Why do I need to clean my email lists?

clean my emailsWhy do i have to clean my email, well there are many nasty emails floating around out there that can cause a lot of problems for you. When you email someone, all ISPs assume and grade your email sending patterns should be similar to your personal email (this is deemed normal emailing).
So if you think about your personal email, pretty much every time you email someone, they open it and click it to reply.
Rarely do you get a bounce back indicating that the email is no longer valid.
*Personal email history based on 100 emails sent:
– sent in about 2-3 days ( you probably send out around say 30-40 emails a day on average)
– open rate – probably close to 100%
– click through rate – probably 80%-90%, depending on if they had to reply to you or not.
– Bounce rate – very rare, not even 1 in 100 would bounce but let’s say 0.05%, half a percent.
All of this and other mailing habits make up your (well everyone’s) determination of how mail should be sent, how often, open rate, bounce rate, when, complaints etc. this partly why you need to clean your emails.


So if you have an older list from some clients that’s been sitting around, you’ve been meaning to contact them, things got busy etc. and now you want to email them. Well if you’re mailing from your companies domain, ISP email address, then you want to be safe and clean my email list first.

Remember, if you mail outside of the (personal) norm (every ISP has their own variation of this, but they are similar) then your email address, IP & domain start to gain attention, get looked at potentially as a problem, spammer etc.

Put it this way, there is a “SenderScore” attached to every ip that sends mail, your average personal ip would easily be in the mid 90’s (out of 100) which is the norm.
If you mail out to a dirty list (defined below) then think about the stats above from mailing through your personal email account.
– hard bounce rate will be high
– a much lower open and click through rate
These two factors alone raise flags on your mailing account, email address and ip.
Dirty list:
– Old outdated emails that are no longer valid and Hard bounce back when mailed.
– Spam traps emails exclusive purpose is to catch spammers, typically scrapped.
– Black Holes, old emails ( including AOL, Gmail, yahoo etc ) that have not been used for a while, just get turned into Black holes which basically work similar to Spam traps. They ONLY receive your email but don’t ever send out, they just report your email/ip to the powers that be (once they’ve received an email from you) and now you’re on a list, potentially blacklisted.

Many people don’t have a clue or any idea they are doing anything wrong, but it would be a catastrophe if you emailed out an old list of your clients from, for ex: you@yourdomain.com and all of a sudden, you@yourdomain.com’s IP & yourdomain.com, all got flagged as spammers or bulk mailers.

Basically any emails you would send out through your server would be considered bulk mail and would just go straight into the spam box, or would be blocked completely from your ip address and/or your domain name and may or may not bounce back at least letting you know!

So you couldn’t use your company email address to contact anyone as you would be flagged.
Going one further, depending on how many bounce back and causes problems; your domain could be blacklisted completely and shot down. So your domain name would no longer be any good for anything, your business would cease to exist on-line all because of a dirty list!

Now this is the most extreme case, but it can and has happened.
So removing as much of this junk mail is key and once you’ve done so you can move on.
clean my emailsEspecially if you’re using a mailing agent like ContstantContact or Mailchimp, these companies actually look at your bounce rate as you upload your email address so they know pretty much right away if they will accept your list or not based on bounces. Once you clean my emails,  you can upload your list and mail away.