How to Protect Your Email List Health and Deliverability


Unhealthy sending practices have a great impact on the performance and deliverability of your email campaign. As a key sending best practice, you should know how to manage the health of your email list.

Unhealthy email addresses lurking in your list directly impact your revenue, by reducing the number of your emails that make it to your subscriber. This means it’s essential to develop a better understanding of your email list health and risks through a comprehensive health checkup.

Here are seven factors to consider when you analyze what might be affecting the health of your email list:

1. Typos or Duplicates

Typos affect your deliverability by sending to the wrong recipient, to an invalid account, or even worse, to a spam trap affecting your reputation and credibility. Similarly, duplicates affect your brand reputation and credibility by sending to the same email recipient twice.

Typos and duplicates can occur easily through web forms and order entry mistakes, but can be just as easily fixed with email verification. Email hygiene is able to sort out the dupes and provide a list of suggested corrections for your email list.

2. Bounce Rate Improvement

You should aim for a deliverability rate above 95%. To experience optimal deliverability and conversion, identify and deal with all bounces, greylistings, and typos in your list.

3. High Number of Unsubscribes or Spam Complaints

  • Send people who want to unsubscribe to your preference center so they can adjust the type and amount of messages received. You could offer a weekly or monthly round-up, or just event notifications. Or you could let them pick just one product or service to stay informed about.
  • In your preference center, ask people who are unsubscribing why they are unsubscribing. You might learn something that will affect your planning.
  • Identify people with “Highly Exposed emails” who’ve been involved in cyber security breaches. They’re usually trigger happy to report emails as spam or phishing, so you might want to be especially careful with the emails you send to them.
  • Keep your messaging relevant and interesting. Data enhancement allows you to leverage additional data intelligence to better identify segments, which in turn lets you target your content directly at what a segment cares about. You can avoid complaints about irrelevant content!

Are you mailing to people who haven’t responded in months? Routinely removing the “dead weight” can boost deliverability overall.

4. Single Opt-In Policy

Even a single opted-in email address might be a trap or a dummy account meant to find and block spammers. Mailing to opt-ins is a good email practice, but be aware that spam traps could still receive your email, seeded trackers could open it, and robots might click. All of these threats are not detectable by verification because they are deliverable. A double opt-in strategy paired with email hygiene is recommended to formulate a complete understanding of your email health.

5. Purchasing Third-Party “Opted-in” Email Lists

A purchased “opted-in” email list is usually a bad idea and is likely to be harmful to your reputation because those subscribers have not opted-in to your campaign specifically. The addresses on a purchased list might have been scraped from the web or could be a pure spam trap waiting to ruin your sender reputation. Stick to first-party subscriber data and enhance it with additional data points. (Get tips to build your list offline.)

6. Generating Optimal Campaign Conversion Results

Email segmentation and personalization improves open and click-through rates by using data intelligence to enhance your list with with customer attributes like name, email address, shopping preferences, hobbies, lifestyle choices, political leanings, and more. Aberdeen research indicates that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. Get personal with your customers!

7. Re-engaging Inactive Subscribers

Inactive email addresses warrant caution because email providers consider user engagement as part of your sender reputation. If a user hasn’t opened or clicked on your emails over a period of time, you need to calculate the risk versus reward, and the chances of revenue.

You could do a re-engagement campaign to ask if they still want to be on your list and offer them an incentive to engage. Be willing to cut them loose if they don’t respond.

Get a free checkup from the experts.

For another option to determine your email list health, complete the Email Health Check. Webbula will give you a custom analysis and provide you with a list of suggested email regimens. From there, you can decide if you would like to move forward with a free diagnostic test of your email list. You provide the list and Webbula provides you with a comprehensive email intelligence report. No strings attached!