Yes, email list hygiene is a real thing! Cleaning your list on a regular basis is a great way to maintain healthy engagement with your customer base and reduce list-unsubscribe rates. Employing a list-cleaning strategy will also help you understand the email content your customers best relate to.
Components of a List Hygiene Strategy
To create a list hygiene strategy, begin by separating unengaged email subscribers from those who are by creating a new segment. Unengaged subscribers are those who haven’t opened any email campaigns in the last 30, 60, or 90 days or have opened campaigns but haven’t clicked any links.
In Klaviyo, this can be done by clicking “Create List / Segment” and setting the segment parameters around “what someone has or has not done”. From there you can choose a metric, frequency, and amount of time. (I.E. Someone who has [opened an email] [zero times] [in the last]  [days]).
Once the segment’s been created, you’ll want to re-engage those subscribers by creating a Win Back campaign. A win-back campaign is exactly what it sounds like – an email campaign aimed at winning back those customers who haven’t engaged with your brand in the last month or so.
The campaign should include content that incentivizes customers to reconnect with your brand. This could be as simple as a “We miss you” campaign made up of two automated emails (I.E. an automated flow) that offer a dollar amount or a percentage off to shop from your website again. Email One would introduce the offer and Email Two would remind subscribers to take action within a certain amount of time.
After the segment cycles through the automated flow, look at the campaign metrics to determine your next steps. Use Klaviyo’s Engagement Reports and Campaign Trends to track subscriber actions (who opened, clicked, and/or converted) and audit your strategy.
Determine whether or not it makes sense to delete, suppress, or exclude the profiles who did not engage with your Win Back campaign.
List Hygiene Do’s and Don’ts
Never purchase or recycle old email lists.
For one thing, you can’t trust the quality of the list. In addition, you run the risk of getting in trouble with your email service provider and taking a hit to your rep by coming off spammy.
Do clean your list on a regular basis.
As you continue sending one-off email campaigns, new subscribers will be added to your unengaged segment. Pick a time each month to go through the unengaged subscriber profiles and determine whether they should remain or be removed from your list.
Do import cleaned lists.
When importing lists into your email service provider, make sure they’ve been cleaned beforehand. People sign up for email lists using fake and/or typo-riddled email addresses all of the time! Be on the lookout for these types of issues before uploading your list. If you are migrating from one service provider to another, it’s a good idea to create an unengaged segment and remove those subscribers from your main list before importing it to the new service provider.
Do use double opt-in when subscribers sign up for your list.
Here’s one instance where it’s OK to be ‘extra’! Make sure subscribers really want to join your list by asking them to confirm their subscription with an automated follow-up email.
Do use campaign metrics to drive your email content strategy.
Use what you learn from Campaign Trends and Engagement Reports to drive your content marketing strategy. If you notice that a particular topic received a higher engagement rate than another, it’s safe to say that your email subscribers found the first topic more interesting. This type of data can help you create future content tailored to what your audience likes to read.
Once you’re in the habit of keeping your list clean, you’ll find that your message is getting to the people who really need and want to hear it. Targeting the right people with the right content is a surefire way to make sales, retain customers, keep them engaged.