Keeping an email list clean and free of invalid emails is a common concern for marketers and business owners.

No one wants to pay for email subscribers with an inactive email address or to deal with deliverability issues like hard bounces.

That’s why Mailchimp embeds a feature called Cleaned Contacts. This Cleaned Contacts feature addresses email addresses that are considered invalid due to hard or soft bounces.

What should Mailchimp customers know about the “cleaned contacts” feature? Here are a few things to be aware of for Mailchimp’s Cleaned Contacts.

Re-Engage With Nonfrequent Contacts

Cleaning your audience in Mailchimp is vital. We tend to look at 2 key areas; firstly by cleaning the deadwood, which simply means if someone hasn’t engaged with your emails for x months or x emails, then you archive them from your audience. The next step is to re-engage with people who do open your emails, but not that frequently; you want to try to entice them back in with incentives and discounts.

Doug Dennison, MailNinja

Misspelling Errors

Mailchimp users should first know what a “cleaned contact” is! These contacts are those who have either hard bounced or soft bounced multiple times. In most cases, a hard bounce is due to you misspelling someone’s email address, so be sure to double-check to make sure you aren’t missing out on key potential customers.

John Yardley, Threads

Automatic Removal of “Hard Bounces”

The most important thing to know about the cleaned contacts feature is that Mailchimp will automatically remove addresses that hard bounce. This means that these addresses cannot receive any of your future emails. Always double-check these contacts to see why they might have hard bounced and see what you can do to fix it.

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case

It Does Not Count Towards Your Mailchimp Plan

Cleaned contacts do not count toward the price of your Mailchimp plan. Platforms like Mailchimp often charge customers based on the number of contacts they have in their account. Fortunately, Mailchimp does not count cleaned, archived, or deleted contacts against the account. 

Kelly Bracewell, Interior By Design

Don’t Worry About It

Mailchimp is designed to make the lives of small business owners easier. Cleaned Contacts is one of those built-in features that help protect the deliverability of a sender, and reduces the amount of time a marketer needs to spend seeking and removing invalid email addresses. My advice is not to worry about cleaning contacts, as Mailchimp does a good job of doing it for you. With that said, it is a good idea to periodically review inactive subscribers on a quarterly basis. Designing an engagement campaign for the inactive can help ensure subscribers still want to receive your email and can help reduce the subscription costs by reducing non-value add subscribers.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

They’re Affecting Your Send Rating

Cleaned contacts are emails that have either bounced or are unsendable. That means these lists are most likely hurting your send rating if you try to contact them. Having these emails cleaned means that your email list will be more interactive and up to date. Regularly cleaning your email list makes it easy to see how active your email list is!

Loren Howard, Prime Plus Mortgages

Automatic Removal of Too Many “Soft Bounces”

Mailchimp can clean contacts that have received too many “soft bounces.” These are out-of-office replies, full mailboxes, or other server issues that may be temporary if it only bounces once, but if it keeps bouncing, then it’s cleaned. It may behove you to peruse these emails to make sure that they were entered correctly with no typos. If it is someone you know, you may want to contact them in another way to see if you have got their correct email. Also, if you notice that many have the same carrier like “”. That’s a problem with the carrier. Let MailChimp know and they can contact them to fix the issue.

Giselle Aguiar, Digital Marketing Strategist and Consultant