If you’re an email marketer and don’t believe in email list cleaning, your business is hanging by a thread.

You’re likely wasting time, effort, and money on marketing to invalid email addresses.

Email lists decline by 20–30% every year.

One-third of your subscribers will never open your emails.

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One-third of your subscribers will never click on your call to action.

Shocking news, I know.

This is your heaven-sent sign to start taking email list cleaning more seriously.

Email list cleaning is removing unengaged subscribers from your email list so that you can send emails only to subscribers who want to receive your emails.

Email list cleaning is an essential part to ensure better engagement for your email campaign.

You should do an email list cleanup at least twice a year.

In this article, we’ll cover the best email list cleaning practices and the benefits of email scrubbing.

You don’t afford to miss this one.

Email list cleaning

Email List Cleaning

5 Email List Cleaning Best Practices To to ensure better engagement

1. Plan Your List Cleaning Process

The best way to start your email list cleaning, plan your process. Here’s what you need to do to create an effective one:

  • Set up a consistent list cleaning schedule
  • Assign dedicated people to perform the task
  • Make sure that the tools and resources you need are available

Email list cleaning isn’t a single-time thing but an ongoing task.

As your list grows, you need to do regular email clean-ups to clean bad email addresses.

Regular email clean-ups frequency depends on your email list growth rate.

We advise you to clean your email list every two months to keep your contacts in order.

To determine whether you need to run an emergency email list cleaning, check your open rates and bounces daily.

2. Set Up A Confirmation Message

It can be an annoying task to identify and clean “bad email addresses” from your email list.

You can minimize invalid or duplicate email addresses from the beginning.

You can set up a confirmation email to validate emails without using additional tools.

Adopt the double opt-in method so your new subscribers confirm their email addresses.

The double-ins method avoids adding unconfirmed or spam email addresses to your email list.

It’s true that double opt-in d adds an extra step to the process but it minimizes the number of “bad emails” sneaking into your list.

The double-ins method will help you create an effective list-building process.

This will save you the trouble of removing invalid and duplicate email addresses.

3. Set Criteria For Your Disengaged Subscribers

You need to set criteria as to what “disengaged” means.

Here are some facts that will you can base your criteria on:

  • If your recipient interacts with 70% of your email marketing campaigns, they are interested enough to engage with you.
  • If your recipient only opens 20% of your emails, they are not interested enough to engage with you.

You need to define your low-engagement subscribers to uproot them from email lists.

Once you define your disengaged subscribers, you can:

  • Remove duplicate email addresses from your email list.
  • Remove subscribers who marked you as spam to avoid having your deliverability harmed by spam filters.
  • Separate your soft from your hard bounces.

If you identify your disengaged subscribers, you will have better email list clean-ups.

identifying your disengaged subscribers will allow you to filter your email addresses.

This way, you can create the perfect strategy to maintain your email list hygiene.

4. Keep Your Lists Clean with Marketing Automation

Most email service providers (ESPs) offer marketing automation options.

Automated workflows will help you target your audience with the right message at the right time.

Marketing automation in email list cleaning will help you set up sequences based on specific rules and subscriber actions.

If you craft a workflow to remove bounced email addresses is perfect for automating your list cleaning process!

You can use marketing automation to improve your email list by creating new segments with your non-openers or low-engagement subscribers.

Email Inspector and Mailchimp already have the necessary tools to create automated sequences to keep your lists in order.

If you want to give it a try, sign up for an Email Inspector account and see how it works!


5. Use a Dedicated Email List Cleaning Tool

You can use a list cleaning tool to make the process easier.

Email validation services like EmailListVerify, Neverbounce, XVerify, and Email Inspector have a set of tools to help you improve your deliverability, avoid spam traps, and keep your lists healthy and clean.

For example, if you choose one Email Inspector, you’ll benefit from:

  • Real-time email verification
  • Bulk email list verifiers
  • Disposable email checkers
  • Integrations with popular ESPs

However, I want you to view email verifier tools not as the “cure” of your list but as an ally to streamline the process.

An email list cleaning tool is to help you clean your email list, not tell you the cause of your subscriber’s disengagement.

You should use the insights to improve your email marketing strategy.

