Here’s the cold truth: Any day you fail to clean up your email marketing program data is another day that you could damage your reputation as an email sender.
We said it was cold!
The reputation of your email sender depends on your following best practices. Do you only email people if they agree to receive your email? Remove bad data, such as B. Addresses that bounce? Are you sunset addresses that show no engagement within a reasonable time?
E-mail and data are inextricably linked. If you’re looking to start on the right foot in 2021, your email marketing data needs to be flawless. Why? As the competition for attention in the inbox is greater than ever, email volume is at record levels and you cannot afford to suffer the consequences of a bad sender reputation. After all, you don’t want to end up on a blacklist or send email to your recipients …
And so here are the two most important things you need to do before we escape the winter doldrums – because if you don’t, you will be trying to catch up with your competitors.
1. Enter your bad addresses
Do you notice a lot of rejected emails? These are jumps. These can be hard bounces (permanent, no mail coming through) or soft bounces (try again if you’re lucky, punk!).
Bounces occur for reasons that may be beyond your control.
To get an idea of why the emails are bouncing, you can look at the error codes reported to you through your email service provider (ESP) data, or you can use Google Postmaster Tools. However, if a lot of your emails are bouncing, there is likely a data problem.
Run your addresses through a list verification tool (e.g. BriteVerify) to identify incorrect addresses. It won’t prevent every type of email bounce, but it’s a great place to repair and protect your email sender’s reputation.
2. Sunset of your subscribers with little activity
You have your consent to email. Well. But when did you get this approval? Are these recipients still opening your emails?
The road to becoming a good sender doesn’t end with agreeing to email your subscribers. Keeping an active eye on your email deliverability metrics is key to building a good reputation. Search your lists and find out which addresses did not come into contact with your email in a certain period of time. The time frame you use should depend on your business goals. However, let’s say someone hasn’t opened an email from you in six months. It’s time to either run a reintegration campaign where you send an email explicitly asking them to reconfirm their consent, or to remove them from your lists.
If you keep sending to recipients who don’t take action on your email, or worse, complain about your email, mailbox providers (MBPs) will notice and take action. If you keep sending email, those addresses will become spam traps and clearly send negative signals to MBPs. It’s a game you don’t want to play.
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Removing email addresses can be scary. You are often hard-won and obviously a direct line to your customers and prospects. But the risk in this case is not worth the reward. Even minor factors like continuing to send unchecked addresses can slowly affect your deliverability and put you in a bad place (psst: blocklist).
Start as fresh as possible and enjoy the fruits of your labor: more engaged subscribers, less negative (non-) interactions, and the peace of mind that you are in control of your email fate.