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How to Remove Bad Data from Your Email List

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You’ve just hit “send” on a new email campaign and your reports look scary: bounces are through the roof, and your engagement is lower than ever. What could have happened? Reason no. 1: your email list is stale and needs a refresh. In this article, we’ll cover an easy way to remove bad data from your email list and get consistently great email marketing results.

Bad data and how you acquire it

 Your email list is changing a bit every day – meaning its quality declines gradually, for natural reasons. People switch from Yahoo to Gmail or they get different jobs and their business email addresses become invalid. Now, due to millions of people losing their jobs as a result to the coronavirus pandemic, data decay is even more rapid when it comes to B2B email lists

Apart from the reasons above, there are other factors that cause your email list to decrease in quality. Here are just a few examples:

  • some of your subscribers start labeling your emails as spam. Especially if you haven’t emailed them in a while, they may forget who you are and won’t hesitate to hit that dreaded button. These types of emails are known as abuse emails.
  • old, abandoned email addresses can get turned into spam traps. These are set up by blacklist providers to catch spammers and block future emails from them. Spam traps are exceptionally bad data – if you email them, you may get mistaken for a spammer, too.
  • temporary or disposable emails are another reason databases decline. Sometimes, people use this type of emails only to register temporarily on your website for a quick perk: a download or participation at a webinar. Disposable emails bounce because they’re active only for a short period of time.

As you can see, it’s easy to acquire bad data – but you know what’s also easy? Removing it. By using a good email validation service, you can restore your email hygiene in a matter of hours or even minutes, depending on how large your list is. As a result, you’ll see your open rates increase and you’ll have a higher chance to convert.

How bad data affects your sender reputation

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Getting your email in the inbox is vital to your email marketing: if you’re not reaching people, you’re wasting resources. Why? It all boils down to how Internet service providers (ISPs) see you. If your email list is outdated and your campaigns get lots of bounces, that’s a sign you’re not conducting lawful email marketing. So, your reputation (or sender score) starts to go down. 

As a result, more of your emails will land in people’s spam folders instead of their inboxes. Your open and click-through rates will decline, and your chances to boost sales for your business become slimmer and slimmer. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t allow bad data to spoil your email list. What you can do to prevent this from happening is easy.

Using a bulk email verifier

You can start by cleaning your exiting email list in bulk. Once you found a trustworthy company, simply upload your database on its platform and validate it. You’ll get your results back quickly, then you can resume your campaigns.

Using a real-time email verification API

Additionally, to prevent bad data from affecting your email list, you can install an email verification and validation API on your website. If you have a signup or registration form, the API will check every email address that tries to get on your list – and it will do so instantly. 

Both email verification methods are effective and allow you to preserve your email hygiene longer. If you choose not to use an API, remember to clean your list in bulk every other month, especially if you send emails regularly. You want to make sure they reach your customers and your communication doesn’t hurt because of invalid and risky contacts. 

Use the double opt-in and reCAPTCHA verification

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Apart from employing an email verifier to check your email list, consider two more useful tools to keep your leads in good shape. 

The double opt-in is an email subscription method that requires each individual who wants to subscribe to your emails to confirm they really want that. Once they enter their email address in your signup form, they’ll get an automatic email asking them to click a confirmation link. Not only does this help you build a healthier email list, but is also prevents misspelled addresses from getting on it. 

Moreover, using the reCAPTCHA verification method adds an extra layer of defense against bad data. It helps to separate bots from real human beings and ensures you’re gathering valid, safe leads that you can then turn into customers.