Jenna Devinney
Jenna Devinney 17 September 2018
Categories B2B, B2C, Email & eCRM, Technology

What's Hiding in Your Email?

An email list can be a ticking time-bomb, ready to explode at any minute. There are hidden threats lurking within your email lists that can damage your abillity to use your data properly, impact your sender reputation, and directly affect revenue.

So before you send out your next email campaign, be sure to learn more email hygiene it can defuse the threats hiding in your email data and ensure safe delivery to your email lists.

Before we dig deep into understanding some of these threats, we think it is important to understand what simple email verification can identify and what email hygiene can detect.

Email Verification can identify undeliverable emails containing bounces, greylistings, and typos, but Email Hygiene can go way beyond simple verification and identify emails hiding in your lists such as spam traps, moles, trackers, disposable domains and much more.

So if all you want to know is if your emails are valid or invalid then verification might work for you, but if you want to truly protect your emails you should keep reading.

What types of threats are we talking about? Well, there are many different threats we can spend all day talking about, but let's get into more detail of some of the most common. 

Disposable Domains. These are emails associated with temporary domains. These are the 5, 7, 10-minute emails that WILL deliver, then explode. An example can be a shared public email account with no password for different people to use for a multitude of reasons. These pointless emails from a marketing perspective and a waste of resources if you send to them. Disposable domains are dead emails, that will pass verification, but hygiene is able to identify them. Saving you valuable marketing resources and potential problems. 

Zombies. These are emails connected to deceased individuals. They are real emails that might not have any associated issues, except for the fact there is no one on the other end to open or respond to your messaging. Zombies will not buy any of your products, which means zero engagemnet that can potentially turn into other problems. ISP's rely on engagement, and if there is no engagement it could hurt your sender reputation. As well as wasting resources. 

Bots. Programs designed to locate signup forms on the web and submit fake email addresses and other information. They are purely malicious and mess up your metrics, and they provide no real usable information. As such they are not only pointless to market to, but can also be dangerous.

Phishing Attacks. Are a type of fraud where the invader tries to receive valuable information like user names and passwords for malicious reasons by pretending to be a reputatable entity. Why should marketers care about phishing attacks? Well, like hanging with the bad kids, you do not want to be associated with Phishers. As with any dead-end emails, this data is not only pointless to market to, but also potentially damaging to your engagement. Which, as we know, can negatively impact your sender reputation, cause issues with providers, and potetially cause you to end up on a blacklist. 

Spam Traps. Organizations use these to identify spammers. You can run into different types of spam traps like seeded trackers, blacklisted emails, moles, and typos. They can cause a lot of damage such as hurting your sender reputation, your IP address could be added to a blacklist, or you could hit a major spam trap which could permanently blacklist your sender domain. Verification is great for detecting typos, but what about the other types of spam traps? Only email hygiene can truly detect these.

Honeypots.These are a type of spam trap that is invisible to the human eye, they are hidden in the code. There could be 1,000 to 50,000 in your data. Honeypots are created for catching scrapers, harvesters, and bots. They are there for a purpose, but sending to honeypot addresses are a big waste of marketing efforts.

Malicious Moles. Are an email that reports campaign stats to real-time blacklists. Another name for them is "scomps", they are the snitches to the cops. Basically, anonymous people reporting you ananymously. Best to avoid these.

Seeded Trackers. Are addresses used in marketing campaigns to track delivery rates. There is nothing horrible about these, they are there for the simple reason of someone tracking your activity. And no one wants that.

Screamers. Are complainers but at a much higher level. They can report you to the ISPs, the FTC or blacklists. If you get enough complaints they will monitor you and potentially put you on a list. Verification cannot detect screamers because these are real emails. Real people are behind these, so the best way to detect them is with email hygiene. Like most problems, it is best to avoid these. 

The more you understand the threats hiding in your email data, the more you understand the difference between email verification and email hygiene. Relying on simple verification leaves your email data exposed to hidden threats that can negatively impact your business.

Go beyond simple verification and detects the hidden threats lurking in your email data. Identifying these threats helps protect your marketing assets, such as web forms, brand reputation, sender reputation, mailing resources, data aquisition, and marketing campaigns.

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