ReachMail Piece by Piece: List Sweeper

Welcome to the second edition of ReachMail Piece by Piece. If you missed the first installment click here to take a look back (it’s a handy tip about generating follow-up lists for your campaigns).

This week we’re going to talk about List Sweeper. This topic always brings up some best-practices questions so I’ll try to answer some of those today.

A common question the support staff gets is “How do I remove opt-outs or hard bounces from a list?”

Before we get to the answer, a little background on hard bounces and opt-outs. Hard bounces and opt-outs are the inactive records in the list. Either the users have made themselves inactive (opt-out) or the address was determined to be invalid (hard bounce). For the more detailed description of hard bounces, soft bounces, opt-outs and how ReachMail handles them please read this post.

So, to get back to the original question about how to remove hard bounces and opt-outs from a list my answer is usually this: Why do you want to remove them?

I know it’s not polite to answer a question with a question but in this case I think it’s useful to discuss exactly what goal we’re trying to accomplish by culling these records from the list.

As an aside, keep in mind that inactive records are NOT delivered and therefore have no bearing on the volume which is used to calculate your bill.

We always encourage people to leave the inactive records in the list because they provide valuable historical records. When you upload new records to a list the uploaded records are automatically checked against the existing list, any hard bounces and opt-outs will not be added to the list. If the inactive records had been removed that history is lost and any hard-bounces would have to run through the entire bounce process again before they would be marked as inactive.

That said, if you do want to clean your list of any or all inactive records, there’s a tool for that. It’s called List Sweeper and you can find it in the Action menu of any list. Just select List Sweeper, choose what type of inactive records you would like to remove and click the Sweep List button.

If you have any questions or if you’re wondering if List Sweeper is right for you, feel free to contact me a

Next in Piece by Piece: Controlling User Access

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