Email Marketing 101 with Grace: List Management

Written by: Grace Andrake

Creating and maintaining a healthy email list is essential to building an effective email marketing strategy, but when overlooked, it will negatively impact not only the performance of your emails but also your sender reputation.

What makes a healthy email list?

A healthy email list is one that is made of subscribers who have opted-in to receive your communications. This means they gave you their email address and the permission to send them marketing emails. Just as important, healthy lists are frequently cleaned of unengaged subscribers, old email addresses, bounced email addresses, and more.

So how do you keep a healthy email list?

  • Lists must be closely monitored to track soft bounces, hard bounces, spam complaints, unsubscribes, and your deliverability rate.

By closely monitoring these, you will be able to continuously update and improve your email strategy and help make decisions about list cleaning. 

For example, you’re getting a high number of unsubscribes who are citing the content is no longer relevant to them. This should tell you you need to revisit your content strategy and find what your subscribers are most interested in.

  • Clean your list regularly

Removing old email addresses will help ensure your list remains healthy, which in turn will help your emails be delivered to subscribers who want to receive your communications. 

By tracking your soft bounces, hard bounces, spam complaints, unsubscribes, and your deliverability rate you will be able to determine the email addresses to remove from your list and help determine which frequency is right for you. 

The frequency varies from company to company, but it should be done at least once a year, even better if you do it every 6 months.

  • Create a re-engagement automation

A re-engagement automation helps automate the list cleaning process. Each re-engagement automation will vary from company to company, but the goal of this automation is to either, as the name suggests, re-engage stale contacts or remove them from your sending list.

Things to avoid when maintaining a healthy email list.


Marketing emails are centered around subscribers choosing to receive your emails. When buying a list, you are sending emails to those who have not chosen to receive your marketing emails. This will affect your deliverability rate, your bounce rate, and your sender reputation. Once these are negatively impacted, it will take time to build up a positive sender reputation again.

Many email service providers take opt-in very seriously and will freeze or fine your account if you upload purchased lists.

  • Do not continuously send emails to those who have unsubscribed

Once someone makes the decision to unsubscribe from your list, you should not continue to send emails to that address and you should not resubscribe them without their permission. 

Continuously sending to unsubscribed addresses could cause an increase in spam complaints and unsubscribes and in turn will decrease your deliverability rate.

  • Do not forget to regularly clean your list

Though having a large number of subscribers may seem impressive and important, it is not as important as maintaining a healthy list and a positive sender reputation. Cleaning your list regularly will help ensure you maintain a positive sender reputation and a high deliverability rate, and also will help your overall email performance. 

At Slice, our email marketing experts will help grow, manage, and maintain your email lists to ensure they are compliant with email regulations and in good health.

Not sure where to start with your email list?

Check out our checklist on how to grow your email list, our email marketing services, and if you’re interested in taking your email marketing efforts to the next level, contact our team of experts today!

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