Originally posted by Salsa Labs

by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa

Hopefully you’ve read my previous blog about the challenges you face in getting email delivered to individuals where we discussed the ever-important “opt-in”. In this second blog, let’s look at the next major factor- list management.

List Management

List management is one of the most important things when it comes to deliverability. Removing expired addresses and making sure you’re only emailing valid opted-in email addresses are two factors that will improve your email results.

Trading lists or renting lists is a no-no as well. 97% of all email received is unwanted by users, so handing your list to someone else will only add to the amount of email your supporters receive, drowning out your message.

Spam traps are also a rising issue. Spam traps are a way for anti-spam organizations and email providers to measure if you clean your list or obtain non-opted in emails. There are two types of spam traps. Pristine traps are email addresses never used as regular email. These are the most severe and will result in at least a block, or worse. Recycled traps are email addresses that were valid at one point. After a length of time of inactivity, during which they hard bounce, these email addresses are turned back on as a spam trap. Enough traps of either type and you will be blocked, and email program shut down at least temporarily. If you are caught with traps on your list, you will be forced to remove inactive individuals or possibly opt-in your entire list.

More ideas for successful list management are:

  • Do not buy or trade lists and be careful with appends. All of these actions open up the possibility of spam traps, none can be considered opt-in.
  • After a month of inactivity for a supporter (no opens or clicks), change the messaging in an attempt to get them to react. Surveys do this nicely.
  • After six months of inactivity (absolutely after a year), give individuals ones last chance to stay on your list, and if they don’t respond, remove them.
  • Remove hard bounces after one hard bounce, remove soft bounces after 10 soft bounces
  • Abide by the hard bounce count and receive email values.

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