Digital Marketing, Email

Email Hygiene – Best Practices for Deliverability

Keeping your customer email data clean and up-to-date can seem like a daunting task.  However, it has never been more critical for email deliverability.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do their best to protect clients from unwanted emails and spam.  These ISPs determine whether your email ever makes it to the intended inbox.  Email hygiene is imperative to the long-term success of your email marketing efforts.

Below are a few items to remember when establishing and maintaining a quality email database.

email hygiene best practices, email deliverability

Email Hygiene Basics

  • Remove bounces. If the email is not going to go through, don’t continue sending your message to that email address. Scrub these from your file before sending another email broadcast.
  • Remove unsubscribes. You put your reputation at risk when you continue to send emails to a prospect that has already asked to be removed. It is critical that you remove these emails immediately to comply with CAN-SPAM requirements.
  • Create and maintain a “master suppression file”. On this file, keep a list of all bounces and unsubscribes. Before sending any email, be sure to scrub your list against your suppression file to remove any unwanted emails.
  • Have your list cleaned through a professional service to remove known bounces and spam traps. Spam traps are especially harmful to your online reputation and removing them will help keep you from being blacklisted.
  • Remove email addresses from your database that haven’t produced engagement (clicked or opened) in the past 6 months. You may decide to follow-up on these emails with a re-engagement offer in the future, but don’t continue sending regular emails.

suppression files, email marketing

Beyond the Basics

  • Consider filtering out certain domains if they have caused delivery problems in the past. Some domains (.gov, .biz, .edu, .mil, etc…) can be more problematic than others.
  • Know the origin of the email address. How the email address was obtained is useful in determining applicable content to send to that person.
  • Don’t mail to any address with ‘Postmaster’, ‘Info’, etc.
  • Manage unknown users differently than users who have a history in the database. Avoid sending frequent email campaigns to prospecting databases and when you do, ensure that the content is relevant and useful to the receiver.
  • Avoid emailing to older data, unless the email address belongs to a “subscriber”.  A subscriber is someone who has indicated that they want to receive communication from you.  This information can be gathered via an opt-in form on your website or at the point of sale.

If you want to take your email marketing to the next level, be sure to follow the steps above.  If you’d like help cleaning up your email database, visit our website.

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