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Email rehab: Getting (a) clean (database)

Marketers love email. In fact, email is the most important marketing channel today. Despite our addiction to email campaigns, many of us are hiding a dirty little secret – poor email hygiene practices.

Admitting you have a problem

In this three-part blog series, we’ll explore the three stages of email rehab that will help kick your dirty email hygiene habits for good. The stages of email rehab include cleaning up your database, gathering good data at the point of collection and developing an ongoing email data quality strategy to keep your list clean.

Keeping your email list up to date is a critical piece of your email marketing strategy. Approximately one in four email addresses change annually. Additionally, the emails you've collected may have domain typos or formatting issues that will cause emails to bounce. That means at least 25 percent of your email database will be unreachable by this time next year. If you aren't regularly cleaning and validating your email list, you could be losing a significant portion of your customer base to inaccuracy or decay.

Getting clean

You may be wondering how frequently to clean your database. The answer depends on a couple of things. For those who are not mailing to their list regularly, we recommend validating your database on a quarterly basis. Marketers who are engaging their database more frequently should consider verifying their lists on a monthly basis.

Email marketing campaigns are about reaching subscribers on your list. Blasting emails to a stale database not only wastes time and money, but also causes major damage to your brand’s reputation. Before you send your next campaign, run your list through an email verification service like Experian Data Quality’s email validation.

Once your legacy database is verified, you are ready to move onto the next phase of email rehab – gathering good data at the point of collection.