Brian Cliette

ActiveCampaign List Clean-Up: Boost Your Email Success

If you’ve noticed a drop in your email engagement rates, it might be time to clean your ActiveCampaign email list. A well-maintained email list is crucial for effective marketing, and I’m here to guide you through the process.

Why cleaning your email list is important

When it comes to email marketing, a lean and targeted email list can significantly boost your campaign’s success rate. Throughout my years of blogging about email marketing strategies, I’ve learned that regularly cleaning your email list is one of the simplest yet most effective actions you can take. Here’s why it matters:

Improve Deliverability Rates

Dirty email lists are often filled with inactive, misspelled, or fake email addresses that can damage your sender reputation. ISPs track the number of bounces and can label you as a spammer if your bounce rate is high. By cleaning your ActiveCampaign email list, you reduce the likelihood of bounces and increase the chance that your emails will land in the inbox, not the spam folder.

Increase Engagement Metrics

An email list cluttered with disinterested or inactive subscribers won’t interact with your content. This hampers your engagement rates – open and click-through rates – which are critical indicators of campaign performance. A clean list ensures that your content reaches subscribers who are more likely to engage, helping you fine-tune your strategy based on reliable data.

Cost Efficiency

Most email service providers, including ActiveCampaign, charge based on the number of subscribers. It’s financially prudent to only pay for subscribers that offer potential value to your business. Cleaning your list avoids wasted investment on subscribers who do not contribute to your campaign’s ROI.

Avoiding Spam Traps

Spam traps are email addresses used by mailbox providers to identify and track spammers. A well-maintained email list that’s cleaned regularly has a minimal risk of including such addresses, which could otherwise severely impact your sender reputation and deliverability.

By understanding the implications of a neglected email list, I’ve been able to improve my campaigns significantly. Regular list maintenance is the key to achieving better results from your email marketing efforts. With a clean list, you’re equipped to move forward with confidence, knowing that your messages are reaching those who genuinely matter to your business.

Steps to clean your ActiveCampaign email list

A well-maintained email list is the lifeblood of any successful email marketing campaign. Keeping your list clean not only enhances your performance metrics but also protects your sender reputation. Here’s a straightforward approach I use to clean my ActiveCampaign email list efficiently.

First, I segment my email list. This allows me to target inactive subscribers without affecting active ones. I usually define ‘inactive’ as subscribers who haven’t engaged within a set time frame, say six months.

Here’s how to segment your list in ActiveCampaign:

  • Navigate to ‘Contacts’ and select ‘Advanced Search.’
  • Use the criteria “has not opened an email” or “has not clicked an email” in the past six months.
  • Save this segment for further action.

Next, I send a re-engagement campaign to this segment. The campaign typically includes a message asking if they’re still interested in receiving emails and potentially offers an incentive for re-engagement. It’s crucial to include a clear option for opting out, empowering subscribers to make the choice.

After the re-engagement effort, I analyze the results. Subscribers who have remained unresponsive are candidates for list removal. To remove these contacts:

  • Return to the inactive segment.
  • Select all contacts that did not engage with the re-engagement campaign.
  • Choose the option to delete or unsubscribe these contacts from your list.

Lastly, I check for and remove any duplicate entries or obvious errors in email addresses, such as those missing a domain name. Ensuring the list is free of such errors further improves deliverability rates.

Remember, ActiveCampaign charges based on the number of contacts, so regular cleaning could also lead to cost savings for your business. I recommend scheduling this maintenance task at least quarterly, which can dovetail nicely with your overall email marketing strategy refreshes. By implementing this ongoing cycle of list cleaning, I’ve witnessed significant improvements in my own email marketing results.

Review and segment your list

When I tackle the task of cleaning up my ActiveCampaign email list, I always start by reviewing the entire database. It’s crucial to get a full overview of who’s on my list and how they’re interacting with my campaigns. Analyzing engagement levels is the first step, which involves checking open rates and click-through rates.

Segmentation plays a vital role in this process. I segment my list based on several criteria to help refine the cleaning process:

  • Activity: Those who have and haven’t opened emails in a specific time frame
  • Behavior: How subscribers interact with my content, like clicking links or downloading resources
  • Demographics: Subscriber information such as age, location, and occupation
  • Subscription Date: The timeframe from when subscribers joined my list

Through segmentation, I can target specific groups and tailor re-engagement campaigns more effectively. It’s not just about having a big email list but having an engaged audience that’s likely to respond to my communications.

Once segmented, I prioritize the most engaged users because they’re the foundation of any successful email marketing strategy. I pay close attention to subscribers who’ve recently engaged but might not be consistent. This group represents an opportunity to boost interactions with a little more personalized attention.

Keeping my list in good shape also means removing inactive contacts. However, my strategy is to approach this cautiously. Before I consider elimination, I’ll use re-engagement campaigns tailored to each segment to awaken their interest. If they remain inactive, it’s a clear sign that they may need to be removed from my list.

By keeping my ActiveCampaign email list segmented and clean, I’m ensuring that my emails land in the inboxes of people who are genuinely interested in what I have to offer. It’s a win-win: subscribers receive content that resonates with them, and I maintain a high deliverability rate that keeps my marketing efforts on track.

