Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cleaning an Email Bounce List

Implementing an appropriate double opt-in email system that conforms to all the necessary CAN-SPAM rules and similar email marketing legal compliance specifications around the world (if you run a global website), is a must in today's environment. Apart from compliance, and avoiding fines, it is the perfect solution for email subscriber list cleaning process that avoids consumer data entry errors.

But what if you have an old list that you are migrating into a new system, or a list that contains previous email subscribers that were merged across into a double opt-in system with running a reconfirm cleanse?

First steps with old list management requires a look at bounce messages (hard and soft bounce types), and this will determine what email accounts your content is not getting through to. This review process will then help to determine what can be done to recover these email addresses, reduce the level of bounced email, and increase your eNewsletter content visibility to users who had intended to receive your content but had unfortunately been careless during the registration process... and were missed because the site owner hadn't put in a validation check process (double entry), rule check, or double opt-in solution.

One of the easiest things to do is take a .csv dump of the email addresses from your bounce list, run a regular expression clense to filter .*@ and replace with @ to remove all the initial names leaving the TLDs (Top Level Domains), open in Excel and run an alpha sort. Then you can run a visual check over the list and see what errors users have made.

The following list is an example of Hotmail accounts that have been entered incorrectly. = = = = = = = = = = = = =

You can then run a find/replace over the list to resolve these, and then reintroduce back into your operational email subscriber list.