4 Simple Ways to Clean Your Email Lists

by Paiton McDuffie | Aug 31, 2021

In my last post, I talked about the importance of cleaning your email list. Cleaning your email lists can ensure the contacts who receive your emails are engaged and the messages they’re receiving are what they’re interested in. Here are some practical and easy ways to clean your email lists.


Send an email with a short survey to gather more information on what your prospects are interested in receiving from you. You can then utilize this data to segment and tag contacts to build custom audiences that receive highly targeted messaging.

Example of an email that includes a survey

Re-engagement Campaign

Just because a contact has low engagement with past email sends doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested in receiving your messages anymore. You can re-engage these audience members by sending a specialized email that contains an offer, a gift, or even exclusive content that will entice them to interact with your emails. Pro tip: plan your re-engagement campaign during a time where email fatigue won’t be as likely. Avoid holiday seasons or times where promotional emails are increased (i.e., Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, etc.)

Request a Second Opt-In

Similar to a re-engagement campaign, you can create a message that acknowledges the contact’s low engagement and simply ask if they’d like to continue receiving emails from you. Provide both a clearly visible unsubscribe link and a CTA that will confirm that they do want to keep receiving emails, or send them to your email preference page to make updates. If you notice these contacts still aren’t responding, you can automate the process of removing them from your CRM/email marketing software so they don’t continue to clutter your database (see point below).

Utilize Workflows and Automations

Take the manual work out of removing contacts who won’t respond to re-engagement efforts with automation. Most CRM and email marketing platforms offer automation or workflows that can remove unengaged contacts from your marketing database. Set a window of time that is appropriate for your cadence of email sends and have the filter set to pull contacts who have not opened or clicked an email within that window. Set the action to remove them from your marketing contacts and you’re done! (This setup is a generalized example and may vary depending on your CRM/email marketing provider). 

We’ve seen a lot of success with these simple ways to clean email lists. Have you tried any of these strategies in your own marketing efforts? Tell me what you experienced and the results you saw!

About the author

 by Paiton McDuffie

Posts by this author