We have a lot of generic emails, like info@, sales@, marketing@ in our list. Businesses wouldn’t give those up. We’re safe, right?”
While not as likely to contain spam traps, emailing generic aliases markedly increases the chance your emails will be marked as spam by the recipient, which is another great way to torpedo your sender reputation.
These addresses are usually purpose-specific and shared among multiple parties. While one of those individuals certainly could have opted in to receive your communication, the others may not be aware and therefore it is much more likely that your email will be marked as spam. Marketing automation platforms like Act-On™ Software even suppress these generics automatically. If a company whose pricing structure is based primarily off of number of contacts emailed prevents you from emailing something by default, it’s likely worth complying.
Have questions about list cleaning, or other email deliverability enhancing marketing automation strategies? Gundry Marketing can help.
Book a free consultation to discuss how Gundry Marketing can optimize your automation today.