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 Contact activity, choose the operator "inactive and not added within", and pick the timeframe that works for you, for example, 90 days:

This segment will include all contacts that haven't interacted with your campaigns or automated emails in the last 90 days. You can pick a shorter or longer timeframe, depending on your needs - you can filter your contacts as far back as 365 days.

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 Segments tab and create a segment of contacts who haven't opened your re-confirmation campaign.

Then, go to the Contacts tab, display that segment and use Actions to unsubscribe all 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 unsubscribed automatically as soon as they happen. 

We don't remove soft bounces as they are caused by temporary issues that prevent 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 send to a lot of those addresses, it can badly damage your reputation and will increase your bounce rate. 

If you prefer to keep the 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 or - instead of 

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. Don't use text colour that is similar to your background colour, and ensure that its size is large enough to be comfortably clicked on desktop and mobile devices. Finally, don't leave a long space between your email body and the unsubscribe link – if people can't easily find the unsubscribe link, they'll just mark your email as spam, harming your sender reputation.

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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