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In Digital Marketing Last updated: February 27, 2023
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One of the major reasons your emails land in the spam box is your unclean email list.

Did you know nearly 85% of all the emails sent online end up being spam? That’s insane, right?

If you’re one of them, you might want to take some action.

In this article, we will tell you the reasons you want to start cleaning your email list ASAP, how to manage your email list, and four tools to help validate emails in 2022. 

Reasons Why Cleaning Your Email List Is a Must

It’s generally too late when you realize your email list isn’t clean – all your emails are already going into the spam folder.

That means you have already wasted resources and caused significant harm to your brand. Therefore, proactive email list cleaning is vital for any successful email marketing campaign.

According to Prospectify, 4.5% of every 1,000 contacts were no longer valid after 28 days.

Hence, spring cleaning your email list becomes all the more important. There are a few more reasons why cleaning your email list is a must:

#1. Better Open & Click Rates 📧

Open and click rate is measured by the percentage of recipients who opened your email and clicked on the links in the email. 

According to Smart Insights, the overall average open rate is 16.97%, with a 10.29% CTR. 

How do you improve that? You can do so by having a clean email list.

When you clean your email list, you’ll be sending emails to people who are interested in your email. This means you’ve got a better chance at increased open and click rates.

#2. Accurate Email Campaign Statistics 📊

Maintaining inaccurate marketing databases or keeping your email list messy will always result in unreliable insights. 

When you send an irrelevant email to a person, they will not even open the email, let alone engage with it. 

Getting rid of such receivers is often a good idea to get accurate email campaign statistics.

#3. Little to No Spam Complaints 😒

When you clean your email list, you increase your chances of having little to no spam complaints. 


Most subscribers mark emails as spam because they don’t remember opting for them.

Spam rate is so important because mailbox providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and others keep track of spam complaints. 

If there are several complaints against your domain, they will start sending your emails to the spam folder instead of dropping them into the prospect’s inbox.

And they’ll do that to everyone you email, not just the individuals who reported you. Again, this drastically affects your chances of generating conversions, leads, and sales from your email campaigns.

#4. Reduced Email Marketing Cost 💰

We have a question! If someone tells you that you can simply save 20% on the annual bill by switching to another email provider that does the same job as your present provider, would you switch?

If your answer is yes, then why are you constantly wasting money sending emails to an unhealthy email list? 

According to Hubspot, email marketing databases inherently degrade by about 22.5% annually. That’s because people change their workplace, get a new email, or stay off the internet for a digital detox.

Hence, it’s highly advisable that you shouldn’t pay for dead subscribers. 

Let them stay in the internet cemetery while you count your extra-crisp bills that you will be saving if you clean your email list. 

#5. No bounce rate 📤

A high bounce rate indicates that emails are being delivered to invalid email addresses, which will reduce your inbox delivery rate.

The fewer the hard bounces, the easier it is to reach out to potential clients.

FYI, too many bounce rates can also affect your brand reputation in the same way as spam rate does. So, running a hygiene check on your email list is a must. 

#6. Keeps Brand Prestige In a Positive Light 👍

The Internet is just like your high school – once your reputation goes south, you’re forever marked as the bad kid.

Undeliverable emails and spam traps may quickly wreak havoc on your reputation.

It’s not just your marketing efforts that will suffer from a lousy domain reputation. Your sales and customer service teams might also start seeing their communications go to the junk folder. 

Clean your email data regularly to remove any bad addresses and avoid causing needless harm to your reputation.

To keep your email list clean, removing the dead contacts isn’t enough. Maintaining a properly segmented email list is also essential. Let’s see how to do it.

How to Manage Your Email List the Right Way

Organizing an email list to keep it healthy is crucial, and one can do so by identifying contacts that are no longer healthy.

Unhealthy contacts are those that:

  • Frequently soft bounces
  • Has hard bounced 
  • Rarely or never opens your emails
  • Did not opt-in (perhaps you were given or bought the email list)

To maintain a clean email list, follow these five steps:

#1. The First Impression is the Last Impression – So Make It Positive

A welcome email is where your subscriber decides if they want to follow you in the future or not, and to set it right, you need to put forward a positive impression on them.

Here’s how a Food company – Food52 does a great job sending a welcome email to their new subscribers:

welcome email example

The way you make readers feel when sending them an email speaks to their level of engagement with your brand, so a positive experience can make them more receptive to your campaigns.

Nothing beats how you make them feel that you’re talking to only them and not 1000+ people. 

#2. Scrub Away Your Email List

We know you don’t want “bad” subscribers on your email list! Nobody does! You can perform a scrubbing activity on your email list to make it clean. 

Let us show you how it’s done:

  • Get rid of invalid emails to reduce bounce rates and prevent service providers from blacklisting your IP address
  • Unsubscribe inactive subscribers to maintain your reputation
  • Get rid of email contacts that are giving hard bounce rates as it hurts your brand reputation and emails deliverability rate

Note: Spring cleaning your email contact list will also improve your sales in the longer run.

