email marketing best practices

When a Dirty In-House Email List Costs the ISPs Money, It’s Time to Clean Up!

If your in-house email list hasn’t had a good scrubbing lately, it’s time to clean house. A clean list has always ranked high among email marketing best practices, but now even more so as ISPs crack down on email marketers who waste their time…and their money.

As an email marketing agency focused on numbers and deliverability, we understand that it’s hard to see the size of your list shrink when bad or dormant email addresses get removed. It’s worth it though. Remember, your goal is a quality list, not a quantity one. You’re far better off with 5,000 names that respond to your content than 15,000 that don’t.

Scrubbing your in-house email list might mean fewer names, but it also means higher ROI from your email marketing because you’re marketing to a more responsive audience. In addition, you’re improving your email delivery rate by improving your sending reputation. And you’re pleasing the ISPs, who are the ultimate gatekeepers between you and your prospects.

ISPs still see emailing to bad and inactive addresses as sloppy and careless on the part of the marketer, and they will be more likely to flag your emails as spam if you continue to do so. But now we’re seeing the major ISPs thinking of these unnecessary emails as an expense too. If you’re already annoying an ISP because you’re carelessly sending to people who haven’t responded to your emails in over a year—showing an obvious lack of interest in your content—imagine how annoyed they’ll be when they think of those wasted emails as costing them money to boot?

The answer was and still is good list hygiene. Start with email marketing best practices that require an opt-in. Use a Preference Center to give subscribers control. Then keep your list squeaky clean with regular scrubbings.

Your list will be clean, your subscribers responsive and the ISPs pleased. What more could you ask for?

Get tips for scrubbing your in-house email list.

Published On: January 13th, 2012Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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