Lock for List Cleaning FAQ


Why is my List Locked?

If you have sent to a list using ReachMail's delivery services, the List is Locked for a violation of ReachMail's Abuse Policy. If you have a List Cleaning Account, the Lock denotes a List not yet been cleaned. For both account types, running a List Cleaning will unlock the list automatically once the scan has completed and the threats addressed.

Many abuse cases unintentional but bear the same consequences regardless of intent. ReachMail endeavors to provide enough leniency, but must flag extreme cases of abuse in order to ensure the successful delivery of your messages.

ISPs send messages to spam if hard bounces are over 1%.  ReachMail flags cases above 5%. We don't expect everyone to be perfect all the time, but serious problems should be a viewed as call to action, and need to be addressed.

Please be aware, sending to a list to discover the bounces is a form of abuse often referred to as List Washing. ISPs flag this behavior as abuse, and the spam traps that do not bounce will continue to identify the email traffic and untrustworthy long after the bounces and opt outs have been removed.

Why should I to run a List Cleaning if I removed all the bounces already?

ReachMail automatically deactivates invalid addresses, opt outs, and abandoned email address bounce (mailbox full) as they occur when you send*. A List Cleaning is required because we have identified a potential delivery threat that cannot be addressed by these conventional, automated methods.*

Removing invalid addresses is only one of the many services provided by a List Cleaning.The most dangerous threats to delivery do not bounce. Spam traps (honeypots) and other types of malicious bots use subversive tactics to stay undetected in your Lists, and once collected, and may open or click, but never buy.

List Cleanings help discover invalid emails before you send, but they also ensure you don't send to bots that negatively impact conversion rates, and spam traps that get your messages sent to spam or rejected.

*Only applies to account types whose lists have been flagged in the course of email delivery through ReachMail.

My customers opted in, why does the List need to be cleaned?

You don't have to purchase a list to collect spam traps, unfortunately. Single Opt In forms are a free entry pass for malicious bots. Spam fighting networks seed their traps into open sign up forms. Adding a captcha to your subscription forms and ensuring you always use a confirmed opt in (COI) method helps mitigate these problems.

Customers often have multiple email addresses too. Old abandoned email accounts get recycled into spam traps. With recycled spam traps, it's not that you have a bad or fake customer, it's that your customer may no longer use the email address they signed up with. Many recycled spam traps were originally interested subscribers that stopped using that email address months or years ago.

Removing unresponsive recipients from your Lists on a regular basis helps mitigate this problem over time. If you're never done that before, you've likely collected at least a few spam traps. Recycled spam traps are ubiquitous enough that it is safe to say that every sender has encountered at least some of them. It is more of a matter of how many remain, and how much impact they'll have on current delivery results.

How I can unlock a List?

Running a List Cleaning will unlock the list upon completion of the scan. The Lock prevents you from sending to, or downloading the List data before the findings have been processed.

It usually take under two hours, after which the dangerous threats will be added to your Global Opt Out List. This ensures that discovered threats will be opted out from all future Lists and Campaigns in your account. When completed, a List Cleaning Report is available for review as well at Reports Tab > List Reports > List Cleaning.

What are my other Options?

The reason ReachMail locks a list is to ensure the successful delivery of future messages from your brand. A List Cleaning is offered a solution in cases of abuse* when the deactivation of your account may be the only other viable alternative.

A List is locked, often, as a precursor to the termination of the account for abuse.* In most cases your account was not terminated, but instead, alerted to the problem and offered a solution: a List Cleaning.

If you do not wish to run a List Cleaning, you are welcome to delete the List, and import a fresher set of email data. Usually, the best option is to import only the most recent 3-6 months of opt ins. Most email data problems stem from age and poor data collection/management practices.

If you did not keep the opt in date of each address, manual filtering of the data is unlikely to solve the problem at hand.

*Only applies to account types whose lists have been flagged in the course of email delivery through ReachMail.

Can I remove the opt outs and hard bounces to clean the list?

That's already been done for you and it is not enough. Cleaning a List isn't just removing the obviously bad parts. Maintaining good email hygiene starts with List Cleanings, and extends to targeting strategies, re-engagement drip-campaigns, and more. Keeping track of hot recipients with Tags and Segments and setting aside cold ones regularly is the primary goal.

Recipients often don't unsubscribe because the ISP (Google/Outlook) has been putting it in spam when they stopped opening months ago. Don't wait for old addresses to expire (Hard Bounce) or for customers to tell you they've had enough (opt out). Be proactive about boosting positive engagement to maintain good email data hygiene and avoid having a List locked in the first place.

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