#3. Always Ask Permission to Send Mails to Your Subscribers

Asking for permission before sending any email is a healthy way to maintain a clean email list. Ensure that you obtain the recipient’s consent to send them relevant messages.

You can ask for explicit permission from your subscribers by giving them two opt-in options: single opt-in and double opt-in.

Essentially, a single opt-in means that the user only needs to subscribe once, and they’ll start receiving your emails. But double opt-in means a user must subscribe to your emails and then verify their email via another link. 

Pro tip: When asking for permission, give them a double opt-in option as it’s a legal requirement in some countries. 

#4. Let Your Audience Decide their Subscription 

According to data collated by HubSpot, 69% of email users in the U.S. unsubscribe from email lists because the sender spams them with unnecessary emails.

You don’t want to be among that 69% population!

Create a strategy to prevent subscriber burnout by checking if the recipient in your list has a new email address or prefers not to have an email on a particular topic.

You can also opt for email marketing software to do this work for you. 

Email marketing automation software like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign offers a subscription preference center feature, making it easy for you to sort out your optimum sending frequency rate.

#5. Re-Engage Your Dead / Inactive Subscribers

Bring the dead subscribers alive by reigniting their interests. 

Take action if your subscriber is not clicking the link embedded in your email or seems simply disinterested even after you tried to follow up with them.

It’s time to flame up the fire by designing re-engaging strategies that will ping them to look back at you.

You can do it by writing a clear and engaging subject line that compels your subscribers to click your emails.

You can also personalize your emails by segmenting your audience accordingly. 

Pro tip: Offer subscribers freebies or run a giveaway campaign. Who doesn’t love free stuff!

Tools to Help Validate Emails in Your List

#1. DeBounce

DeBounce is an email validation & verification, checker, and bulk verifier tool. 


It helps you remove hard bounce, spam trap, disposable, and deactivate emails from your list. 


  • Minimizes Bounce Rate: Remove invalid and hard bounce email addresses from your database using an SMTP check
  • Syntax Eliminator: Automatically remove multiple email addresses with invalid syntax with a click
  • Spam-Trap Removal: The AI-driven spam trap indicator automatically removes all records of spam from your email list
  • Email Deduplication: Remove all duplicate emails from your email list with one click

DeBounce helps you increase your sending reputation and is trusted by over 30+ brands worldwide for its email validation accuracy. 

#2. Clearout

Clearout is an email finder and verification tool that can help you boost sales in no time. 


The tool’s trusted by 30,000+ companies of all sizes worldwide.


  • Accurate Results: Clear-cut results to ensure that your sender’s reputation stays in a positive light
  • Affordable Pricing: The pricing policy is affordable and transparent for users to see where they’re spending every penny
  • Time-Saving: Its accelerated turnaround saves you ample time by performing actions from spell check to server verification faster than ever
  • Deliverability: Guaranteed email delivery with the best practices of email verification and accurate delivery rates

Be it spam trap detection or domain and MX verification, when it comes to email verification tools – Clearout is one of the best options.

#3. Mailcheck

Mailcheck helps you increase your open and click-through rate with a guaranteed 98%+ delivery rate.



  • Automated Recommendations: Get real-time insights and automated suggestions to take actionable strategic decisions
  • Real-Time Email Verification: Simultaneously collect and verify email addresses with email verification API
  • Detailed Reports: Get details about the health of your email list and activities across your emails
  • Deliverability: Easily test deliverability with email provides before sending to predict the chances of your email landing in prospect’s inbox

When it comes to a simple email list verification tool, you can go for Mailcheck with your eyes closed (or open, your choice 😉).

#4. ZeroBounce

The name tells all – ZeroBounce literally helps you have a 0% bounce rate when you send an email from your clean email list.


It promises high open rates and ROI with its unbeatable 98% accurate email validation and power deliverability tools.


  • Blacklist Monitoring: Protect your domain and mail server reputation with real-time blacklist monitoring
  • Email Validation: Run a validation check on your email list with the highly accurate email validation API to reduce bounce rates and guarantee deliverability
  • Test-Before-Send: Validate and score your email list to ensure better deliverability with Zero Bounce’s email testing tools
  • Reliable Customer Service: 24/7 support from expert teams and engineers to guide you and help you with seamless email deliverability

With over 100,000+ trusted clients, ZeroBounce is the best email list cleaning tool that can help you achieve excellent email deliverability.


Having a clean email list will generate positive results and better ROI when you invest in your email campaigns.

Hoarding on unnecessary email contact will damage your reputation in the long run and create bigger issues down the road. 

If you care about your reputation and money, clean your email list today!

  • Tanish Chowdhary
    Tanish is a digital marketing geek and a super creative writer. He has been researching, analyzing, and writing about digital marketing for 4 years. Before stepping in to the world of Digital Marketing, he was an engineer. In his free time,… read more
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