Need to cleanse your list? Find out how…

Are you getting the results from your email marketing that you want? Are your results getting worse?  Here’s a cure for what might be ailing you…

If you’ve got a list that is a few years old, or if you’ve ever purchased a list, you need to understand how to cleanse that list so you don’t forfeit your email deliverability and jeopardize whether your emails make it to the inbox.

Two years ago, I had my list cleansed through a private contact, and it was amazing.  I figured that list cleanse services were pretty much similar.  But I was wrong.

I had heard a lot about Brite Verify as a great way to cleanse a list.  So, when a customer of ours ended up getting put on some block lists, we recommended (actually we mandated) that their list go through a cleansing process.

We took just under 10,000 leads and had Brite Verify do an analysis of the list.  The results, based on my earlier experience with our list, were less than helpful.  Below is a picture of the results they provided us:

list cleanse example

Results from Briteverify list analysis

In a nutshell, it tells me which emails could be verified, and which emails are risky (with an invalid address, or an invalid domain, or an invalid account).  But that’s it.  What do I really know?  How can I use that to understand where the damaging emails might be?  It’s got some pretty graphs, but not a lot of truly actionable information. It left me wanting… which leads me to a solution that is EXCELLENT, and provides the detail you need and then some (keep reading)…

OK — let’s contrast that with a cleanse we did that provides much more comprehensive results.  We used a company called ImpressionWise.  And we were impressed.  Here’s their Summary report:

OK — now the very bottom (it got cut off) showed me the “certified safe to send”.

The difference is amazing.  Seeing EXACTLY which emails are Spam Traps, versus Moles, etc. actually helps me stay out of trouble, and make sure I’m not emailing any email addresses that are ‘unsafe’ or could damage my sender reputation.  You’ll see from this summary that this list had 18 spam trap emails and 94 moles… and that is helpful.

They even provide more information, like EXACTLY what email block lists these email addresses report you to.  Wow.

And then they provide all of this as downloadable CSV (comma-separated-values) files, so you can take action.  We added the Suppressed CSV file to the Do Not Email list — so they will NEVER be emailed again.  And we could examine every one — we updated the CERTIFIED safe to send and the DISCRETIONARY, as well as the SUPPRESS list — with EXACTLY the reason that email address is on the list.

So… when should you use a service like this?  If you’ve been building your list for several years, then I would recommend that you get your list cleansed.  And then depending upon how fast your grow your list, establish a regular rhythm to get your list cleansed.  It will keep you out of trouble and help maintain your sender reputation.

And if you ever purchase a list?  Get it cleansed before you use it  — so you don’t end up hurting yourself and your marketing efforts, but instead leverage the good contacts in the list right up front.

About Kim Albee

An in-demand marketing consultant, speaker, and educator, Kim is a respected visionary with a great sense of humor who has made her life goal to make marketing easier and more accessible for small business owners. When not changing the course of marketing history, you can find her at a tiny cabin next to a Wisconsin lake with people and critters that make her happy.


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