5 Things Every Email Marketer Needs to Know About Data Cleaning and Hygiene

Bryan Jenkins
Bryan Jenkins

Director of Sales, EmailOversight

About the author

Published on: May 11, 2021

Last updated on: June 5, 2024

Authored by Bryan Jenkins
Director of Sales at EmailOversight

Having a clean, responsive email list is the goal of every email marketer. But even if you think your list is “clean,” there could be hidden issues causing your email blasts to end up in spam folders, cause ESPs and ISPs to delay delivery — or worse — prevent delivery altogether.

The importance of clean and verified email addresses cannot be overstated enough. It’s paramount to any successful email marketing business. Here’s everything you need to know to enable smooth email delivery and ROI to make you an even more successful email marketer.

1. Email Verification and Hygiene are not Created Equal

Email hygiene refers to the individual cleanliness of emails on your lists. Are these emails safe to send to?

Many email addresses look legitimate on the surface, but they could actually be spam traps or addresses of known complainers. Removing all “dirty” addresses from your list can greatly boost your sender score and deliverability.

On the other hand, your list may be full of unverified data with email addresses that are illegitimate or disposable. Are these emails deliverable?

Unverified addresses can be caused by purposeful bad inputs or simple errors during their data input. Either way, unverified addresses cause serious issues. ESPs and ISPs grade your efforts on the legitimacy of the data you send emails to. If you have bad data on your list and send it to it, you can easily find your sends ending up in junk.

2. Deliverability Issues Debilitate ROI

Having one or more of the following seven issues can crush your deliverability and ROI.

  • Hard Bounces
  • Syntax Errors
  • Typo-Emails
  • Spam Traps
  • Bots
  • Disposable Emails
  • Complainers

You need to have real-time capabilities to examine this data and prevent your sends from ending up in the email graveyard — also known as the junk folder.

3. Dirty, Unverified Data Effects Deployment

Sending emails to bounces lowers your sender reputation and decreases deliverability. Sending to spam traps and complainers can get your IP and domain blocked, thus, crushing your business. Your data must be clean and verified to get in-boxed.

The lower the quality of your data, the higher the chance your emails end up in junk. This is a no-brainer.

The higher quality data you send to, the better chances you have to get in-boxed continually. Having good data quality equates to higher sending quality and better deliverability metrics.

4. When to Implement Email Hygiene and Verification, and How Frequently

Before sending any emails, you need to precisely know how much damaging data and addresses reside in your list. Email hygiene and data verification exercises should ensue immediately with your existing data.

For new harvesting efforts, you should be conducting hygiene and verification in real-time as your list is being built.

Using EmailOversight’s API, for example, you can prevent these harmful addresses from entering your list in the first place. Routine maintenance should always be conducted, and having a real-time dashboard can make this an easy process.

Hygiene and verification of your data should occur before every send. A routine maintenance schedule for your lists should occur every 30-to-90 days to ensure no harmful addresses have infiltrated your lists. An API like EmailOversight offers to ensure the validity and hygiene of each new address entering your list during customer acquisition efforts.

5. The Importance of Email Hygiene, Verification, and How to Choose the Right Service

Why are email hygiene and verification critical? These six reasons are chief among them.

  • Keeps data clean and deliverable
  • Ensures IP and domain reputations are healthy
  • Prolongs the life of mailing resources
  • Increases delivery metrics
  • Improves sender scores and quality
  • Helps in-boxing and boosts ROI

When you choose a service to help keep your email lists clean, verified, and in-boxed, be sure they are:

  • Reputable and trusted within the industry
  • Knowledgeable and have detailed insight on issues and solutions
  • Helpful and customer-service oriented to position your business first
  • Cost-effective so that services can boost ROI
  • Accurate for industry-leading data hygiene and verification

A clean email list and using regular email hygiene and data verification allows you to leverage the two most important parts of your email marketing business — in-boxing and revenue growth.

About the author

Bryan Jenkins
Bryan Jenkins

Director of Sales, EmailOversight

Bryan Jenkins is an 18-year veteran of the email marketing industry. Bryan brings his knowledge and experience in data cleaning, hygiene, and verification to assist some of the largest email marketing companies, email service providers, and data providers in the online space.


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