Real Magnet

List Health – 5 Quick but Critical Best Practices

Maintaining high standards of “list health” is an integral part of any successful email marketing campaign. Do you acquire new lists from a list vendor? Have you been sending to the same list for an extended period of time? Are you dusting off an old list that you haven’t used in a while? Following these tips will help you get rid of bad email addresses and disengaged recipients, helping you improve both your engagement rates and your sender reputation.

1. Honor Unsubscribes Quickly. When an unsubscribe request is received for a recipient, that recipient must be suppressed within 10 business days. Neglecting this dramatically reduces your chances of winning the recipient back, and is a violation of CAN-SPAM, CASL and other state Spam laws, and can result in lawsuits and finess.

2. Clean-up Non-Engaged Recipients. Regularly (e.g. monthly) separate out 12-month non-engaged recipients. As an example, if you send one message per week to a recipient for 12 months, that recipient would have received a total of 48 messages. If he/she didn’t open or click in any of them, that would be a non-engaged recipient who is very unlikely to open or click in the future. That email address could even be a spam trap.

Non-engaged recipients can be placed in a special list group that can be used for future re-engagement campaigns. We can help with rolling out these types of campaigns in a way that will minimize sender/IP reputation damage.

3. Set up bounce suppression campaigns that automatically remove addresses that bounce consistently for the same reason (e.g. bad domain, mailbox full, generic hard/soft). This can help to improve and maintain your overall list health, sender reputation, ROI, and keep delivery and inbox rates high, all while reducing your overall email costs.

We can help you set these up based on your deliverability goals, your current list health, etc. The settings can be changed at any time to make them more or less aggressive in relation to suppressing addresses that bounce consistently.

4. Use List Hygiene Services. If you need to send to an “old” list, say one that you haven’t emailed in over six months, or a purchased/rented list, it’s best to have that list cleaned by a list hygiene service like Fresh Address to remove as many addresses as possible that are:

    With enough volume, these types of addresses can seriously damage your sender reputation and the reputation of your IPs, and potentially cause serious blacklistings on your IPs or sending domain.

    5. Send to Your Most Engaged First. Separate out your most engaged recipients and schedule a send to those groups first. These individuals will provide you with high open and click through rates. High performance on an initial send will “prime” your campaigns and often results in improved overall delivery and inbox rates. Our soon-to-be-released Marketing Automation feature can automate the process of finding and segmenting your lists by recipient engagement.

    Optimized deliverability happens when senders (you) and their Email Service Provider (us) engage each other as partners.  Each party has its own set of responsibilities.  List management and list hygiene tasks, like those detailed above, are measures that senders can take to improve their deliverability.

    Real Magnet’s deliverability experts are a great resource for insight, up-to-date industry news, and personal assistance with your deliverability issues. For help or guidance, please contact them at