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How to Clean a Contact List

It is time to clean your contact list.  You have a list but you may have no clue as to who is on it and if there is a relevant connection. 

Why this is important:  If you are sending (blasting) emails which are perceived as SPAM, anything over 0.3% will get your account red flagged.  SPAM compliant rates should be 0.1% or lower, although the actual threshold that most ISPs publish is 0.3%. Anything over 0.3% would likely result in a chat with your ESP's abuse desk. In addition to the bounce rate, HubSpot's own Email tool for example, makes the SPAM complaint rate of every email easy to access.

Actions to take outside your email management system:

  • Rescue or Remove Contacts Who Can't Get Your Emails - Manage bounces which includes abandoned, invalid, or unreachable email addresses.  This will improve your email open and deliverability rates.
  • Age Your List by Sign-up Dates - The old email addresses on your list may have lost interest, don't remembre you or now have a new email address.  If some of your contacts joined your list long ago, and your emails are starting to get spam complaints or bounces, consider aging your list. You do can do this with Hubspot or other email management system.
  • Remove Role Addresses - Get rid of role and group addresses since they are typically directed to multiple users who may not have given permission.  i.e.
  • Use the Permission Reminder - Adding the Permission Reminder to each email you send helps stop spam complaints.
  • Ask Contacts to Update their Profiles - Add an update profile link in your emails, so contacts can easily give you their current personal information and mailing list preferences.  If they do not want to update their profile, and choose to unsubscribe, consider this a good thing.  It is more important to have a connection and engage with people who are interested than have people on your contact list who have no interest.


Here is a step by step process for how to clean your contact list in Excel provided by email master Mailchimp.

Scrubly - Software to clean your contact list:

Scrubly Will Help You

  • scrubly-clean-email.jpgScan and remove duplicate contacts from Outlook, Mac, Gmail and Google Apps address books
  • Resolve conflicting addresses and phone numbers
  • Fix formatting errors
  • Scan multiple folders
  • Backup your address book
  • Safely revert your information back to its original condition at any point in the process

Special Features of Scrubly:

  • Import Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Contact Data
  • Duplicate Contacts Remover
  • Merge Compatible Contacts
  • Delete Junk Contacts
  • Resolve Conflicts
  • You're in Control

Are you ready for Inbound Marketing?  Unhappy with your current email management system because it is too difficult and not intuitive?

I can help you with that. Contact me here >

Topics: List Building Legal Email Marketing