If you have an old mailing list, chances are it’s time for some spring-cleaning. Because most email providers carefully monitor for spam, lists full of old email addresses, addresses with typos, or addresses with no longer existent domains can hurt your email deliverability. We’re here today to coach you on how to clean an email mailing list with these 6 tips:

1. Remove bounced emails
Depending on your email system, you may or may not have to remove bounced email addresses manually. Scrutinize your list and your deliverability data to find email addresses that regularly or always bounce. Deleting addresses that are always undeliverable will automatically increase your deliverability to the rest of your list.

2. Remove emails with incorrect spelling or duplicates
Go through your email mailing list again to find any emails with misspellings or any duplicates. Many of these may have been removed when you removed bounced emails, but some may still be present on your list.

3. Remove role accounts such as webmaster@, support@, or info@
Role accounts often don’t go to a specific person and will likely be ignored or sent directly to junk mail. To avoid a high spam ranking, do your best to get rid of most of these addresses unless a particular address regularly engages with your emails.

4. Check for deliverability problems to specific domains
Before you delete bounced emails, you may want to look for patterns occurring with specific domains. Do some domains never deliver your emails? Do your best to determine why, and, if necessary, you may need to delete all addresses associated with that particular domain.

Turn Your Contacts into Your Mailing List in Gmail

5. Re-engage subscribers
To ensure the remaining subscribers are active and open their emails, start a campaign to re-engage with those who aren’t. Send out emails specifically to inactive subscribers with subject lines like “We’ve missed you.” Subscribers that still don’t engage after that point may need to be deleted as well.

6. Weed out bad addresses early on
Work to ensure you get rid of bad addresses before they become an issue by creating an automated campaign to new subscribers. An automated welcome email blast will give you an advantage in seeing which email addresses bounce immediately and which ones are active.

While it may be tempting to think that the larger your mailing list, the better, a large list full of undeliverable email addresses will only hurt your deliverability to good email addresses. Boring as it may be, taking time to clean your email address list will better your overall marketing campaigns.

There are automated services available that do this heavy lifting for you and scrub your list clean.