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Boost Your ROI on Email Marketing: Part 2

Email Marketing - Part 2 - List Cleaning

Cleaning an outdated or stale email list can be a big undertaking. The two things you should do to clean your list are email validation and email hygiene. We’ll go over each service below.

Email validation is an automated process that checks mail servers and splits the list up into categories depending on the deliverability of the email. Generally, these can be defined as follows:

  1. Deliverable and engaged ? These emails are completely safe to send to as they are valid and the user has engaged with other emails.
  2. Deliverable ? These emails are verified as existing. These addresses are also safe to send to.
  3. Accept All or Catch All ? These mail servers are set to except all email no matter the sender. Even if the address does not exist, the mail server will still receive the email. If this is the case, later on the server will bounce the email back to the sender. This in turn hurts the sending reputation of the sender. The addresses in this section should be segmented into their own list.
  4. Indeterminate ? These emails are not safe to send to because the connection to the mail server could not be verified. The status of these emails is unknown.
  5. Undeliverable ? The last section are ones that should never be sent to. These emails are definitely bad because they do not exist.

Email hygiene is a process that goes above and beyond validation. It takes emails and scans them for multiple problems, including: role based emails, spam traps, valid addresses, catch all emails, fraudulent emails and more. After running your list through email hygiene, you will receive a report that codes your list with information regarding the email addresses. They are categorized by how many are OK to send to, how many are a threat to send to and how many cannot be verified. Here are some of the flags you will encounter in an email hygiene report:

  1. ‘R‘ denotes a record that is hazardous for Reputation reasons. (extreme risk)
  2. F‘ denotes a record that is hazardous for Fraud reasons. (extreme to high risk)
  3. D‘ denotes a record that is hazardous for Delivery reasons. (high risk)
  4. C‘ denotes a record that is hazardous for Conversion reasons. (moderate risk)
  5. B‘ denotes a record that is hazardous for Beta reasons. (moderate to low risk)

With both validation and hygiene you not only receive a report, but also receive your list back that is split up into the different threat or deliverability categories. This report can then be used to manage and update your list.

So which should you choose? Validation or Hygiene?

Hygiene creates a higher level of cleansing than Validation.  We would always recommend using this more robust method to keep you viewed as a responsible email marketer.  Hygiene gives you more details than validation and breaks down your list into understandable chunks of data that you can then act on.

Do you need your list ran through validation or hygiene? Cygnet Midwest offers both of these services and can help you through the process of cleaning up your list. Please reach out to Laura at or call (630) 527-0900.

Check back soon for our third blog in this series on email marketing to learn steps that you can take for re-engagement of previous customers.