improve email delivery email list hygiene like dental hygiene

Improve Email Delivery With Good Dental Hygiene Practices

The other day after getting the mail I mumbled something about “list hygiene” in front of my 12-year-old. She asked, “What’s list hygiene?” I was holding a piece of junk mail that should never have shown up in our mailbox. Now I can’t remember why, but it was a classic example of a mailing list being woefully out of date and a business wasting time, money and paper on a bad address when they didn’t need to.

As I explained to my daughter about list hygiene and how really it’s an email marketing best practices term, I was just using it for the snail mail, she said, “You mean it’s like going to the dentist.” She heard list hygiene and thought of dental hygiene…and she was right on with her analogy.

I asked her to elaborate, and together we developed my new favorite analogy for improving email delivery.

Improving email delivery is like taking care of your teeth. List hygiene keeps your list scrubbed and cleaned just like dental hygiene does for your teeth and gums. It must be thorough, like flossing, to really work. If you don’t do the hygiene, you get cavities…the email marketing equivalent of bounced emails and spam reports that will get you graylisted then blacklisted. (Picture a cavity as gray. That’s your mailing list without proper hygiene.) And that’s going to hurt your email deliverability big time! Just like a big cavity hurts!

Hygiene is something you pay attention to on a regular basis, and pay extra special attention to a few times a year. Twice daily we brush, once daily we floss, and every six months we go in for the kind of scrubbing and cleaning that only a dental hygienist can do. At that time, we also have the dentist look things over and make sure our pearly whites are still doing A-OK.

Your in-house email list should be cleaned on a regular basis, and maybe that includes a plan for reactivating dormant email addresses too, like using teeth whitener for even prettier teeth. Then periodically you should meet with an email deliverability consultant (aka the dentist) for expert help and to make sure your email deliverability best practices are keeping your list as clean as can be.

If your hygiene could use a boost to improve email deliverability, make ClickMail your email deliverability consultant.

Published On: February 13th, 2011Categories: Email deliverability

About the Author: LaRock

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