Don’t Let Your Email Campaigns Be a Victim of Disposable Email Addresses
Some are happy to have it, while for others it’s complete aggravation! Everyone has a different opinion towards disposable email addresses depending on who is using it and for what. For a consumer, it is a way to fight-back spams and bad opt-in protocols, for developers it is a good tool to carry out multiple tests on software before releasing it but for the marketers, it is a threat to their sender reputation.
Disposable email, also known as throwaway email, free email, temporary email, or self-destructing email, is a service that allows registered users to receive emails at a temporary email address which expires after a certain period. They are created when people want to use an email address without revealing their identity and personal/business email address.
The most common scenarios in which the disposable email addresses are used:
Sign up for a social media account
Using the free benefits of first-time sign-ups
Get into marketing messages
Disposable emails are also termed as dark emails when used for hiding identities to spam, troll or harm people any other way.
What are the types of disposable email addresses?
Alias: This kind of disposable email address is hosted by the user’s inbox provider, like Gmail or Yahoo, and is usually a variation of a genuine email address. Emails that are sent to such addresses go to the inbox of the user but can be filtered to a different folder outside the primary inbox. It will continue accepting the messages unless the user deletes it.
Forwarding account: Such temporary email addresses are created at a different domain from the email account of the user and forward the emails to that account. The sender’s database will not be able to detect which email address is being used by the recipient/subscriber to read the email messages. A forwarding account will keep accepting messages until the user deletes it. It’s hard to get accurate results on such accounts as the open or click data.
Non-forwarding throwaway account: Throwaway email accounts are created at a different domain for a one-time email message, Example of such disposable account: "[email protected]" These can be the biggest nightmare for a marketer as they will bounce after the first send and will turn out to be value-less data.
One common thing all these three kinds of disposables share - they are low-quality email addresses and are created by users when they don’t value your brand much and don’t want to focus much attention on it. Such temporary email addresses reduce the quality of your data, which can result in a high bounce rate on being used. Ensure using an email checker for email validation to ensure your email lists contain good quality data. (Here are 7 reasons to clean your email list today)
Reasons why people use disposable email addresses?
Disposables can be good or bad depending on who is using it and for what purpose! From taking unfair advantages to better management of the emails here are a few reasons why users prefer disposable email addresses.
1) To take unfair advantage of a service
It is human nature to stock up things when available for free or at a discounted price. For example -Clearout, one of the best email verification tools, offers 100 free credits on sign-up. Due to the free credits, it faced multiple cases of abuse in which a single user tried to create multiple accounts with the use of burner/disposable email addresses.
US ex-president Barack Obama once said in an interview “I would love to just be taking a walk and then I run into you and you’re sitting on a bench. And suddenly I say, “Hey Jerry, how’re you doing?” You say, “I’m doing pretty good, what’re you doing?” But for my security and multiple other reasons, I have to keep myself anonymous”
Why am I telling you this? To prove that hiding identities become mandatory in certain situations while some choose to keep it anonymous.
In this democratic digital world, what people say is less like an arrow more like a boomerang which strikes back sooner or later. So they prefer to keep their identities hidden and a disposable email address is a perfect way to do so. There is no harm in maintaining anonymity until misused.
Solution: Depending on your app/service, you can decide whether anonymity can be allowed or not. For example: on intellectual discussion platforms like Quora, being anonymous is allowed as it is a knowledge-based platform that does not involve your personal life. On the other hand, popular social media platforms like Facebook will not accept anonymous users. Based on the features of your app you may allow some features of your app to be available to anonymous users.
Incase of Clearout, the user is allowed to do a quick validation of email addresses through the home-page without even signing up!
Earlier users had no qualms in sharing their email addresses and other details with different brands/services as they never thought it could be misused. But now the person with data is the king and user information is being sold out without permission to the highest bidder.
The daily data breach has multiplied a hundred times raising the trust issues among the customers. Remember how Facebook had to go under inspection a few years back for selling out user data?
4) Intentions of defaming
Some users may have the intention to harm you, your product, or your brand due to any personal grudge, jealousy, competition, and other possible reasons (You may not believe me but some do it for entertainment). They flame your brand by giving negative reviews, spammy comments on social media and may go ahead abusing other users on your platform.
Solution: Block them by setting up an API email checker that identifies and rejects email addresses associated with disposable email generators, in real-time.
