Did you know that inactive subscribers can hurt your inbox delivery rates, even if they have legitimately opted in to receive your message?
This is 100% true and many don't realize it.
Old addresses from popular free email providers (Hotmail, Yahoo etc.) are turned into spam traps if they become inactive or abandoned. Email service providers in turn, use these traps to help identify senders that are not following best practices or who are sending to "dirty" lists. Sending to any number of these pitfalls can make a huge impact on your ability to deliver email to inbox's located in the trap's domain.
"But firstname.lastname@example.org opted into my list 2 years ago! I have my records right here, he must still want to receive email right?"
Well, maybe? Check your detailed open results. Has Ackbar opened a message recently? If he hasn't, he is either not interested in your emails anymore, or he has abandoned the email address altogether. The end result being, If he hasn't logged into or used that address in some time, then it may have been converted to a spam trap.
If you have been keeping a diligent eye on your bounces, and removing them, this shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, if you've only just started monitoring your bounces, then many of your addresses may already be traps.
The only way real way to be sure that these emails are gone is to remove every old and inactive subscriber there is. This includes anyone who hasn't opened or clicked on an email in over 18 months. This is especially true if their email is from a Hotmail or Yahoo domain. To make it easy, you may even consider reducing your list to users who only registered in the past 6 months. You can never be too careful when it comes to your deliverability.
Removing these spam traps and old email addresses from your lists will greatly improve the chance that your company's message ends up in front of your audience, which is the end goal.
The result will be better ROI, more opens, more clicks, and more sales! Now, who is going to argue with that?
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