Mailchimp Should I Delete Cleaned Contacts

If you’re a Mailchimp user, you might have come across the term “cleaned contacts” and wondered whether or not it’s necessary to delete them. So, should you delete cleaned contacts in Mailchimp? The short answer is no. While it may be tempting to remove these contacts from your list, they actually serve an important purpose in maintaining the health and deliverability of your email campaigns.

When Mailchimp identifies an email as “cleaned,” it means that the address has been temporarily or permanently bounced back due to being undeliverable. This could be because the recipient’s mailbox is full, the address doesn’t exist anymore, or other technical issues preventing successful delivery. Rather than deleting these cleaned contacts outright, Mailchimp automatically excludes them from future sends to prevent any negative impact on your sender reputation.

By keeping cleaned contacts in your list, you can avoid sending emails repeatedly to addresses that are unlikely to receive them. Additionally, this allows Mailchimp’s system to identify patterns and flag potential issues with specific domains or ISPs. It also helps maintain compliance with anti-spam regulations by reducing unnecessary email traffic.

In conclusion, while it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, retaining cleaned contacts in Mailchimp is a recommended practice for better email deliverability and maintaining a healthy contact list overall.

What are cleaned contacts in Mailchimp?

In Mailchimp, cleaned contacts refer to email addresses that have been deemed undeliverable or bounced back by the recipient’s server. When an email is marked as “cleaned,” it means there was a permanent issue with delivering the message.

Here are some key points to understand about cleaned contacts:

  1. Bounced Emails: A bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered successfully due to reasons such as invalid addresses, full mailboxes, or server issues.
  2. Soft Bounces vs Hard Bounces: Soft bounces are temporary delivery failures caused by factors like a recipient’s mailbox being full or their server being temporarily down. On the other hand, hard bounces indicate permanent failures due to non-existent or blocked email addresses.
  3. Automatic Cleaning: Mailchimp automatically cleans your contact list by marking emails that have hard bounced as “cleaned.” This helps maintain a high-quality and engaged subscriber base.
  4. Manage Contacts: In your Mailchimp account, you can access and manage your cleaned contacts through various options:
    • Viewing Cleaned Contacts: You can view and filter out cleaned contacts from your audience dashboard using segmenting tools.
    • Deleting Cleaned Contacts: While it isn’t necessary to delete them immediately, regularly reviewing and removing cleaned contacts ensures better deliverability rates in future campaigns.
  5. Deliverability Optimization: Keeping your contact list clean is crucial for maintaining good sender reputation and maximizing deliverability rates. By regularly cleaning up bounced emails, you improve the chances of reaching active subscribers who are genuinely interested in your content.

It’s important to note that while cleaning up your contact list is beneficial, be cautious when deleting any contacts without considering their potential value or engagement history.

By understanding what cleaned contacts are in Mailchimp and effectively managing them, you can enhance the overall performance of your email marketing campaigns and ensure better deliverability for genuine subscribers.

Why should I consider deleting cleaned contacts?

When it comes to managing your email marketing lists, you may wonder if it’s necessary to delete cleaned contacts from Mailchimp. While the idea of removing contacts might seem counterintuitive, there are several reasons why it can be beneficial for your email campaign performance and overall list health. Here’s why you should consider deleting cleaned contacts:

  1. Maintain deliverability: Keeping a clean and engaged subscriber list is crucial for maintaining high deliverability rates. When you remove cleaned contacts from your list, you ensure that only active and interested subscribers receive your emails. This helps prevent bounces, spam complaints, and other issues that can negatively impact deliverability.

  2. Improve engagement metrics: Cleaned contacts typically represent subscribers who have shown prolonged inactivity or haven’t interacted with your emails over an extended period. By removing these unengaged users from your list, you improve key engagement metrics like open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and conversion rates. This allows you to focus on the audience that is genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

  3. Save costs: If you’re on a pricing plan that charges based on the number of subscribers or sends per month, removing cleaned contacts can help save costs by reducing unnecessary expenses associated with inactive or unresponsive subscribers.

  4. Enhance segmentation accuracy: Segmenting your email lists based on customer preferences and behavior allows for more targeted communication strategies. By eliminating those who are no longer engaging with your emails through cleaning deleted contacts regularly, segmenting becomes more accurate since it focuses solely on active subscribers who align with specific criteria.

  5. Maintain data hygiene: Regularly cleaning out cleaned contact records helps maintain good data hygiene by keeping inaccurate or outdated information at bay. It ensures that valuable resources aren’t wasted targeting wrong addresses or non-existent recipients while preserving the quality of data stored within Mailchimp.

In conclusion, deleting cleaned contacts from Mailchimp can help improve deliverability rates, boost engagement metrics, save costs, enhance segmentation accuracy, and maintain good data hygiene. By focusing on an active and interested subscriber base, you maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns while optimizing your resources.

How to Delete Cleaned Contacts in Mailchimp

To maintain a clean and efficient contact list, it’s important to regularly remove cleaned contacts from your Mailchimp account. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to delete cleaned contacts:

  1. Login to Your Mailchimp Account: Access your Mailchimp dashboard by entering your login credentials.

  2. Navigate to the Audience Tab: Once you’re logged in, click on the “Audience” tab located at the top of the page.

  3. Select Your Audience: Choose the audience that contains the cleaned contacts you want to delete from the drop-down menu.

  4. Click on View Contacts: Within your selected audience, click on “View Contacts” located under its name.

  5. Filter for Cleaned Contacts: On the right-hand side of the screen, locate and click on “New Segment.”

  6. Create a Segment for Cleaned Contacts: In this section, set up a segment that filters for cleaned contacts specifically using criteria such as “Cleaned Status is ‘cleaned’.”

  7. Apply Segment Filter Once you’ve defined your segment criteria, click on “Preview Segment.” This will show you all the cleaned contacts that match those criteria.

  8. Delete Cleaned Contacts: To permanently remove these contacts from your list, select all or specific individuals by checking their boxes next to their names and then choose “Delete” from either bulk actions or individual options.

  9. Confirm Deletion: A pop-up window will appear asking if you are sure about deleting these contacts; select “Confirm” if you wish to proceed with deletion.

  10. Congratulations! You have successfully deleted cleaned contacts from your Mailchimp account!

By regularly removing cleaned contacts from your database, you can ensure better email deliverability rates and maintain an engaged and active subscriber base within Mailchimp.


In conclusion, when it comes to the question of whether or not you should delete cleaned contacts in Mailchimp, the answer is a resounding yes. Deleting cleaned contacts from your email list is crucial for maintaining a healthy and engaged audience.

By regularly removing cleaned contacts, you ensure that your email campaigns are reaching those who truly want to hear from you. This improves the overall quality of your list and increases the likelihood of higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Moreover, deleting cleaned contacts helps you maintain good sender reputation and avoid potential deliverability issues. When you have a clean list with active subscribers, ISPs are more likely to view your emails as legitimate and trustworthy.

While it may seem counterintuitive to delete contacts from your list, especially if they were once engaged with your content, it’s important to remember that keeping inactive or unengaged subscribers can actually harm your email marketing efforts in the long run. So take control of your email list hygiene by regularly deleting those cleaned contacts – it’s an essential step towards achieving successful email marketing campaigns in Mailchimp.

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