It affects your organization's sender reputation. ISPs take notice if you are consistently sending to bad addresses or addresses on which people are not interacting with you. These have a direct impact on your organization's ability to deliver the e-mail into your customer's inbox. No matter how good your e-mail is, if it's not getting into the inbox, it's moot.
It also has financial implications. If you're currently paying a specific CPM rate and a percentage of your e-mails is not being delivered, it will negatively affect your ROI.
The good news is there are a steps you can take to ensure your list is clean and being kept up-to-date:
When first collecting addresses, you need to have a syntax validation in place and also send a triggered opt-in confirmation e-mail to that address. This gives you an opportunity to reinforce the opt-in, confirm what the recipient can expect to receive from you and verify that the address is valid.
Because ISPs are increasingly measuring engagement—how many people read or click on your e-mail—you need to develop a strategy that determines when to remove an inactive person from the database and create a process to do so. This not only keeps engagement high but also helps ensure your message is relevant to the recipient.
Current statistics indicate that more than 25% of e-mail addresses churn a year. Due to this high percentage, no matter how clean your list is from the start, you will still need to have a process in place that manages your bounce backs and removes them appropriately.
Michael Thompson is director, deliverability and ISP relations for ClickSquared (www.clicksquared.com), a provider of relationship marketing programs.