5) They don’t value your brand/service
When the user is not too sure about the importance or relevance your brand can serve to their business, they avoid sharing a high-value address and rather look for an alternative in the form of a disposable email address. Once their purpose is served, they can easily ignore messages on such email addresses.
Solution: There is only one solution to it, make them aware of the benefits they can procure from your brand. What’s in it for them is the question to be answered. For example, Users who require bulk email validation/ bulk email verification usually have this perspective that verifying the email data once is fine for a lifetime, which is a wrong theory as a survey tells that roughly 2% of email addresses in your lists start to decay every month. This makes email validation a continuous process and facts have to be conveyed to the users to make them understand the real worth of the tool.
Risks a marketer can face due to disposable email addresses
It’s quite painful when you write and design an email carefully but it does not reach the user due to the quality of the email data.
To carry out a successful email marketing campaign carrying out highly accurate email verification is mandatory. There are multiple tools present that let one generate fake/temporary emails easily, not taking email verification into account can lead to
Reaching out to disposable email addresses or other risky ones could hurt your ability to send emails in the first place. Multiple bounces, spam complaints, or unsubscribes can force your Email Service Provider (ESP) to suspend your account and meet the standards of Internet Service Providers, email protection services, and other anti-spam organizations.
Lower email deliverability
Disposable email addresses are mostly created for one time use after which it is either ignored or deleted by the owner. So now the email address does not exist anywhere but in your database which you plan to use for upcoming campaigns!
So your campaign will give a low deliverability rate and the ESP in use will charge you for email addresses that do not exist anymore. That’s a two-way loss!
Damage to sender reputation
Sender reputation is a mixed result of the IP address used to send the emails, the domain reputation, authentication of sender policy framework(SPF), current & average bounce rate till date, engagement rate, subscriber complaints, spam traps on your subscriber list if any.
Sending emails to disposable email addresses damages the engagement rate, vandalizes domain reputation ultimately lowering the sender's reputation.
As mentioned earlier, email service providers base their pricing plans on the total number of users across all lists, keeping a bloated list in the system can be a recurring waste. Disposables, duplicates, invalids, catch-alls, you are charged for all such risky email addresses too!
The return on investment goes down twice the rate as the prospect is not reachable so any future sales are not possible and in addition, you are being charged for the same. ( How to Improve your email marketing ROI )
How to manage disposable email addresses by email verification
Email verification is a regular check-up on the health of the email lists/email database which can be done either in bulk or in real-time through API integration.
By the use of a highly accurate email verifier like Clearout, one can detect domains used by throwaway email providers such as 10minutemail, Maildrop, Throwaway Mail, and any other network that exist. Consistent use protects you from anyone that is trying to use such emails.
What do you need to do?
BUlk Verification - It’s simple, all you need to do is sign up to Clearout, purchase the package that suits you the best. The email addresses can be verified either by uploading the sheet or importing it from the Esp/Crm in use. Not only disposables, but you can also segregate other risky emails.
Real-time verification - Try Clearout’s email API to identify whether a domain or email address is associated with disposable email address generators.
Other tips that can persuade subscribers to use their primary email address than a disposable email
Evolving Trust People are apprehensive about sharing their most frequently used email addresses as they fear its misuse. This requires you to be honest, straight, and more vocal about the quality of security services. Let the prospects be aware of your privacy and data security policies to build up trust in you and your services. Consistency, sharing user-generated content are some other ways to evolve trust.
Restrict the Incentives Incentives are a widely used way of attracting prospects but some users take advantage of the generosity and tend to misuse it by signing up with more than one email to fetch the maximum benefits.
Some websites allow users to keep the throwaway email for more than 10 minutes even if you have the opt-in form. The best way would be to give the new users a follow-up email within 30 minutes or even the next day.
It’s rare that someone will keep the tab unrefreshed for 24 hours. This way you’re encouraging people to sign up with their primary email addresses.
Acquaint them with what they are Missing Ignoring the campaigns is very common when a user has got what it wants! Some people do not value the brand but value the fact “ what’s in it for me?”
To build up user engagement and trust you need to answer the question. By letting them know what they had been missing on not signing up, the users will think twice before closing the tab or using a disposable email.
Let your email campaigns be supported by strong and healthy email lists to give a better performance each time.