Remove inactive subscribers

One of the key steps in maintaining a healthy email list is identifying and removing inactive subscribers. An inactive subscriber is someone who hasn’t opened or clicked on any of your emails for a considerable amount of time, usually several months. Why is it critical to address this group? Because they diminish your engagement rates and can negatively affect your sender reputation.

ActiveCampaign makes it easier to spot these subscribers. You can generate a report that filters out users based on their campaign activity. Here’s how I do it:

  • Navigate to the “Contacts” section.
  • Use the “Advanced Search” to filter contacts that have not engaged within your specified timeframe.
  • Once you have this list, tag them as inactive. This tag becomes handy in case you need to re-engage them later.

Before outright removal, consider a re-engagement campaign. Send an email specifically designed to catch their attention—ask for feedback, offer a special discount, or remind them of what they’re missing out on. If, after this effort, they still don’t bite, it’s safer to assume they’re no longer interested in your content.

After the re-engagement campaign, check back to see the results. ActiveCampaign provides a detailed view of who interacted and who didn’t. Those who remain inactive after your re-engagement efforts should be removed to keep your list lean and mean.

Remember, keeping inactive subscribers on your list not only harms your analytics and deliverability but often translates into wasted expenditure as many email marketing platforms charge based on the number of subscribers. By regularly scrubbing your list, you’re ensuring that every cent of your email marketing budget is spent reaching people who are genuinely interested in what you offer.

Regularly reviewing and cleansing your email list takes discipline but I can’t emphasize enough how this practice is a boon for your email marketing strategy. The effort pays off in spades— better engagement, higher conversions, and a more robust bottom line. It’s a clear win-win.

Use email validation tools

Maintaining my ActiveCampaign email list doesn’t just stop at manual cleanups and re-engagement campaigns. I also leverage email validation tools to automate and refine the process. Such tools are designed to verify if an email address is valid, deliverable, and free of issues that could harm my sender reputation.

Email validation tools perform a series of checks to determine the validity of each address on my list. This includes syntax verification, domain checks, and even real-time pinging of email servers to confirm the existence of the email account.

By integrating email validation software, I can catch problems that manual review might miss:

  • Temporary or disposable email addresses
  • Role-based addresses like info@ or support@ that are often associated with low engagement
  • Email typos and syntax errors which can lead to delivery issues

Using these tools, I can ensure my ActiveCampaign list is free of addresses likely to bounce or trigger spam filters. This leads to a more accurate and efficient email marketing strategy.

Some of the most popular email validation tools offer seamless integration with ActiveCampaign, which allows me to automate the validation process directly within my existing workflows. They come with various pricing options suitable for businesses of different sizes and email list lengths.

Here’s a high-level overview of what a typical validation process entails:

  • Upload your list: Import your contact list from ActiveCampaign to the validation service.
  • Validation run: The service checks each email for validity.
  • Results analysis: After the validation is complete, scrutinize the results to understand which emails were flagged as invalid.
  • Update your list: Finally, remove invalid emails from your ActiveCampaign list to maintain pristine list hygiene.

I’ve found that by periodically using email validation tools, I significantly reduce bounce rates and enhance my overall delivery success. Keeping my list populated only with valid, active email addresses, my campaigns become much more effective and my engagement rates soar. Plus, I protect my domain from being blacklisted due to sending to invalid emails.


Keeping your ActiveCampaign email list clean is essential for the health of your email marketing campaigns. I’ve walked you through the steps to not only trim your list but also to ensure it’s composed of engaged, active subscribers. By segmenting your list, re-engaging with inactive users, and employing email validation tools, you’re setting yourself up for improved deliverability and engagement. Remember, a well-maintained email list results in better performance metrics and ultimately, a more successful email marketing strategy. Regular maintenance is key—make it a routine part of your marketing efforts and watch your email campaigns thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of cleaning your ActiveCampaign email list?

Cleaning your ActiveCampaign email list can improve deliverability rates, increase engagement, enhance cost-efficiency, and avoid spam traps, ensuring your email marketing efforts are more effective.

How can you clean your ActiveCampaign email list?

You can clean your list by segmenting inactive subscribers, sending re-engagement campaigns, and then removing those who remain unresponsive. Also, check for and eliminate duplicates and incorrect email addresses.

Why is it important to remove inactive subscribers?

Removing inactive subscribers helps in maintaining a high engagement rate, which positively affects deliverability and ensures that your emails reach interested recipients, ultimately preserving your sender reputation.

What role do email validation tools play in cleaning an email list?

Email validation tools automate the cleaning process, verifying the validity of email addresses, identifying and correcting issues that may result in bounces, and helping to prevent emails from triggering spam filters.

How often should you clean your ActiveCampaign email list?

It’s recommended to clean your email list regularly, but the frequency can vary depending on your sending volume and engagement rates. As a best practice, aim to review and clean your list quarterly or semi-annually.

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About me

My name is Brian Cliette; I help brands and entrepreneurs find sustainable paths to sales growth on the social internet.

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