How a change from Yahoo! will affect your email delivery

3 tips for getting ahead of the news

Have you heard the recent murmurs that now is the time to grab the Yahoo! email handle of your dreams? If you've been looking to score BackStreetBoysFan1@yahoo.com, now may be your chance! As of July 15th, Yahoo! has decided to release email addresses that have not been active in the last 12 months.

While this news may be great for folks looking to score a desired moniker, here's what it means for you, the email marketer:

  1. You might see a rise in hard bounces from Yahoo! If you've have been following email best practices by maintaining your audience and removing your unengaged subscribers periodically, you're probably fine. But if you haven't, take note that you should not reactivate Yahoo! addresses that bounce over the next few weeks. Not only could you damage your sending reputation, but you also may end up inadvertently spamming (see point 2).
  2. You might hit the wrong inboxes. Over time, abandoned email addresses will be assigned to new owners – people who don't know about you and might not welcome your email newsletters. If you're still trying to send mail to those email address, you're spamming the new owners. Yikes. They'll likely opt out, and they might mark your emails as spam.
  3. Some abandoned addresses may become spam traps. Spam traps are seeded addresses used to lure spam and catch offenders of the CAN SPAM Act. This isn't something to worry about right away: An address must have been registering as "invalid" for 12 months before it's turned into a recycled spam trap. In general, though, if you send mail to spam traps, you might be doing serious damage to your sending reputation.

What you can do now in your Emma account to help

Does this news mean you have to scrub all of your Yahoo! audience members from your list? Of course not. Some of your most engaged recipients may be Yahoo! users. But if you want to be proactive, you can remove any Yahoo! audience members that have not opened your emails in the last 12 months. Here's how: 

  1. In Audience, create a search based on: Member information (click Add button)
  2. Search for people by field: Email (click Add button)
  3. Set Email to contains: yahoo
  4. Add another crieteria for Member Since date and set the parameters to "is before* the last year (click Done button)
    Now you have a list of all your Yahoo! addresses who signed up over a year ago, but you want to weed out just those who haven't opened in the last year. 
  5. Find people based on Response history (click Add button)
  6. Search for people who have not opened, and select the date range of your choosing (we recommend 12 months)

You can find more how-to steps for creating dynamic searches here.  I also recorded a screencast to show the steps here. There isn't any audio, but it shows you how fast and easy the steps are! 

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Extra credit reading: Ever wonder what happens after you hit send?