Email list hygiene: How to clean up your contact list

Similarly to how you practise good hygiene for your mind and body, you should also do so at your job and with your email contact list in particular. It’s wise to make it part of your regular routine for the best outcome.

While it’s important that you grow your email contact list over time, it’s just as vital that you take the time to clean it up. There are many benefits of email list hygiene and making sure it’s ready to go at all times. Here we’ll dive deeper into what email list hygiene is and how to clean up your contact list.

What is list hygiene?

You may also hear list hygiene referred to as scrubbing or email list cleaning. It involves you taking the time to remove bounced, unengaged, and inactive subscribers or contacts from your list. The goal is to ensure that only people who want to get and read your emails are doing so. It’s better to have a shorter list of individuals who are engaged than it is to have a long and disorganised list including those who have no interest in getting your emails. 

How to keep on top of email list hygiene

There are some ways and tips for how to keep on top of email list hygiene that you should consider implementing before sending marketing emails to users. Start by deciding when and how often you are going to take the time to clean up your contact list. Then get started removing bounced, invalid, and unengaged emails. 

Keep on top of email list hygiene by setting reminders on your calendar and making it a part of your weekly, monthly, and annual to-do list. If you are too busy to do it when it’s time, then make sure you delegate the task to a member of your marketing team to make certain it gets done. 

Email hygiene best practises

There are some email hygiene best practises that you can follow to ensure success with this task. Continue reading to understand how to go about it without feeling overwhelmed when you begin tackling this project. 

Best practises

The following includes some best practises you should consider applying as you work on cleaning up your contact list:

  • Segment your subscriber list versus sending broad and generic emails
  • Delete and remove all inactive users and emails
  • Target the right audience with your messaging
  • Use catchy and appropriate email subject lines
  • Address unengaged users
  • Confirm email subscriptions

What you don’t want to do is ignore this important task and put it off for too long. In this case, it’ll take you much longer to do and become a much larger project to tackle. Keep in mind that you can’t force people to want to receive or read your emails so practise acceptance when there are individuals who unsubscribe or show no interest in opening them and then remove them from your list. Only keep and send your emails to users who are opening your emails and choosing to want to receive them. 

Importance of email list cleaning

This isn’t something that you should do once in a while or when you feel like it. Email list hygiene should become part of your regular routine in the workplace. Make sure your marketing team is aware of what it is and knows how to do it properly as well. There are several good reasons why email list cleaning is important and why you should do it regularly. 


Some of the reasons why you need to clean up your contact list include that it will benefit you and your business and you’ll improve your brand and sender reputation. People will look forward to receiving emails from you instead of feeling annoyed or speaking negatively about your company and your emails to others. 

Another bonus and upside to cleaning up your contact list is that you will be able to boost your engagement rates over time. This is what you want so that people are opening and reading your emails and then hopefully going a step further to click on links or even purchase products. 

You should highly consider email list hygiene because you will greatly reduce your chances of your emails ending up in the spam folder. You also will not be put on an email deny list if you are good about cleaning up your contact list and keeping your lists organised and your lists well-targeted. 

Looking for help with this task or more information on this topic? Then get in touch with us today to learn more. 

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