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By: Todd McQuillin, VP Business Development, eHygienics

What is data cleaning and what kinds of data can be cleaned?

Data cleaning removes threats from Email marketing lists that can cause damage to domain, IP, and company reputation. Email marketing today is faced with a lot of challenges—spam fighters and protestors have infiltrated the Email marketing world in an effort to fight the war on spam. It’s a philosophical debate on whether sending bulk Email is illegal or not. As both parties (Emailers and protestors) struggle to come to either an agreement, or one side wins over the other, Emailers today can face fines or worse—have their networks blocked by spam advisories. Gone are the days of set it and forget it. Mailers have to clean their lists, monitor their inbox, and keep up with complaints. Our philosophy is, “Be open and responsible for your mail.”

eHygienics targets and cleans B2B and B2C lists. B2B (business to business) lists contain Email addresses that target small, medium, to large companies. Clients will use these Email addresses to send advertisements, political statements, or certain endorsements for products and services. B2C (business to consumer) lists are similar, but instead, the Email messages, advertisements, or endorsements are targeted to the end consumer.

Why is data cleaning important?

Plain and simple, data cleaning is important because even one complaint or trap can mean a total system melt down. If you can protect your Email operation from even one trap, why wouldn’t you?

Email addresses are constantly changing. The average length a person keeps an email is around two years due to spam, a job change, or other reasons. Legacy emails (AOL, Hotmail) tend to be hidden from data miners due to temporary Email address sites one can use to fill out forms, thus, those temporary emails need to be removed. Soft bounces occur when a mailbox is full or when an ISP decides to send false positives if they feel threatened by high volume mail. Hard bounces can easily be false positives as well because webmasters can set their server to send back hard bounces when in fact, the Email is alive and well. Complainers can lead to spam advisory actions or harsh consequences as well. There are also nearly a thousand spam advisories setting traps worldwide. Each advisory changes their domains and IPs frequently, so you can’t find the threats programmatically.

As a general rule, Email marketers clean their own lists, however they do not have the time to concentrate on fixing every issue that arises. Our staff focuses on uncovering list threats 24/7. Emailers spend an inordinate amount of time and money setting up servers, IPs, domains and creative, so list hygiene needs to be handled by professionals who eat, drink, and sleep Email cleaning.

Our customer support team handles support calls and emails 24/7 to clean your lists or find threats that are causing harm without fail.

When you get your data what can you expect to get back and what does it all mean?

We are very transparent. Once the file has been cleaned, we provide our clients with a cleaned file and all perceivable threats separated into their own category:

  • Clean File—this file is ready for mailing.
  • Bounces—every verified bounce we found and removed.
  • Protestors—people who complain directly to the ESP/ISP
  • Domain Blacklist—matched and removed against threat domains
  • Syntax Errors—bad characters that hinder an email from being sent properly
  • MX/A Records Verification—system checks against the Email authentication
  • Domain Botclickers—malicious servers that ruin affiliate CPC marketing reports
  • Foreign Emails—removes selected targeted countries
  • Threat Strings—strings inside an email that hinder authenticity
  • Threat Endings—government, advisory universities or other threats
  • Departmentalized Emails—B2B emails that are not personal i.e. info@ or webmaster@
  • Legacy Opt Out—unsubscribers dating back to 1999
  • Traps—spam advisories
  • PDF Report

How fast is your system?

In some cases, fast is important, but not at the expense of accuracy. We have upgraded our servers and systems to handle more volume and return data sets faster than ever before with accurate reporting. We can, or you can clean 10 million records in an hour. There are two different ways you can get your files cleaned—upload your files by yourself online, or upload the file via FTP and we will scrub for you 24/7.

Where do you see data cleaning going?

Email marketing isn’t slowing down, so we see tremendous opportunity to grow globally. With the emergence in foreign markets we see prime opportunities to educate and help global companies better understand the benefits of data hygiene.

Although list hygiene is a relatively new concept, there are only a couple of companies doing it at our level. There are other companies coming out of the woodwork with email verification or advisory removal, but none like eHygienics that have the industry experience and database of known threats. We do not mail or sell data; your data is safe with us. Our hundreds of residual clients who continue to scrub through us and our API are proof of this.


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3 thoughts on “eHygienics VP of Business Development Todd McQuillin Discusses Email List Cleaning

  1. I will immediately take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognise in order that I could subscribe.

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  3. eHygienics works from the premise that all e-mail addresses in a bulk e-mail database are automatically “opted-in”, just because the bulk e-mailer possesses them; and promises to “clean” those lists of undesirable e-mail addresses. Which is exactly backwards from the good practice of confirming opt-in requests.

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