How to Clean Your Email List with Clearout

Illustration by Mary Delaney Illustration of a person sweeping

If you want to maintain good engagement rates on your email list, you need to clean your list regularly. This might sound like a tedious task, but it’s a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy email list and being a good email sender.

Luckily, there are a number of tools out there that can help you with this. One of which (and our list cleaner of choice!), is

In this guide, I will show you:

By the end of this article, you will understand the importance of keeping a clean list, and how to do so using Clearout.

The importance of having a clean email list

There are several reasons to maintain a clean email list:

1. Improved open rates and click rates

Did you know that 20-30% of email addresses decay within one year, and email marketing databases decay by roughly 22.5% every year? This is part of why it’s so important to have a consistent email marketing strategy for bringing in new people. Failing to do so won’t just cause stagnation; the number of engaged audience members on your list will actually shrink.

Email list cleaners remove invalid email addresses and subscribers who don’t regularly interact with your content. This leaves only the people who are most engaged with your emails, keeping your list in good health despite the passage of time.

2. Reduced bounce rate

The elimination of invalid email addresses also reduces your bounce rate. This is important because a high bounce rate increases the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.

Many email marketing providers, including MailPoet, also have automated protocols to identify “trouble senders”. These protocols detect when your bounce rate hits a certain threshold, such as 5%, and lock you out of your account. If this happens, you may not be able to recover your list.

3. Reduced likelihood of being marked as spam

Think about your own inbox. How many times have you signed up for a newsletter and forgotten about it? How often do you find yourself deleting old subscriptions because you can’t remember why or when you signed up in the first place? Have you marked any of these emails as spam?

The reality is that we all have crowded inboxes and too many tasks on our plates. A person who signed up for your list a year ago might not remember signing up anymore and mark your email as spam. This increases your chances of emails getting caught in spam filters with audience members who are eager to hear from you. Cleaning your list is one of many ways to avoid having emails marked as spam.

4. Financial savings

Most email service providers base the cost of an account on the number of subscribers a person has. If you don’t clean your list regularly, you might find yourself paying a premium to keep emails of people who have no interest in your brand.

5. Improved reporting

Inactive subscribers and spam email addresses skew the results of your email marketing campaigns. This can make it difficult to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

When to clean your email list

Cleaning your email list should be a regular activity. Most email service providers recommend cleaning your email list every six months. If you are sending emails on a weekly or daily basis you may want to increase the frequency.

You should also clean your email list if you notice any of the following problems:

  • A steady decline in interactions with your campaigns
  • An increase in spam complaints
  • An unusual number of unsubscribes

You can clean your list manually, but we recommend using an email list cleaner like Clearout to ensure that every inactive email is removed.

Why Clearout is the best tool for the job

Clearout is the email list cleaner used and recommended by MailPoet for a few reasons:

1. Free cleaning for small lists

Small businesses, defined here as those with fewer than 100 subscribers, can use Clearout entirely for free. 

2. Ease of use

Clearout offers integration with numerous email marketing services. This makes it possible to test your list in just a few clicks.

3. Speed

Clearout’s protocols search your list efficiently, cleaning most lists within 10-15 minutes. 

How to use Clearout

Clearout homepage

Getting started

You must create an account with Clearout in order to use their list testing and cleaning tools. Go to the Clearout home page and click on the “Get 100 free credits – try it now” button. 

You’ll then be prompted to enter your name, the email address you wish to use, and the phone number you want to connect to the account. Generally, this will be the “Sender” account connected to your MailPoet account. Please note that you must use a professional email address (i.e.

Clearout sign up page

Upon entering this information, you will be sent an email with a link to create a password for your account. Select a password and then log into your new account.

Cleaning your list

When you log into Clearout, you’ll be taken to the dashboard. This is where you will be able to see statistics related to your usage of Clearout. To run your first test, click the “Click here to Add List” link in the center of the dashboard.

Clearout list upload screen

This will give you the opportunity to choose how Clearout connects with your list. You can choose to upload a spreadsheet or to connect Clearout to your email marketing service.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to choose “Upload”. You can then drag and drop the appropriate file into the appropriate box or click on the link to browse your computer.

Clearout's file upload screen

When the list has successfully updated, click on the “Go To My Lists” link. This will take you to a page where you can see some basic statistics about your list.

At this point, you will only be able to view the total number of subscribers. Click the orange “Verify” button to run a full analysis on your list.

Clearout list analysis screen

Your list will automatically be queued and Clearout will start its analysis within a few minutes. You can watch this process in real time, gaining access to the stats as Clearout discovers them.

Clearout list cleaning result screen

Return to Clearout 10-15 minutes later to see a breakdown of the results and download your new, cleaned list.

Clearout list cleaning results screen

Clearout pricing

Clearout offers two main ways to pay:

Pay as you go. You can make a one-time bulk purchase of credits. Credits start at $0.0050USD ($25 for 5,000) and become more affordable when you make larger purchases. 

Subscription. You can also choose to create a monthly or annual subscription. Monthly subscriptions start at $20/month, which nets you 5,000 credits. Annual subscriptions start at $210/year for 60,000 credits.

Final thoughts on cleaning your list with Clearout

Cleaning your list is an easy way to boost engagement, reduce your bounce rates, and reduce spam complaints associated with your list. You can do this affordably and quickly by using the Clearout tool. 

For more tips on how to be a great sender, we recommend checking out this article.