What Are Disposable Email Addresses And How Can You Clean Them From Your Database?

Melissa IN Team | Email Verification | , , ,

Despite all technological advancements, emails are still the best way for organizations to reach out to new and existing customers. As of 2019, there were over 5.6 billion active email addresses.

73% of the millennial population prefers to communicate with businesses through emails but they expect the email content to be relevant to their needs. To keep their main email accounts clean and free from spam, many consumers use disposable email addresses. While this is beneficial for the consumer, it’s a big challenge for marketers. You need to be able to identify disposable emails and remove them from your database.

What Is A Disposable Email Address?

Disposable email addresses are free to use and can be categorized as:

  • Aliases: This is an alternate of the consumer’s main email address.  Emails sent to this address are filtered to a folder outside the primary inbox. Thus, technically speaking, emails sent to this address do end up getting delivered to the consumer but not to the main inbox.
  • Forwarding Accounts: These email addresses are created with separate email domains. Emails sent to this address are directed to another email address.
  • Non-forwarding or Throwaway Accounts: These are one-time use email addresses that are available for a set time after which they become unavailable.

How Do Disposable Email Addresses Harm Businesses?

Disposable email addresses have benefits for consumers but they are bad for business. Some of the ways they could harm our business are:

Consumers Can Abuse Free Services

The idea behind free services is to offer a free trial, discount, information, etc. in exchange for their contact details. But, if customers use disposable email addresses, your business doesn’t stand to get any benefits from the exchange.

False Churn Rate

You cannot avoid having customers unsubscribe from time to time but if you have a lot of disposable email addresses in your email database, the churn rate may not be real. In the case of non-forwarding or throwaway accounts, the emails become unavailable after a set time which artificially increases your churn rate.

They Skew Analytics

Your email database may list thousands of emails but if a majority of these email addresses are disposable, your assessment of how many people you’re reaching out to would be skewed. Thus, any decisions you make based on your email database would not be reliable.

Your Reputation Could Suffer

Emails sent to disposable email addresses that no longer exist will bounce back affecting your IP reputation. Too many bounced emails and you could find yourself being blacklisted as a spammer.

How To Identify Disposable Email Addresses?

Now that you know the harm they can cause, you will need to clean these email addresses from your mailing list.

If you have just about 100-200 email addresses, you can manually monitor inboxes and perform audits. However, it’s an exhausting task and the results are not 100% guaranteed.

An easier, more efficient solution is to digitize your efforts through email verification services.

How Can Email Verification Services Help?

Email verification services play a key role in identifying disposable email addresses and cleaning them from your mailing list. Here’s how it works.

  • Clean Data Being Entered Into The Database

The first step to maintain a healthy email database is to be able to identify disposable email addresses and other email addresses with issues. Rather than wait for your emails to bounce back, the verification service pings each email address on your mailing list to ensure that they are active. Addresses from where a response is not received are flagged as email addresses with issues.

Verifying email addresses at the point of entry keeps your free services from being abused and keeps bad data out of your database.

  • Data Enhancement

Not all bad emails need to be deleted from your database. Some issues can be corrected quite easily. For example, a syntax error like ‘john @gmail.com’ or ‘john@gmial.com’ can be corrected to john@gmail.com..

Data enhancement of this kind ensures that you have good quality data in your database and complete records.

  • Synced Databases

Verifying email addresses already in your database regularly is equally important. Email lists could decay at an average of 22.5%- 30% each year. This means that even if the data was accurate and valid at the time of data entry, it may become invalid later and need to be purged from the database.

By regularly verifying the email addresses in your database, you can rest assured that every time you send out a newsletter, it reaches the intended customers.

In Conclusion

Disposable email addresses are convenient for customers but problematic for marketers. They’re not just an annoyance. They could affect your reputation, reduce your ROI and bring down your brand image. It’s time you get ahead of the problem and start using an email verification tool to maintain a clean database that stands up to high quality standards.