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Email Scrubbing: Why and How to Clean Your Email List

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05 Jan 2021


What does it mean to have a "clean" email list? Having a clean email list means you are only sending emails to those interested in your brand. It helps to increase the rate of engagement for your email account. Having a clean email list is essential to ensure an effective email marketing technique; however, it is easy to get disengaged emails in your email list. It can reduce the engagement rate, such as the open and click rate. It can ultimately affect your email deliverability, and most of your emails will fall into the spam folder. Why is it necessary to have a clean email list, and how can you go about it? In this article, I'll share why you need to clean your email list and tips to help you clean your email list.

Reasons why you need to clean your email list

1. To Increase Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is essential to have an effective email marketing technique. High email deliverability means you are doing the important things the right way. As your email deliverability rate reduces, it lowers your reputation with internet service providers.

2. To Reduce your Bounce Rate

The bounce rate of your email indicates the general health of your email list. Cleaning your email list keeps you bounce rate at a minimal level. List cleaning removes invalid or fake emails that are responsible for hard bounces. It also identifies risky emails that can result in hard or soft bounces. If the bounce rate is above 3%, it negatively affects your email deliverability and inboxing rate. At 8%, the delivery rate reduces drastically. If your account exceeds the standard bounce rate, the email service provider may suspend your account.

3. It Leads to Better Reporting

When your email list is full of unengaged subscribers, it is difficult to measure your email marketing strategy. Subscriber inactivity can affect the statistics of your email marketing. If you have more engaged subscribers, your email marketing statistics will be accurate. You can use the data to guide your future marketing plan.

4. To Reduce Number of Spam Complaints

Last on the list is to reduce the number of times a subscriber flags your email as spam. Many programs used to filter emails can automatically place your email in the spam folder if your subscriber does not open your emails. It means your marketing plan is not effective. Other subscribers may request your company to stop sending emails to them. Spam complaints can affect your business in several ways. For example, it can damage your domain's reputation, resulting in a low ranking on search engines. It can lead to low deliverability and open rates, which ultimately reduces email marketing effectiveness. It can also lead to high subscription rates from individuals who you consider as potential clients.

How to Clean Your Email List

5. Marketing Automation

Market automation is the best way to clean your email list because it helps segment the subscribers on your email list. It removes invalid or outdated email addresses on your list. With market automation, you can set up a rule to remove any email address that bounces two or more times. You can also set the rule based on the number of times a subscriber opened your email.

6. Don't Add People to Your Mailing List Without Their Permission

Don't add people to your email list without their permission. That's a golden rule when it comes to growing your email list. Adding people without their consent can reduce your open rates and increase the spam complaints on your account. Also, it is illegal to add people to your email list without their permission.

7. Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

The best way to clean your email list is to make it easy to unsubscribe from your emails. You don't want people who do not want to be receiving your emails on your list. Make sure every email you send has a clear unsubscribe link that is easy to use. The worst thing you can do for your account is to make it difficult to unsubscribe from your email. If your subscribers can't leave, they are likely to report your email as spam, which can negatively affect your sender reputation. You only need subscribers who are genuinely interested in your brand. They are likely to engage with your content, and it increases your open and clicks rate percentage.

8. Manage the Bounce Rate on Your Account

It can be frustrating when your emails don't get delivered. When it comes to managing your bounce rare, you have to manage the hard and soft bounces. A soft bounce is a temporary deliverability problem, and it allows you to resend the emails to the addresses. A hard bounce is a permanent deliverability problem, such as an invalid email address. It's better to remove the invalid email address on your list because the internet service provider tracks the number of bounce you generate ad use it to determine your reputation.

9. Remove duplicate email addresses

You should avoid having a duplicate email address on your email list because it takes information about the same person in different locations. It would be best to have only one customer view, and all information about one person should be linked to the same email address. The first step is to remove duplicate email addresses. Removing duplicate email address prevents your customer from receiving the same email twice.


When it comes to growing and managing your email list, your focus should be on quality over quantity. Cleaning your email list frequently ensures you are only sending email messages to relevant and recent subscribers. It saves you time, money, and it improves your email marketing strategy.

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