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BizReport : Email Marketing : April 18, 2017

Brands: Is it time for an email cleanse?

It could be time for email marketers to do a bit of spring cleaning - in the form of an email data cleanse. An email expert explains why.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is an email data cleanse?

Tink Taylor, Founder & President, Dotmailer: Simply put, this is looking at your data and deciding what data you may wish to clean out. Bad data will ultimately give you deliverability issues.

Kristina: What are some guidelines for this?

Tink: Microsoft has said they recommend removing anyone that hasn't opened or clicked in the last 30 days and that you should never even think about emailing anyone that hasn't engaged in the last year. I would definitely echo the one year sentiment - and that the length of time to retry data varies based on ISP and the business of the sender. So rather than looking at a specific time frame, I'd look at the recipients of the sender - when does it make sense "to have a conversation." For example, holiday cards--it's probably worth it to send to those who only engage once a year around the time they want to purchase those cards vs. daily deals, a year of unopened emails is a whole lot of emails.... if you're pinging someone every day and they aren't responding, it's probably best to have a much shorter time frame for retrying data. A retailer should look at the purchase cycle of their product and remove recipients relative to that.

Kristina: What are the benefits of an email data cleanse?

Tink: You may find your good data is being delivered to the junk folder or worse silently deleted. Purchased data and or data that doesn't have the right permissions to mail are known to cause issues. Old data might have you hitting spam traps, ISPs are known to change old email addresses into spam traps to see who are still mailing them, so consumers many users change email addresses on great regularity.
Essentially does the list you have carry the same characteristic that a spammer's list would have? If you don't know the source or the permission to mail, the answer is yes. Many marketers inherit a list from their processors... therefore they may not know the source.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for brands considering this?

Tink: Do not buy data. Make sure you know the persmission of the data that you hold. Clean old data out.

Tags: Dotmailer, email data cleanse, email list health, email marketing, email trends

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