If you’re wondering which email verification services are the best to use, you can never go wrong with Email Inspector.


Benefits of Email Scrubbing

1. Tips for managing your newly cleaned list

To maintain a healthy and clean email list, you can improve the quality of your new email signups.

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  • Send new subscribers welcome emails.
  • Put subscribers in control of their email settings, allowing them to opt down (receive fewer emails) rather than opt out when they think they’re getting too many emails.
  • Create campaigns for returning visitors.

2. Email Scrubbing: Warning signs

The first warning signs in your email marketing will tell you when it’s time to clean your email list.

1. Open and Click rates

The metrics to pay attention to are open and click rates of your campaigns.

If there’s a pattern of declining open and click rates, you’ve got a problem.

2. Unsubscribe and Spam complaint rates

Look at the unsubscribe and spam complaint rates.

If you’re using Mailchimp, click the View Report button next to each campaign.

If more subscribers than usual are unsubscribing or reporting your emails as spam, then it’s another sign that an email list needs cleaning ASAP.

As a rule of thumb, you need to clean your email list when your campaign has:

  • Reduced open rate
  • Reduced click-through rate
  • More unsubscribes
  • More spam complaints

Also keep in mind, that when your subscribers aren’t opening and clicking is a big red flag.

That means you are losing leads, sales, and revenue.

3. List cleaning: Who should be removed?

You should remove the email addresses with a hard bounce.

You should remove duplicate email addresses or duplicate names with different email addresses.

For Mailchimp list cleaning, the Excel formula helps you identify and remove duplicates.

The Excel formula will also help the hard bounces.

You should remove spam email addresses. You can spot spam email addresses because of a strange letter or number combination.

Also, remove subscribers who have unsubscribed.

If you bought an email list (a bad idea) remove the subscribers who unsubscribed.

These types of subscribers are not exclusive to you and haven’t given you permission.

From the bottom line, unsubscribed subscribers won’t be doing anything for you.

That will help you keep your list clean right from the get-go.

You can do this manually if you have a small email list, but if you have more than +1000 leads in an email list, it will be a hassle of time and energy.

It’s best to have an email verification tool that can verify your list for you in bulk and in seconds.

You can check Email Inspector for great bulk email validation options, according to your budget.

4. Plan your list: Cleaning process

Planning your email list cleaning is the best way to start. Here’s what you need to do to create an effective one:

  • Set up a consistent list cleaning schedule
  • Assign dedicated people to perform the task
  • Have the tools and resources you need to do it

A successful email list cleaning process needs to be frequent and consistent.

An email list cleaning process isn’t a single-time thing. Cleaning your email list is an ongoing process.

As your list grows, you need to make frequent checks to kick away bad email addresses.

But how frequently should you do it?

It depends on your email list growth rate.

The safest option is to do an email list cleaning every two months to keep your recipients in order.

For emergency email scrubs, you should always check your metrics like open rates and bounces.

You can create a list cleaning calendar to remind you and your team when you need to reorganize your email lists.

How To Clean Your Email List With Email Inspector

1. Email List Cleaning Through Segmentation

Email Inspector’s platform has advanced segmentation and automation features to power up your campaign and keep your audience engaged.

You can create specific segments for your non-openers.

This segment will detect your disengaged subscribers by setting rules like “Opened Any Campaign.”

From then, you can export your new “bad email list” and unsubscribe or re-engage your contacts.

Email Inspector gives you the option to remove inactive contacts, archive list members, delete them or copy them from other lists through the Bulk Actions option.

2. Email Scrubbing Through Marketing Automation

You can leverage Email Inspector’s advanced marketing automation helps you to streamline the process.

You can create custom sequences that will unsubscribe recipients based on their behavior. You can start your flow with your subscribers don’t open your emails.

With Email Inspector’s advanced marketing automation, you can choose the action you want to perform.

For example, unsubscribing the disengaged subscribers from the email list you want to clean:

All you have to do to access Email Inspector’s marketing automation:

1. sign up for an account

2. import your mailing lists

3. jump to the visual workflow builder

4. automate the list cleaning process like a pro!


If you’re looking for a great email validation service, you can try Email Inspector for free today. Get your first 100 email addresses checked by a professional and discover how many fake accounts you have in your list!

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