Quick Tip: What to do with Cleaned Contacts in Mailchimp
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In this quick blog post, I want to discuss “cleaned contacts” in Mailchimp with you.
So firstly, What does it mean when an email is shown as being ‘cleaned’ in Mailchimp?
In short, when an email is marked as “cleaned” in Mailchimp, it means that Mailchimp has tried to deliver an email on your behalf to that address but the email failed to deliver – and so to stop you trying to send another email to this address, it marks it as cleaned.
This is because sending emails to invalid or undeliverable email addresses repeatedly can harm Mailchimp’s ability to send emails and it’s reputation – so it wants to ensure that you don’t do this.
It could be the email didn’t exist – known as a hard bounce. ,A hard bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered to the intended address for permanent reasons, such as an incorrect or fake email address, an unregistered email domain, or a server rejecting the email due to a security filter.
Or it could be that the email failed to deliver after multiple tried (a soft bounce), which could happen because the mailbox was full.
Simply put, cleaned contacts are email addresses that have been flagged by Mailchimp’s email delivery system as invalid or undeliverable, and so to maintain a good email reputation, Mailchimp will not allow you to send emails to addresses that have been cleaned.
So what do you do with Cleaned email addresses?
Assuming that the email address is truly invalid, then you don’t actually need to do anything with cleaned addresses.
- Mailchimp doesn’t charge you for them.
- You can’t send an email to them – Mailchimp just keeps them marked as cleaned on your system so you know you can’t use the email.
- If the email is truly “dead”, then you need not do anything – just ignore them and move on to the ones which are alive.
There’s no need to archive them, or in fact do anything with them.
What to do if an email shows as Cleaned but you know it’s actually alive and real.
Occasionally, you may find an email address is marked as cleaned, but you know it’s real.
If this is the case you can’t go in and change it’s status directly in your database (which would defeat the object from Mailchimp’s point of view).
The only way you can change a clean email address to live is to resubmit it through a Mailchimp form – as this is likely done by the recipient, Mailchimp will then know it’s real and turn it back into a valid and usable email address.
But the key thing is that unless you’ve got a really good reason, don’t worry about cleaned addresses. They don’t cost you anything and they’re there just so you don’t try and send an email to them.
If you want someone to help you with your Mailchimp account, whether it's setting it up, reviving it or just keeping it ticking over, don't be shy.
Cheesy as it sounds, Liz is the biz when it comes to Marketing. She's worked in Marketing for around 20 years when she went to uni and studied Multimedia Technology…That's where her love affair for all things Marketing began. Since then she has worked for household names such as Wickes, The Rank Group, Nuffield Health, Snappy Snaps and Marriot. Not to mention a great variety of B2B and B2c businesses and agencies.
Here at Chimp Answers she deals with all things Marketing focusing on the Content and Copywriting side of things such as Blog posts, Emails and landing pages. Liz is Certified in Direct-Response Copywriting, Google Digital Marketing Fundamentals,Hubspot Inbound Marketing,Hubspot Social Media and of course, Mailchimp Foundations.
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