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January 21, 2016
Marketing  |  4 min read

Email Address Quality—The Benefits of a Clean List

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Keith Reinhardt

Whether you realize it or not, there’s a price tag attached to every email address in your database. How well you manage the quality of those addresses can mean the difference between:

  • A profit or a loss on your email marketing efforts;
  • A Rolodex of satisfied customers or a costly lawsuit; and
  • A lucrative holiday season or missed sales goals and irate executives.

The financial benefits of proper email hygiene

How focused is your company on email address quality? If the answer is “not very,” you could be costing your organization a boatload in lost profits. Check out the example:

email address quality benefits

That’s a 65 percent improvement in revenue generated per dollar spent on email marketing JUST by focusing on email addresses quality.

How is this possible? Sending to undeliverable, unengaged, and problematic addresses costs you money. Let’s take a look at how:

The cost of poor email address quality

1. Negative impact on delivery

Just because an address is deliverable doesn’t mean you should send to it. Internet service providers (ISPs) use both negative and positive metrics to evaluate inbox placement. As a result, deliverable but unengaged addresses hinder your access to the inbox. As engagement drops, so does your ability to avoid the junk folder.

2. Unnecessary spending

There’s a cost associated with every email on your list:

  • Your ESP likely bills you based on the size of your list or the number of emails your send; and
  • Your acquisition sources charge you on a per email basis.

Why burn money acquiring and sending to dormant contacts that will never engage with your company? It just doesn’t make good fiscal sense. Without the proper hygiene protocols in place, this is exactly what you’ll be doing.

3. Low customer satisfaction

If you can’t hit the inbox, you can’t reach customers with the information they need. Things like promotions, order confirmations, and billing statements don’t hit their intended target. This makes customers angry and what happens next is never good.

  • They get annoyed and complain via social media
  • They contact your call center at a potential cost of multiple dollars per inquiry
  • In the worst case, they just up and leave you for a competitor

4. Data breach liability

There’s a liability associated with every email address in your house file if a breach occurs. Carrying old, unresponsive email addresses creates an unnecessary risk. Minimize your exposure by purging dormant addresses from your database.

5. Worst case scenario: You get blocked or blacklisted

Even the most cautious companies can run into big trouble when it comes to email address quality. We recently spoke with representatives from a leading brand that thought they had all their bases covered. Unfortunately, they didn’t conduct any regular hygiene on their database.

This resulted in a deliverability nightmare that forced the company to miss critical seasonal sales goals and took 90 days to clear up and return deliverability to its previous levels.


When it comes to email list management and data hygiene, marketers have an obligation to protect their customers and themselves from unnecessary risk. This is especially true when it comes to email list management and data hygiene.

The goal here is to make it impossible for your company to make a mistake. This can only be achieved by implementing a bullet-proof email hygiene strategy.

This article was written by Keith Reinhardt from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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