Why Successful Advisors Regularly Purge Their Email Lists

Working to build a large email list is a sensible goal. The astute Virtual Financial Advisor knows how effective email marketing can be, plus they know they actually own the list.

But purging emails is as important. 

Email purging, also commonly called email scrubbing, is simply removing people from the database. 

Why would an advisor want to do that?

Simple: For the sake of efficiency and cleanliness.

By scrubbing your list, you remove prospects who aren’t interested in what you have to say or sell. This limits wasted resources and protects your domain reputation.

Yes, deleting clients from the database may seem menial and unnecessary. But the benefits far outweigh the energy required. Let’s talk about those benefits. 


The Benefits of Purging Your Email List

Here are some of the benefits of a fine-tuned email list very quickly.

  1. Improved reputation 
  2. Better file management
  3. Lower financial costs 
  4. More accurate reports

Improved reputation 

Reputation matters. Insurance and financial advisors know this better than almost anyone. And it goes beyond what people think about you. You also have to pay attention to what the tech “overlords” think. Specifically, tarnishing your domain’s reputation with mailbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo has serious repercussions. 

When the email list is filled with people not interested in the business, spam complaints tend to increase. And when spam complaints rise, the sender’s reputation worsens. Eventually, this leads to the domain being labeled as a spam sender.

As the business’s standing with mailbox providers worsens, more and more of its emails get categorized as spam. The sender’s reputation dips even more and the downward spiral continues. 

Apart from spam, larger email lists tend to have more bounced attempts — i.e., the intended recipient fails to receive the email. As mailbox providers notice the increasing email bounces, the sender’s reputation worsens some more. 

The downward spiral carries on. 

An effective way to prevent further collapse is to scrub your list. After all, it is a numbers game. By strategically removing people on the list, spam complaints drop, bounce rates lessen, and reputation is eventually restored. 

When the business’s standing with the email provider is repaired, email deliverability and marketing campaigns improve. 

Better file management

Search speeds appear to be a negligible factor for anyone starting to build an email list. There aren’t too many drawbacks to having larger databases with computer speeds getting exponentially faster by the minute.

And that would be a fair point. 

But whether it’s an algorithm or not, human intervention still plays a role, and a list full of junk takes time to sift through. 

These small inefficiencies add up. 

Besides, it is always best practice to do the job assuming scale. While the benefits of email scrubbing really shine with a large email list, every Virtual Financial Advisor should get into the habit early on. Having the foresight to do so will make life easier down the road.

Lower financial costs

That is right; purging emails is not just about better file management. Removing people from the list can actually save the business some money — although better file management itself can save on costs as well. 

How is scrubbing email lists economical?

Many email marketing service providers charge based on the number of emails delivered or the number of subscribers on the list. Different options will have other pricing structures, but the point remains: Larger lists lead to higher marketing costs. 

When the list is uncontrolled and left to grow, more and more of the wrong people get added. This increases the business’s marketing costs some more. 

Of course, higher costs are not inherently wrong. For instance, if the business recoups these costs with fantastic ROIs, increasing costs isn’t bad. Nevertheless, paying for anything that results in poor returns is a bad move. And that is precisely what happens when you email the wrong people — you pay for nothing in return.

Scrubbing means the business only pays for deliveries or subscribers that genuinely matter, leading to even higher marketing ROIs. 

More accurate reports

Similarly, accurate reports ultimately translate to better ROI. But more generally, accurate reports lead the business to better decisions. This means more targeted and effective campaigns.

Having an extremely large list might stroke the ego, but the campaign results can be misleading. 

Say you create an awesome promotion that is hyperfocused on the business’s niche. With a list full of junk, the campaign’s conversion rate suffers. You conclude that it was an ineffective strategy. 

Then the seemingly poor performance forces the business to iterate some more. Not only does this lead you away from the desired niche, but it could also mean going after the wrong groups of people. 

This is a recipe for disaster. 

So before delivering important campaigns, make sure you filter and purge your email list first. 


Best Practices

Scrubbing emails isn’t rocket science, but there are best practices on frequency as well as on how to scrub your list. Having a separate domain for cold emails also helps. 

How To Scrub Your List

The first step to scrubbing your list is to know which emails to remove. There are early warning signs, too, such as worsening open and click rates — or when spam complaints and unsubscription requests rise. 

Scrubbing can be done manually or in-app as an option. Most email marketing platforms have this feature, but our favorite tool is ZeroBounce. We showed how $60k email lists can be mostly junk with this program. 

That is an incredibly expensive list of clutter.

How Often Should You Scrub Your List

We recommend scrubbing your list a couple of times a year. That should be sufficient to keep the list in check. 

More frequent scrubbing does help, especially when the business is about to release a campaign. A great VA can do this for you. 

Separate domain

Cold emails should be a part of your email marketing strategy. But cold prospecting is risky, especially with emails where angry or indifferent people can spam you.

While there are proven ways to win with cold emails, the threat of negatively affecting transactional emails with existing clients is still present. 

An excellent way to curb this hazard is with separate domains — one dedicated email for clients’ correspondences and another for cold emails. Besides, super-specific domains aren’t expensive at all. 


Purge for Power

Removing emails from your list may seem unnecessary. But the benefits are clear, with both direct and indirect financial implications. 

Also, scrubbing your list before sending emails is absolutely necessary for exceptionally effective email marketing campaigns. So start purging your email list and turn it into a valuable marketing asset for growing your practice.

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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