The Importance of Email Scrubbing

With the added focus of hygiene in this day and age, there’s no better time to remind everyone that email hygiene is important too!!!

As life goes, things tend to pile up and get a bit messy. We do light organizing to get by but eventually there comes a time to do a deep clean to make our lives better and more efficient. It might sound crazy but the same concept applies to email marketing. 

As we’ve previously discussed, email marketing is critical to any and all marketing strategies! Businesses will spend a lot of energy building their email database at the beginning and finding ways to keep the list growing organically, which they should, but they often forget to go back and scrub it down. 

Email Marketing Best Practices 

When it comes to email marketing statistics, there are three primary data points that are used to reference if a campaign is successful: 

  • Number of subscribers 
  • Average open rate
  • Average click-through-rate

Like we mentioned, it’s good to focus on subscriber quantity to start, but what really matters in the long run is the quality of subscribers. Ignoring the importance of quality and only focusing on quantity will hurt your email marketing success. 

It’s also good to keep an eye on the average open rate. This lets businesses know that the emails are reaching the right audience. It also signifies that the current subject line and preview text strategies are working. 

When it comes to average click-through-rate, businesses are able to see if the email content provides the right information and is intriguing enough to click through to their website.  

If either the average open rate or average click-through-rate numbers begin dropping without a change in strategy, it’s time to check your email’s hygiene.  

For industry-specific email marketing benchmarks on these three data points, click here for reference

Why You Need to Scrub Your Email Database

Not scrubbing your email database can result in wasted resources for your business. If the email subscribers are not opening and clicking on your emails, you’re probably targeting the wrong people. This means all the time and money spent toward your email campaigns are going to waste. Plus, if you’re targeting the wrong people and they get upset, they’ll report you as spam. This is more than just a sad moment for your marketing team; it can hurt your campaign as a whole. Email services such as Gmail & Yahoo keep track of every time a business is hit with a spam tag. If enough people do this, they’ll begin sending all of your emails to the spam folder, even the people who want to see your emails! 

But wait, there’s more! Scrubbing your email database increases content relevancy. In other words, don’t try to cater to people uninterested in your emails. High content relevancy, in turn, improves deliverability and sender reputation. 

BONUS: You can save money! Some email marketing services charge based on your number of subscribers. Not scrubbing your email database means you’re paying for people to get annoyed with you...who have no intentions to make a purchase or call for services!  

When should you scrub your email list?

As there seems to be a major debate on how often you should scrub for hygiene, we’re here to settle it! In terms of email marketing tips, we recommend scrubbing your database 1-2 times a year. 

Every year, an average of 25% of email lists take a hit from people who have changed emails. This results in inactive or dead email addresses that end up with a hard bounce so the email will be sent back to the sender. 

Who should you cleanse yourself from?

  • Not real email addresses #FakeFriends
  • If people unsubscribe, Elsa said it best “let it them go” 
  • If they didn’t opt in, it’s time you opt them out
  • Business emails like
  • Disengaged recipients; you’re talking to a wall 
  • Old email addresses - RIP - 

Note: the subscribers that you’ve had since the dawn of time, take a peak and see how active they have been compared to your newer subscribers. If they have been, they’re loyal. If not, they’re on to other pastures.


Don’t want to let go so easily? Send an SOS! To all of those that have been disengaged, let them know you’ve noticed. Send an email requesting they click through to stay on your email list. If any click, they’re saved (yay). If not, it’s ta-ta for now.

Email Marketing Experts

Subscriber scrubbing is just a fraction of a successful email marketing strategy. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your approach, or looking for experts to handle your email marketing, Vibe Creative Marketing is here to help!  

Want to see how a successful email marketing campaign looks? Check it out firsthand