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The Impact of Email List Hygiene on Email Deliverability


A clean email list of authentic and active email addresses can help ensure the marketing emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes.

As such, email list hygiene is an important aspect of email marketing. It improves email deliverability, maintains sender reputation, ensures subscriber engagement, and, of course, maximizes ROI.

This article will mainly focus on the impact of email list hygiene on email deliverability. So, keep reading!

What Is Email List Hygiene?

Let’s start with the basics – email list hygiene or email list cleaning is the process of “cleaning” your mailing list to remove outdated, dormant, and inactive email addresses. Installing an email validation tool to conduct an email check is the best way to maintain a clean list.

It helps identify fake and non-existent email addresses so you don’t get into a spam trap. Email validation APIs also act as a second line of defense that prevents fake sign-ups and bots so that your subscriber list is always responsive and has a significantly lower chance of hard bounces.

Characteristics Of A Healthy And Pristine Email List

The following are the defining characteristics of a clean email list:

  • High deliverability and low bounce rates
  • All or almost all of the email addresses on the email list are verified and real
  • High subscriber engagement
  • High return on investment (ROI)

How Does A Clean Email List Improve Email Deliverability?

Sending emails to email addresses that are non-existent or inactive leads to high bounce rates, which affect your sender’s reputation. Internet service providers (ISPs) may consider your emails as spam and prevent them from reaching the recipient’s inbox. This hampers your email marketing campaign efforts and email deliverability.

That’s why it’s important to maintain a clean and pristine email list that’s free from misspelled, fake, and non-existent email addresses that email service providers repurpose as spam traps. As a result, your emails reach the recipient’s inbox and don’t get blocked or rejected.

Signs Your Email List Requires Cleaning

  1. High Bounce Rates

2% or less is the accepted bounce rate for email marketing campaigns. If you notice that the bounce rates are more than 2%, or even worse, 5%, you’ll have to consider scrapping email addresses.

Avoid hard bounces, which indicate invalid email addresses and spam traps. And if you don’t remove them, you’ll hamper your email deliverability even more.

  1. The List Comprises Purchases Email Addresses

Purchasing email address lists from unreliable sources is the fastest way to get rejected and blocked. This is because purchased email lists often get their email addresses from public platforms that may eventually become spam traps.

So, avoid buying lists from illegitimate platforms but if you have already purchased contacts, clean the list. Install an email validation API and use a double opt-in sign-up method to get genuine subscribers.

  1. Increase In Spam Complaints

A spam complaint isn’t necessarily your fault. Often, people forget that they have subscribed to receive emails from your business or no longer want to be subscribed. So, they mark you as spam instead.

Make sure you remove these email addresses from your mailing list immediately. And clean your list if you notice a rise in the number of spam complaints.

  1. Large Email List

An email list growing rapidly indicates that it might have acquired a few bad email addresses. That’s when you should validate the email IDs to ensure you have an engaged and responsive subscriber list.

  1. No Email Engagement

As mentioned earlier, an email list may be small, but it should be responsive.

You can measure engagement through various metrics like conversion rates, click-through rates, open rates, and more. These metrics indicate that your emails are opened and read. But if you notice that your emails aren’t being opened or read and there’s an overall low engagement rate, you should think about cleaning the email list.

Final Words

A successful email marketing campaign depends on the email deliverability rate. After all, you can boost engagement and drive conversions only when your emails reach more inboxes and potential customers read them.

So, install an email validation tool and perform regular checks to keep your email list clean. There’s no point in keeping email addresses that add no value to your marketing efforts. Rather, they might just end up being detrimental, leading to hard bounces and a negative sender reputation.