One specific phenomenon that many email list marketers frequently refer to is “list churn.” This term describes the problem that occurs when members of your email address database change their email addresses (which can happen very frequently, and for a wide variety of reasons). Some people leave jobs, change names, or even make simple typos when entering in their email address (this last problem can be improved by requiring a double entry, just to make sure that both match, although you will still have some that make the same typo twice).
Clearing out your email address database on a regular basis is smart. It prevents you from sending out tons of emails that will never reach a destination. It prevents you from having a high return rate on your bulk emails. And it reduces the risk of you being labeled as a spammer. Too many “dead” addresses can also clog up your entire email list marketing campaign, because the delivery could be delayed due to too many returns or invalid addresses. You don’t want to end up in so many invalid email inboxes that your email becomes less powerful overall, and you do not want the sending address to be flagged enough so that your messages intended for your target audience land in spam folders.
Here are 4 important tips for keeping your email address database up to date and filled with valid email addresses:
- Immediately remove any email addresses that bounce a message back to you. As soon as you find out that the email is invalid, get it out of your email marketing list. When you take care of these as they arise, it will be less cumbersome than having to do a bulk clean out later on.
- Eliminate any addresses that look fake. Email addresses that are filled with numerals and characters, rather than letters, are often indication of a bot or fake address. Just take these out as soon as you notice them.
- Remove any inactive email addresses. Some people have multiple email addresses, and do not always use them all. If you have been provided with an inactive email address for your email marketing list, you may want to remove it. Inactive is not much better than incorrect, when your emails never get opened, it is like they were never received.
Periodically asking your recipients to respond to a bulk email opt in can help keep your list churn down and keep your email address database filled with current and valid email addresses.