Maintaining a Healthy Email List


Email service providers spend countless hours creating knowledge base articles, webinars, and tutorials intended to educate email marketers on industry best practices. ESPs constantly reinforce the importance of CASL and CAN-SPAM compliance, as well as proper list building techniques. Many recommend using a double opt-in, sending email regularly, and removing bounces and complaints after each campaign. When a marketer fails to maintain a healthy list, the ESP's overall reputation and deliverability suffers.

Constant Contact recently released "How to Maintain a Healthy Email List" discussing the importance of regular cleaning and list maintenance.

In addition to cleaning an email list regularly, Constant Contact recommends doing the following quarterly:

  • Review and remove bounces from list
  • Segment lists by interests, location, or purchase history
  • Send reengagement campaigns to inactive users
  • Regularly inspect and make adjustments

When an email list falls out of compliance, the marketer cannot send email again until the list is remediated. Typically, an ESP will instruct the marketer to export the email database and manually remove bad data. Many ESPs will assist in the removal of bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes but this doesn't solve the problem. Self-cleaning an email list usually requires the help of a deliverability team.

Adding a reengagement campaign to the self-clean process may help identify subscribers that want to remain engaged. However, emailing users that have been inactive for a long period of time may result in high bounces and spam complaints.

Many marketers find self-cleaning and reengagement campaigns to be too time consuming, and ineffective at fully remediating an email list. Instead, a third-party email validation service is utilized. While this is definitively more accurate and comprehensive than self-cleaning, one-time email validation doesn't keep an email list in compliance.

How can email marketers and ESPs ensure lists always stay in compliance?

This is the reality: the data from email validation and reengagement campaigns is only accurate for that point in time. The status of an email address can change daily. Lists have the potential of going stale in just a few months. According to Constant Contact, email lists have a 30% churn rate each year. Maintaining a healthy email list and ensuring data remains in compliance is a problem for the ESP and the email marketer.

Here at Data Validation, we've been hard at work coming up with a solution for both parties. Data Validation's Email Assurance for Email Marketers solves the problem of staying in compliance. Lists with Email Assurance are scanned twice a day for new subscribers. Undeliverable addresses (graded F) are automatically unsubscribed and the existing addresses are updated with the most recent Email Assurance grade of A+ to F. MailChimp and Constant Contact users can link an account directly to Data Validation to receive a Free Email Assurance Report, as well as take advantage of an Email Assurance subscription.

For the ESP, we offer an Email Assurance API to assist in the onboarding, monitoring, and remediation of users. Contact Alex to learn more.

Interested in being one of the first Constant Contact users to experience the new app? The beta opens early November. Count me in!

Image Credit: Caro Wallis


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