Contacts database hygienization

Find out what hygienization is, how to carry it out and how to engage inactive contacts!

Wioleta Jednaka avatar
Written by Wioleta Jednaka
Updated over a week ago

The size of your contacts database is a so-called "vanity metric" – it's nice to have a big number, but it has no substance by itself. What really matters is what percentage of that database is actually being engaged by your messages.

For example, let's say Company A has a database of 100.000 contacts with a 5% Open Rate, while Company B has a database of 25.000 contacts with a 20% Open Rate. Both companies have the same number of people reading their messages, but Company B's communications are much more effective since they aren't wasting time, effort, and money trying to engage clients who are simply ignoring their messages – or worse, who aren't even seeing them because these messages go straight to the Spam folder.

It's worth mentioning that Open Rates are an important factor in your deliverability rates, so if you want to avoid your subscribers' Spam folders, keep your contacts database clean.

What is the "hygienization of the contact database" in edrone?

This means filtering out from the subscriber base users who have been inactive for a given period of time - for example, email addresses that have not reacted (opened or clicked) to any message from you for half a year or more. We change the status of the ready list of those "inactive" to unknown in the system. This allows us to keep in the subscriber base only those users who actually respond to newsletters and automation, i.e. they de facto want to receive messages from us.

How often should the hygienization process be carried out?

We encourage you to regularly hygienize your subscriber base, e.g. every six months. See how you can keep your contact database clean!

How do export contacts that have been inactive for 6 months?

1. Click on SETTINGS

Click on  SETTINGS

2. Click on EXPORT

Click on EXPORT

3. Select from the available list HYGIENIZATION OF CUSTOMERS


The CSV file will be automatically downloaded.

This spreadsheet will include all customers who have been subscribed to your newsletter (no SMS or Push subscribers) for at least 6 consecutive months AND have not opened at least one of your emails in the last 6 months.

Import with status overwrite

Re-import this customer base BUT change their subscription status to unknown! As a result, these customers will continue to receive automated messages from you, but not newsletters!

How to import? CLICK HERE

In the case of this import, it is worth adding a tag to this group of recipients, e.g.: hygienization_2023 - it will be a useful solution to send a last-ditch message!

Read on to find out about last-ditch news.

How do export contacts that have been inactive for 12 months?

If you'd like to have more control over the parameters of which contacts will be removed from your active subscribers list – for example, you might want to filter out subscribers who haven't opened your messages over the past 3 months instead of 6 –, you can do this manually.

You will also start from the SETTINGS > EXPORT section, but now you should choose ALL CUSTOMERS from the drop-down menu. Click EXPORT to download the CSV file.

Open the CSV file using your favorite spreadsheet editor, making sure that you choose the following settings:

  • Character set = Unicode (UTF-8)

  • Separated by = semicolon + comma

  • Text delimiter = ' (apostrophe)

This is what it looks like in OpenOffice:

After opening the document, you will need to filter your database. This filter will combine values from two columns: LastEmailEventOpenDate (column T) and SubscriptionStatus (column Q).

Below is a step-by-step using Open Office – you might use a different software, but the general process is the same: we want to get contacts with SubscriptionStatus = Subscribed and LastEmailEventOpenDate < [chosen date].

In Open Office:

  1. Select the entire spreadsheet by clicking on the top left corner;

  2. Go to Data > Filter > Standard filter;

  3. On the first filter criteria, select:

    1. Field name: Column T

    2. Condition: =

    3. Value: Subscribed

  4. On the second filter criteria, select:

    1. Operator: AND

    2. Field name: Column Q

    3. Condition: < (less than)

    4. Value: Select a date from the drop-down menu. Your selection will show all clients that haven't opened one of your emails since this date.

NOTE: If you want, you can filter even further and add another filter criteria based on the last time your contacts clicked on one of your emails. To do this, repeat step 4 above, but instead of column Q, select column R (LastEmailEventClickDate).

You will now have a complete list of all contacts that meet your customized criteria. Now comes a very important step: make sure to copy all of this into a new spreadsheet and save it as a CSV file. This will make sure you don't lose any of your work and upload only the right contacts into your edrone system as we showed above.

Did you know that you can save some customers who are in the hygienization base?

Use the last-ditch message! This is your chance to activate those inactive users! In this case, you should prepare a message (you can use the email templates we have prepared) in which you will give this customer a chance to return to your subscriber base!

Such a message should be sent to the previously imported customer database whose subscription status has been changed to unknown. In the message add button whose action type is subscription. Thanks to this, there is a chance that someone will become active and come back!

How does it work in practice? Users who click the "I want to remain a subscriber" button will automatically change their subscription status to saved.

Remember that in this case a message with a discount code from the Newsletter Subscription scenario will not be sent.

Need more help?

If you have any further questions about contacts database hygienization, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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