- Lost revenues: For every invalid registration you accept, you lose profits you would have made.
- Dissatisfied customers/prospects: When visitors to your Web site enter a typo, it is typically unintentional. However, when they don’t receive the newsletter or offer they signed up for, you are blamed.
- Wasted marketing dollars: Sending e-mails to undeliverable addresses is wasting your deployment budget.
- ISP blacklisting: Every repeatedly bouncing e-mail address on your list drives down the quality of the list, which ISPs notice. You run the risk of being labeled a “spammer” and jeopardize your future ability to get your messages into your customers’ inboxes.
Inactive e-mail addresses sitting latent in your list. Even a good, deliverable e-mail address for your customer isn’t guaranteed to work forever. Those of you from the postal world know that customers move, and you need to work hard to maintain their updated street addresses. The same is true of e-mail addresses. People change e-mail addresses for many reasons—they switch jobs, retire, graduate, change ISPs, open secondary accounts, try to avoid spam, etc. In fact, studies show you probably will see a 2 percent to 3 percent natural reduction in the size of your working list every month. That’s 30 percent or more per year!
Don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s only the bad e-mail addresses (i.e., bounces) on your list that are a problem. You also must identify the inactive addresses. Here’s why:
- Often, when a person changes his e-mail address, he abandons his old account. This means that for many months the account still receives e-mail, but nothing is read. You only see it begin to bounce when the ISP does an account cleanup, which could be six months or more later.
- Some bogus e-mail addresses are actually deliverable because the domains (e.g., “asdf.com”) are overwhelmed by incoming e-mail, and rather than laboriously bounce it all back, the managers simply delete the incoming messages.
- Some e-mail addresses on your list may be spam traps. Spam traps are seemingly legitimate e-mail addresses that are not actually used by any individuals. Instead, they are created by ISPs for the sole purpose of catching unsolicited incoming bulk mail and blacklisting the sender.
How do spam traps get on your list? They can result from reckless e-mail acquisition practices, including questionable e-mail list rentals/purchases or e-mail scraping/harvesting off the Internet. Spam traps are sometimes maliciously registered by a vigilante or perhaps a competitor. And spam traps can be old e-mail addresses, even former e-mail addresses of your customers, recycled by ISPs.