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How to Boost Email Performance Using Automated List Hygiene

If your email list includes unengaged or outdated contacts, you might be doing more harm than good for your business.

Not only can this put a dent in your sender reputation, you’ll end up with inaccurate (and disappointing) engagement rates!

List hygiene can help you identify and get rid of unresponsive and unengaged contacts, leaving you with a clean and healthy email list.

In this article, we’ll help you learn what list hygiene is, why it matters and how to get started with it in Sendlane.

Let’s dive right in!

What is list hygiene?

An endless list of contacts isn't what really matters... it's the engaged subscribers that count!

List hygiene is the process of regularly cleaning your email lists by removing inactive and outdated contacts from your email marketing database.

This ensures that your emails are sent to only those subscribers who actually want to receive them, will open them, and are most likely to buy.

With a healthy contact list, you ultimately get better results out of your email campaigns!

Why list hygiene is important

A clean and healthy list comes with plenty of benefits for your business.

Here are some major reasons you should regularly clean your email lists.

Better engagement

Frequent cleaning may result in a shorter email list, but one that contains contacts who want to consume your content.

This ultimately results in higher open and click-through rates!

For example, let’s say you're running an online honey shop and have accumulated 5,000 contacts over the past five years.

But five years is a long time. And it’s likely that some of your contacts may have changed their email addresses.

Some contacts may have even found a local alternative to your product, while others may have stopped buying honey products at all!

The point is, these contacts are no longer interested in your emails. Sending them a blast would only bring your campaign performance down.

Or worse—it can land you in the dreaded spam folder.

Which brings us to the next point…

Improved deliverability

If you continue sending emails to unengaged contacts, they might get annoyed and mark your email as spam.

And that’s the last thing you want for your business.

Email clients, like Gmail and Outlook, keep a log of spam complaints. If a large number of contacts report your campaigns, your emails could automatically start landing in spam—even for engaged contacts!

If you have clean lists, there's a very low chance of getting marked as spam by your engaged and active contacts.

And you know what that means: a squeaky clean sender reputation!

Accurate reporting

Tracking performance is crucial to identifying the flaws and wins of your email campaigns.

But an unhealthy list can manipulate this data by showing you lower than actual engagement rates!

That’s because your reports will be factoring in the entire load of inactive and outdated contacts while calculating email performance.

To make it easier to understand how your campaigns are doing, you need to regularly clean your email list. This can help you make better decisions in the future and create campaigns that actually work.

How to get started with list hygiene in Sendlane

There are two ways to clean your lists inside Sendlane:

  • “Smart” or Manual List Hygiene
  • Automatic List Hygiene

But before you can enable list hygiene in Sendlane, you must meet these three conditions:

  • You have a list created in your Sendlane account
  • Your list has contacts added in it for at least 30 days
  • You have sent at least one email campaign to these contacts

Once you’re sure that you meet these conditions, you can start cleaning your lists.

Note: You can enable list hygiene for one list at a time. If a contact is added on multiple email lists, you must set up list hygiene for each list separately.

Let’s dig deeper into the two ways you can clean your lists in Sendlane!

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1. “Smart” or manual list hygiene

With smart list hygiene, you can manually remove contacts that haven’t been engaging with your emails for a specified number of days.

This is a one-time process, so you’d need to revisit your lists after every few months!

To get started, navigate over to Audience Lists, and click on the list you'd like to set up list hygiene for.

Next, click on Hygiene from the list of icons at the top.

Set the number of days a contact should be unengaged before you want them removed.

For example, if you want to remove contacts who haven’t engaged with your emails in the past month, you can set the number of days to 30.

Once you’re done, click on Remove inactive contacts.

This will automatically remove all contacts who have been inactive in the past 30 days, leaving you with a list of engaged contacts!

You’ll also receive an email that includes all removed contact details for your records.

2. Automatic list hygiene

If you want to remove unengaged contacts from your lists periodically without doing any of the manual work, this option is for you!

Automatic list hygiene is especially useful for businesses with a continuously growing list of subscribers.

To get started, navigate over to Audience Lists, and click on the list you'd like to set up list hygiene for.

Click on Hygiene from the list of icons at the top.

Click on the Automatic tab and switch to Enable.

The next step is to set conditions for the frequency of list cleaning. We recommend running the process every 14 days and removing contacts who have been active for at least 60 days.

This is what your settings should look like:

Once you're done, simply click on Update Automatic Hygiene.

Now, every time the process runs, contacts that meet the set conditions will be automatically removed from your list.

You’ll also receive an email each time that includes all the removed contact details.

Get rid of inactive contacts with Sendlane’s list hygiene

Having a long list of contacts is useless if most of them are inactive or outdated.

Keeping redundant contacts can lead to higher costs, less engagement and poor deliverability for your business.

Sendlane’s list hygiene features can help you overcome this problem by getting rid of unwanted contacts at regular, specified intervals!

Get started with list hygiene now and boost your engagement rates by grabbing a free 14 day test drive of Sendlane right here.

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