Why You Should Clean Your Email List: Tips and Benefits

Date: 2023-03-02 | Time of reading: 5 minutes (979 words)

Email List Cleaning

Clearing your subscriber list of outdated and inactive email addresses can increase email deliverability and boost conversion rates. With a clean list, more subscribers will receive your marketing messages and click on the links you provide, as only those genuinely interested in your content will remain.

If you want to establish a reputation as a trustworthy email sender, maintaining a healthy contact list is crucial. Think of it like when you were a child and your parents wouldn't let you go out to play until you had finished your chores, like cleaning your room and washing the dishes. Email marketers are not so different: to achieve good deliverability and conversion rates, they must regularly clean their subscriber lists before launching campaigns.

Ultimately, the list cleaning process saves time, effort, and company money, while ensuring targeted and well-curated campaigns. To make sure the process doesn't backfire, plan ahead and consider the cost of your reputation, which suffers every time your emails end up in spam.

Benefits of cleaning your email list

Reduced number of undelivered messages

No marketer likes to receive messages back after sending them out. A hard bounce occurs when messages are returned due to an invalid email address, while a soft bounce is caused by full mailboxes. Cleaning your subscriber list regularly is an effective way to prevent such bounces.

Improved reputation

Those who send unwanted messages to subscribers are called spammers. ISPs track and block them, often due to spam complaints from recipients. This happens when subscribers are not interested in your content. A clean subscriber list typically contains emails from mostly loyal and engaged customers.

Increased engagement and loyalty

The purpose of any email campaign is to motivate recipients to click on links and convert. Companies work hard on creating content for this purpose. However, all those efforts can go to waste if the list includes users who have a negative perception of the brand.

Higher deliverability rate

Timely and high-quality email address hygiene leads to more sent messages ending up in the "Inbox" folder of active subscribers.

Benefits of cleaning your email list

Useful tips for cleaning your email list


Ensure your contact list consists of quality email addresses by collecting them through a verification mechanism. When a user submits their email address, send them a confirmation email with a link that needs to be clicked to add the email address to your mailing list.

Say Goodbye

Exclude contacts who haven't responded to your emails for a long time from your mailing list. It's clear that they're not interested in your company's products or services, and keeping them on the list might lead them to mark your emails as spam, which can harm your reputation.


Spam filters are always on the lookout for spammy emails. If you send emails to invalid addresses or if too many subscribers mark your emails as spam, your domain reputation will suffer, and your emails may end up in the spam folder or blocked altogether.


Email provider tariffs may be based on the number of emails sent, rather than delivered. Therefore, sending emails to incorrect or inactive addresses will result in unwarranted expenses. Cleaning up your database will not only reduce the cost of mailing but also increase your ROI and open rates. 


Manually cleaning an email list can be time-consuming and inefficient. Instead, consider using an email marketing automation service that can automatically remove inactive or invalid email addresses from your list. This frees up your time and allows you to focus on more important tasks.

Useful tips for cleaning your email list

How often should you clean your email list?

It all depends on the company's industry, the speed and methods of contact acquisition, and the size of the mailing list. If you use a verification mechanism, are confident in the quality of your contact list, and your marketing metrics confirm your confidence, you may only need to clean your list once a year.

However, if there are "red flags," such as a drop in email open rates, a decrease in clicks, a high number of unsubscribes, and negative spam analytics, then it's time to conduct a thorough cleaning.

How to Reactivate Subscribers? 

Deleting inactive and incorrect email addresses is just as important as attracting new customers. However, the cost of acquiring a new subscriber is much higher than retaining an existing one. That's why it's worth trying to "revive" inactive recipients.

It's helpful to segment your audience by engagement to identify subscribers who haven't responded to your emails in the last 3-6 months. You can send a reactivation email to these customers. There are many reactivation techniques, so try any of them: write a humorous email, try to evoke sympathy, or make a special offer. If this doesn't help, remove the user from the mailing list "temporarily", for example, until the end of the season. Perhaps subscribers are too busy with gardening chores. 

If you want more

Don't rush to increase the frequency and volume of your email campaigns while you're cleaning your contact list. Doing so can create a false sense of the effectiveness of your email campaigns, causing you to miss warning signs.

In addition, email providers consider a progressively increasing number of emails in your campaign as suspicious. You need to gradually warm up your domain, which usually takes about a month.


Cleaning your contact list before launching your email campaign is essential. By following the simple recommendations described in this article, you will undoubtedly achieve high email delivery rates and ROI. The main focus should be on active and loyal subscribers, while "sleeping" subscribers can be reactivated. For "dead" subscribers, it's best to remove them from your list without hesitation. It's important to conduct regular cleanups, taking into account the specifics of your business and the rate of new addresses being added to your database. 







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Author: Lyudmila Kovalenko






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