The ghouls roaming the earth at Halloween are like Casper the friendly ghost compared to the terrors lurking in your email database. These demons will slaughter your email marketing program faster than you can yell “Trick or Treat!”
Why? Because bad email addresses are like vampires. They suck the lifeblood out of your marketing program (time, money, and resources) as you scramble to find and fix them.
They’ll land you in the email marketing graveyard faster than trick-or-treaters run away from the house down the street handing out carrots. Mail to them and you’ll likely be:
- Blocked and/or blacklisted;
- Severed from your ESP; and
- Unable to send email at all.
What’s Haunting Your Email Database
If you could peel back the top of your database, you’d see specters like these hiding inside:
Mistyped, malformed, truncated or nonsense addresses:
These are the devils you know, like the address in which:
- Someone spelled the domain wrong (ALO instead of AOL),
- Forgot the “@” symbol or typed “.com” instead of “.edu.”
- Gave you “firstname.lastname@example.org” because they wanted a freebie, not your emails.
Deliverable but worthless addresses:
These are the devils you don’t know. They’re more dangerous because they can slip past your validation checkpoints:
- Mistyped addresses that are still deliverable,
- Disposable email addresses,
- Role accounts (“info@” or, worse, “abuse@”) and
- Abandoned addresses that blacklist monitors have recycled into spam traps.
4 Tips to Keep the Ghouls Out of Your Database
Are you spooked yet? Relax. These 4 suggestions will work better than a garlic necklace to keep worthless addresses out of your database:
- Analyze your collection process
Map out where and how all email addresses enter your data warehouse. From there, pinpoint bounce rates for each input point. Once you’ve identified your weak points, you can start taking steps to strengthen your collection process!
- Add address validation at opt-in
A good email validation and hygiene service can detect and deflect bad addresses at the point of entry. There’s no better way to keep the zombies out of your database! Do your homework and choose wisely!
- Focus on quality, not quantity
You’re not scavenging for Halloween candy! When it comes to capturing email addresses, less is more! Be crystal clear about what you deliver to subscribers. This way, you’ll attract more engaged subscribers who sign up with their real addresses, NOT the bogus stuff mentioned above.
Confirm every email address you collect. Ideally, by a promptly deployed email message. Getting an opt-in click on this confirmation email is the holy grail for email marketers.
Keith Reinhardt, Marketing Manager | FreshAddress