Do you send newsletters and other marketing emails? Then you must care about the quality of your email list – otherwise, all those emails may be ending up in people’s Spam folder. But how do you make sure you’re communicating with genuine subscribers? This is where email verification plays a huge role. Let’s look at the three easy steps you have to follow in order to clean your email list and achieve the best possible results with your email marketing.
1. Assess your bounce rate and other engagement metrics
Start by taking a look at your reports. They’re easy to find in your email marketing platform and they offer crucial feedback on your performance. Here are some key questions to ask:
- what is your bounce rate? If it’s anything above 2%, you know your email list needs some cleaning.
- how do your open rates look like? Search for the standards in your industry and compare them. On average, open rates across all industries are around 20%.
- what is your click-through rate? The average is about 2.5%.
- how have these engagement metrics changed in the past six months? If you notice a decrease, it may have a lot to do with the quality of your database.
As a rule of thumb, if you feel like your email marketing isn’t yielding the results it should, you’re most likely right. The good news is you can do something about it. Apart from striving to improve your email content, work on getting your list back in shape.
By hiring an email list verification service to reestablish your email hygiene and sender reputation. More about that later.
2. Start prospecting: what is an email list verification supposed to do?
Now that you know you need to give your list a good scrubbing, where do you start? Before signing up for an account with an email list verification service, you have to be able to determine whether it’s a good one.
Here are some of the most important features such a service should provide:
- email bounce detection. The system has to detect and remove email addresses that will cause your messages to bounce.
- spam trap removal. They are a spam prevention method and extremely risky to email. Not all email list verification services spot them. Find one that does.
- abuse email detection. These belong to people who will potentially mark your emails as Spam. Remove them from your list.
- temporary email removal. These email addresses don’t last long, and if you keep emailing them, they will bounce.
- role-based email detection. Monitored by groups within an organization, not by a single user, these accounts are basically useless to your email marketing.
- catch-all emails. Some of them may be valid, but some will absolutely bounce. It’s best to isolate them from your database.
- real-time email verification API. Apart from being able to verify your list in bulk, the company should also give you an API key. Once you install the API on your website, it checks email addresses in real time, thus keeping your list healthy.
When you choose the service that’s going to clean your list, there are other aspects that matter, as well. Let’s list the essential ones – they’ll help you make the best choice.
data protection. When pruning your list, you’re going to share your customers’ information with a third party. Make sure that third party is a reliable data processor and doesn’t store your data for more than 30 days.
customer support. Most email list verification platforms are easy to use. However, getting knowledgeable, friendly customer support is a great perk, right? Some services offer 24/7 online support.
bonus features. There are a lot of email verifiers on the market, so competition is fierce. Some companies go out of their way to get new customers to sign up. Look for platforms that provide more than basic email verification. Before taking out your card to pay, ask what other features they offer.
3. Verify your email list and start engaging with your subscribers
Have you found the best email list verification system? Great! Now it’s time to see what it can do. Most email verifiers have intuitive platforms, so getting started is easy.
Ideally, you don’t have to download any software. Instead, you upload your email list on the platform to allow the system to verify it. How long does it take? Of course, it depends on the size of your email list. But, in general, you shouldn’t have to wait more than a few hours – for very large email databases.
Then, you simply download your results and you can see exactly how many of your email addresses were risky. ZeroBounce, for example, offers you a clear breakdown of the results, with different status codes for each address. You can see which emails were invalid, abuse, catch-all or temporary, so you can eliminate them from your list.
What can you expect once you’ve cleaned your database? Most organizations experience very pleasing results and manage to take their email marketing to the next level.
Here are some of the benefits of email list verification:
- your sender reputation will improve. Internet Service Providers consider your reputation a powerful indicator of how you conduct email marketing. Getting your list cleaned is one of the best ways to regain your reputation.
- as a result, more of your emails will start landing in your subscribers’ inboxes instead of the Spam folder.
- that means your open rates will go up! This is the second step to improving your overall performance.
- of course, click-through rates are also going to see a boost. Work on your content and create compelling calls-to-action to entice people to click.
- finally, you’re on your way to better engagement and higher conversions!
Cleaning your list doesn’t have to be hard. Once you choose the right email list verification system and you get a hang of it, it will become routine. Make sure you prune your database every other month, so you can stay on top of your email hygiene and fulfill your email marketing goals.
Image credit: Better Email Marketing via Richardson Harry/shutterstock