Cleaning email database

Leads to engaged subscribers

I deleted 15 email ids from my database before I started writing this article.

Definitely not a great start. I am not attached to the numbers. Okay, it will hurt for a while.

But they were already dead before I removed them from my email list.

Substack has a very simple dashboard for the email list. I selected email ids that decided not to open the insightful emails that I send pretty regularly(almost). 3 months is a decent time frame to do this test.

Out of the 15: 5 decided not to open from March or April. I assume that these are those people who subscribed because I was earlier writing about the Marketing and Advertising industry. After my 360 degrees turn towards nonprofits, I guess they were not interested.

More than 5 email ids were bouncing and the rest never received my emails. Zero received and zero opens. These were the spam trap email ids. This is bad. Since my email database size is minuscule, the impact isn’t that groundbreaking but consider it for a brand or a nonprofit with a sizeable database.

We keep on asking how to land into the inbox every time we send an email campaign or newsletter. What is the hack? Trust me the question that we need to ask is what should we stop doing so that we don’t spam the inbox of a consumer.

We all get high by the growing numbers be it email or article views or followers. But if we really care about improving email deliverability rates(ability to deliver emails to subscribers’ inboxes) that we should consider doing quite regularly is trimming the email database.

Email validation

8.4% of email addresses collected via websites are invalid says Ongage, an email marketing platform. “Sending to them can be devastating. Email validation can help minimize this number while improving your deliverability and ROI.”

With the total number of global email accounts in 2019 reaching 3.9 billion and set to reach 4.48 billion accounts in 2024, it’s becoming critical that email marketers pay attention to the health of their databases. Truth be told, marketers simply can’t afford to have their messages go unseen! 

High spam rate and bounce rate are some of the benefits of email validation.

“The goal for any email marketing program is to have a spam complaint rate of less than 0.1% – this means that for every 5,000 email messages, there should be less than five spam complaints. Validation identifies and removes frequent complainers from your list, thereby ensuring your spam complaint rate steadily declines.”

Keep your data clean

Globally, the average inbox placement rate was 83% in 2019—meaning one out of every six messages failed to reach the inbox. “Global deliverability saw a slight decline of two percentage points from the 2018 average of 85%,” says the 2020 Email Deliverability Benchmark study done by Validity. 

The study analyzed the performance of over 2 billion email messages sent in 2019 from thousands of senders in over a dozen industries to see how many emails were delivered to the inbox, spam, or blocked altogether. 

Nonprofits losing over 20% of email revenue due to spam filters.

A growing number of marketers see the value of a quality list. Campaign Monitor conducted a survey with 245 marketing influencers and found 66% of small businesses see ‘increased email list quality’ as their top priority. Here’s how the priorities stack up:

Campaign Monitor gives a quick guide on how to build a quality email list. Keeping a healthy list or keeping your data clean is one of them.

To keep a healthy list of engaged subscribers, you should do routine list maintenance and remove unengaged subscribers. While it’s tough to remove any subscriber from your email address list, it’s the best way to ensure your focus is on engaged subscribers only. Again, quality over quantity is the goal.

As a Nonprofit your email interaction would differ from other brands or players. Remove inactive members within a time frame of 4-5 months. I would rather say be more aggressive and remove all the inactive, and spam emails. Your email platform will provide you with features to clean your email database. I can vouch for Mailchimp but mix with your manual skills.

This is where a segmented email database comes as a savior. Life is hell when you have a huge email database which is not segmented. Imagine you have a database segmented on your email user behaviors. Not only messaging will be better but house cleaning will be easy.

A quality email address list = engaged subscribers.

Now I feel light about letting go of 15 inactive email ids.