Email list hygiene is definitely key to sender and deliverability scores. It doesn’t matter if your list is optin or not. Everyone needs to keep their lists clean. Here are a few myths that I think you should avoid at all costs.

Myth 1: My list is only 30 days old. No need to clean it.

Wrong. Old lists collect bounces. If you’re using your own in-house email system, then you should be ok, but if you are using a large ESP like Constant Contact, a 6% bounce rate could get you shut off or worse, they switch up your IPs with bad ones. Don’t think they can’t do that!

Myth 2: I cleaned my list a month ago. It should be fine to mail.

Wrong. Bounces accumulate fast in larger lists. You want to make sure you do not collect bounces if you’re mailing in large ESP’s like Mail Chimp. Be careful with your larger lists.

Myth 3: My mail gets through just fine says my ESP

Wrong. Just because the ESP has reporting doesn’t mean it’s legit. ISP’s will purposely stop sending back return paths. We had a client that couldn’t understand why their ad wasn’t performing. We found out that Hotmail wasn’t sending back bounce reports nor allowing any mail to come through on their IPs. You should always have at least 3 separate ESP’s for testing and sending purposes to avoid being ignored.

Myth 4: I haven’t hit a trap in months. I don’t need hygiene.

Wrong. Spam fighters will play “sleeper cell” to catch bigger fish. They will stay silent until they see new domains and IPs which could indicate the list was sold. Instead of catching one spammer, they can catch two.

Myth 5: My sender score is just fine.

Wrong. Don’t settle. Test on multiple ESP’s. Spread your lists all over the place.

Myth 6: It’s not the creative, it’s the list.

Wrong. 9 times out of 10, the creative is what taints the list. Do not send advertisements that are plain or ordinary. Find campaigns with strength and pizazz. Affiliate campaigns are less attractive and personal campaigns are the way to go because they are genuine. Own your own campaigns at all cost.

If you’re interested using best practices in email deliverability, you will need both email list verification and validation including testing and sending on multiple servers. Avoid the myths and make sure you don’t settle on mediocre. Always reach out and find a better solution. Don’t stop experimenting and own your campaigns.