Email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to reach out to your clients and prospects. It is a cost-effective solution for any size company and has the highest return on investment for most marketing channels. But bad email addresses can have a significant impact on your marketing bottom line, which is why it is important to practice good list hygiene.
What Does a Bad Address Look Like?
Bad email addresses come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes a bad email address is simply an email address that isn’t checked very often or at all. Sometimes it’s simply a list that you, have full of folks who really aren’t your target market. Whichever way you slice it, bad email addresses are bad for your email marketing bottom line.
Other bad email addresses can include:
- Incomplete email addresses, that will look something like jane.smith@gmail or john_jones@yahoo. At first glance they may look okay, but without the suffix “.com”, your email won’t be delivered.
- Old work email addresses. Remember when you worked for someone other than yourself and you would sign up for newsletters or emails using your work email address? Well, since you no longer work there — and companies don’t usually recycle email addresses — that dormant email address is just graveyard for emails.
- Generic (alias) email addresses, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sure there may be a real person at the other end of that email address, but your email marketing efforts are going to go right into the trash — or worse, get caught in the spam filter.
- Email addresses that have opted out. Sending email to a consumer who has opted out of receiving emails from you is not just bad marketing, it may be a violation of The General Data Protection Regulation, a European data privacy act that went into effect earlier this year.
How Does a Bad Email Address Impact Your Bottom Line?
There are a number of reasons that quality is better than quantity when it comes to your email lists. Bad email addresses:
- Harm your email deliverability and IP reputation. The more frequently your email is reported as spam, the less likely your emails will end up in your audience’s inbox.
- Can cause you to be penalized by your service provider. The more frequently that your emails are reported as spam, the bigger the impact on your sender score. Service providers are not bigs fans of spam so can restrict or block your access entirely.
- Can cost you extra money in bounced emails and re-sends. Every time you send an email, it costs money, so you want to make sure that your email only needs to be delivered once.
Why You Should Practice Good Email Address Hygiene
Scrubbing your email list involves removing unengaged subscribers, bad and invalid email addresses, and duplicate email addresses from your list, so that you’re only reaching out to people who want to hear from you. Periodically you’ll want to remove anyone from your list who simply isn’t engaging with your emails, too.
Whether you purchased or rented your list or, preferably, grew your email list organically, you will want to have it thoroughly scrubbed before your first email marketing campaign. A clean email list is a profitable marketing tool, giving you a higher return on your investment because you’ll get more right party contacts and higher engagement.