How to keep your list clean

Email lists need to be kept up to date to make sure your deliverability and inbox placement stay great. 

There are a few things you can do to tidy up your list, such as:

1. Re-confirm your subscribers. 

If you collected your list over a long period but haven't reached out to them in the last couple of months, it's worth sending them a re-confirmation campaign. It will allow you to keep your list clean and remove people who abandoned or deleted their email addresses and might no longer be interested in your content.

You can also send a re-confirmation campaign to your inactive contacts. To do it, create a segment based on Campaign activity, choose the operator of your choice (for example, "did not open" or "did not click") and pick the "All of the last five campaigns" filter:

You'll then be able to pick this segment as a recipient of your re-confirmation campaign:

Once you've sent the campaign and given your subscribers time to interact with it (a couple of days should be enough), you can unsubscribe all the contacts who haven't opened your campaign. To do it, go to the re-confirmation campaign's report, click on "Activity" and "Didn't open":

Export that report, saving it as a CSV file, and import it back to your list. Make sure to choose the "Unsubscribed" and "Update the contact" options:

Then, you can upload the exported file to your list, and select to unsubscribe these contacts.

Since Apple iOS 15 update, the tracking pixel in the Apple Mail app is being automatically pre-fetched. So, in many cases, the open rate might not be the most reliable metric. You can learn more about it here.

2. Remove bounces from your list. 

Hard bounces are removed automatically as soon as they happen. 

We don't remove soft bounces as they are temporary issues that prevented the email from being delivered. You can remove them yourself if you wish so – here's how to do it:

Go to the Reports tab and click "View report" to access your campaign's report.

Click on "Activity" and select "Bounced" from the dropdown menu.

Click on "Export" to get the list of bounces.

Then, go to your list (the one you've sent your campaign to) and start a new import by clicking on "Add contacts" and "Import contacts from a file". You can also find this option under the Imports tab within your list.

Select the file you've just exported and pick the options to update and unsubscribe the contacts. 

Complete the import by clicking "Next" and "Import".

That's it – the bounced contacts are now unsubscribed from your list. 

You can read more about bounces here.

3. Avoid sending to email addresses with typos. 

Double opt-in is a great way to avoid subscriptions with misspelt email addresses. Typos happen - but if you do send to those addresses, it can badly damage your reputation and will increase your bounce rate. 

If you prefer to keep it single opt-in, it might be worth simply scrolling through your list to see if you catch any misspelt domains (for example, the quite common misspellings are @gnail.com or @gmial.com - instead of @gmail.com). 

4. Avoid sending to role email addresses. 

It's always better to avoid sending to email addresses that start with info@, admin@, reception@ and so on, unless you're sure the person who is in charge of this account is interested in your content. Those accounts are often managed by multiple people, which means that even though one of them is expecting your content – the others might not be. This could cause a spam complaint – even if you're sending to somebody who subscribed to your list.

5. Make it easy to unsubscribe. 

Make sure that the unsubscribe link in your campaigns is visible and easily accessible by your subscribers. 

Lastly, make sure to collect your subscribers organically – it's best for them to sign up through a detailed form, where you can clearly explain to them what sort of content they can expect from you. 

For more tips, you can check out our blog article.

6. Focus on your most active subscribers to improve deliverability

This point is not directly related to cleaning your list, but it helps improve your sender reputation if it takes a hit.

If you're having deliverability issues, it's a good idea to focus your sending on your most active subscribers: those most likely to open and click your campaigns. Such actions count as positive engagement and improve your sender reputation – the more opens and clicks you get, the better your inbox placement will be.

You can use our segmentation to create a segment for your most active contacts. For example, everyone who received and opened your last five campaigns:

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