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Cleaning Up Hubspot Contact Lists: Avoid Domain Penalization

A well-maintained and optimized contact list is essential for effective email marketing. Hubspot charges per contact you create, so it's important to invest in relevant contacts. In this article, we explain how to clean up your contact lists, protect your domain from spam penalization, and comply with GDPR legislation.


Step 1: Identify inactive and non-relevant contacts

Start by analyzing your contact lists to identify inactive and non-relevant contacts. Keep in mind:

  1. Inactive email addresses: Look at the open and click rates of your emails to determine which contacts are no longer engaged.
  2. Bounces: Emails returned as undeliverable indicate invalid email addresses.
  3. Duplicate contacts: Make sure your contact list does not contain duplicates.
  4. Irrelevant segments: Remove contacts that are not within your target audience.



Step 2: Delete or archive inactive and non-relevant contacts

After identifying inactive and non-relevant contacts, delete or archive them in Hubspot. Note that deleting contacts is permanent, while archiving contacts ensures that they do not count toward your subscription and you can restore them later.


Step 3: Ensure double opt-in

To comply with GDPR laws and prevent your domain from being penalized, you should enable double opt-in for new contacts. This means contacts must confirm their email address before being added to your list, reducing the chance of spam complaints and invalid email addresses.

Step 4: Keep your lists clean

Perform regular audits to ensure the quality of your contact lists. This includes cleaning up inactive contacts and updating the information of active contacts. Also, make sure your email campaigns are relevant and captivating to keep recipients engaged.

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Step 5: Monitor email deliverability

Monitor your email deliverability to spot problems early. Use tools such as Google Postmaster Tools and Sender Score to gain insight into your delivery performance and see if there are any issues with your domain reputation.

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Step 6: Use smart segmentation

By segmenting your contacts based on behavior, interests and demographics, you can create targeted and relevant email campaigns. Smart segmentation ensures that your contacts receive only emails that are interesting to them, which increases engagement and satisfaction.

Step 7: Implement email verification

Consider using email verification services, such as ZeroBounce, BriteVerify or NeverBounce, to check your contact lists for invalid and inactive email addresses. These services can help you clean up your lists and ensure the quality of your contacts.

Step 8: Make use of Hubspot workflows

Hubspot workflows can help you automate the management of your contact lists. For example, create a workflow that marks contacts that haven't interacted with your emails in the past six months. Then you can automatically delete or archive these contacts.

Step 9: Train your team

Make sure your team is aware of the importance of maintaining a clean and relevant contact list. Train your team in the proper use of Hubspot and GDPR legislation so that everyone contributes to optimizing your email marketing efforts.

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Step 10: Create a maintenance plan

Create a plan for regularly maintaining your contact lists. This plan should include the frequency with which you check your lists and perform cleanup tasks. A consistent maintenance plan will ensure that your lists are always up-to-date and relevant.

By following these steps, you will ensure that your contact lists in Hubspot remain clean, relevant and effective. This will not only help keep costs in check, but also improve the quality of your email marketing campaigns and comply with GDPR laws.


Maintaining a clean and relevant contact list is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaigns. By cleaning up inactive and non-relevant contacts, protecting your domain from spam penalisations and complying with GDPR laws, you will notice that your email marketing efforts become more effective and achieve a better ROI. Plus, it helps you stay within your Hubspot subscription limits and avoid unnecessary costs.

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