Email: From Hotmale.com to Honeypots
- Closed domains (...@mediaone.net)
- Bad domains (...@test.com)
- Bad handles (nobody@...)
- Bogus and malicious email addresses (abuse@...)
- Common typos with corrections (..@hotmial.com vs. ...@hotmail.com)
Technology can correct problems that no amount of special offers can. But don't count on your tech team to handle this for you. Have them focus on the areas where their experience and expertise lie, and leave your email address hygiene and correction needs to providers who specialize in this field.
7. Do Not Ignore Offline Collection Methods
Ask for email addresses at every touchpoint possible: through your call and customer service centers, in your stores, at your kiosks, in your newsletters and at marketing events. On the phone, encourage client service reps to repeat the email address back to callers to make sure the spelling is right. To collect email addresses correctly on paper, make sure you've allowed sufficient space to enter an entire address.
If you're looking to incentivize email address collection, be sure to reward only addresses that prove to be deliverable; not simply any email address entered or scribbled onto a card. And be sure to review and correct these entries prior to entering them into your online database. Error rates for call entry, in-store collection and paper methods can exceed 20 percent, which will surely result in blocking or blacklisting issues if not prevented.
Survey Says ...
At FreshAddress, we conduct a study of the email registration practices of the 50 leading online retailers every two years. In our 2010 study, we attempted to register 14 different incorrect email addresses on the websites of these e-tailers. Unfortunately, 64 percent of the basic invalid email addresses were accepted by the websites as "ready to mail." Some email address errors we tested included:
- Syntax errors: mrstacook_cna@yahoolcom;
- Misspelling: email@example.com;
- Transposed characters: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Missing characters: email@example.com;
- Extra characters: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Bogus: NONE@GMAIL.COM;
- Disposable domains: temporarybut email@example.com;
- Malicious: abuse@bankof america.com.
Typical Email Entry Error Rates
Inaccurate or bogus email addresses are typed 2 percent to more than 20 percent of the time. Plenty of bad email addresses are still deliverable. For example, disposable domains, many closed domains, spamtrap and honeypot addresses—email addresses set up to simply attract and trap spam—will all appear to be legitimate email addresses. Thus, you can't just judge list performance by your bounce rate from your first mailing.