On December 1st, Google and Yahoo went through some major updates. Some of those updates included deleting old email accounts that hadn’t been used in 2+ years. Why is this important? Because if you’re using email marketing as a strategy for your business, you need to have a clean email list.

Cleaning up your email list a couple of times a year is always a good idea as a general rule. It’s all the more crucial this month to reduce hard bounce rates. Hard bounce rates are when an email is returned to the sender because it is invalid. The higher your hard bounce rate is on your account, the more likely email clients send your emails straight to the spam box.

Here are 3 ways to clean your email list today:

Look at Hard Bounce Rates

First, log in to your email marketing platform (MailChimp, Mailerlite, Constant Contact, etc.). Then, look up the hard bounce rates that occur through each of your audience segments (or your audience, if you only have one segment). You should be able to see which emails are bouncing back – delete those emails from your list. If you have a .csv or other type of spreadsheet that you regularly upload to update your email list, then make sure you are also deleting the emails from that list. This ensures they do not get reuploaded.

Reach Out to Unengaged Subscribers

Your email marketing platform should also be able to tell you who hasn’t engaged in your most recent emails. If you want to just get it over with, you can remove them from your email list or reach out to give them another chance to engage with you! You can send a re-engagement campaign to try and win their attention back using this template:

Hi [name]!

I noticed you haven’t opened my emails in a while and wanted to make sure I am still delivering valuable information to your inbox. If there’s anything specific you would like to see from me, please reply and let me know!

You can even include a special offer:

Hi [name]!

I noticed you haven’t opened one of my emails in a while and wanted to share a cool resource with you, [name of resource]. Click here to download it, and let me know what you think!

Follow-up on this campaign after a couple of weeks – you can remove anyone who didn’t engage with this campaign from your email list.

Segment Your Audience

If you haven’t done so already, now is also a great time to review your audience and see if there are different ways you can categorize them. Some people do this proactively by linking their signup forms to a specific audience within their email marketing platform. This will add subscribers to the correct list from the get-go. However, you can also do this manually by adding tags or sorting emails into separate lists. When figuring out how to segment your audience, think of ways you want to communicate with your followers. Base segments on subscriber behavior, demographics, or other relevant criteria.

Every email marketing platform is different, so we don’t have specific instructions in this post. However, you should still be able to follow these 3 ways to clean your email list, whichever platform you use. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to best clean up your email list, send our team a message, and we can help you out!