November 30, 2011 | By Spencer Kollas
As we head into 2012, you should take a close look at your email marketing and list hygiene practices to make sure that you are maintaining a good sender reputation and maximizing deliverability. Good list hygiene combined engaging emails and sender authentication will help you build a solid email reputation with your top ISPs.
List hygiene may not be the most exciting aspect of email marketing, but it is essential for good deliverability. Simply follow the seven tips below to get your lists in order for the New Year.
1. Scrub Your Lists Regularly. Keep your email lists clean by regularly running them against a register of known bad domains and removing duplicate addresses and role accounts. You can automate the latter by adding “info@*,” “sales@*,” and other common addresses to your suppression list. Your email system may also enable you to automatically suppress bad domains and role-based distribution lists.
2. Remove Bad Domains. Bad domains should be removed immediately. Closely review your failure reports, identify bad addresses and evaluate whether they are the result of a data capture problem or a non-existent domain.
3. Review Data Capture Processes– List hygiene starts with collecting good data. Make sure your sign-up forms prompt users to fix incorrect email address or syntax errors before they are submitted.
4. Actively Manage Hard and Soft Bounces – In addition to having established policies for automatically removing hard-bounced addresses due to bad addresses and unknown users, you should have similar policies for removing soft bounces after a pre-determined number of consecutive failures.
5. Promptly Remove Unsubscribes – Don’t wait the 10 days allowed by CAN-SPAM to process unsubscribes. Remove unsubscribed addresses immediately to avoid users hitting the “this is spam” button and damaging your sender reputation.
6. Mark Inactive Addresses for Reengagement – Transfer inactive addresses to another list that is designed to reengage them. A good rule of thumb for identifying inactives is no more than 12 months – but 6 months can be preferable depending on factors related to the seasonality of your business.
7. Sign Up for Feedback Loops and Whitelists – Sign up for available feedback loops at your top ISPs to monitor the number of spam complaints generated from your mailings. Similarly, maximize your inbox delivery by signing up for whitelists offered by ISPs and other providers.
Consider these tips when looking to improving your email marketing and overall list hygiene to streamline practices going into the future.
Learn about other email deliverability solutions we provide at StrongMail.