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Disposable email addresses and email deliverability

06 December, 2023 | 5 Min Read

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Maintaining a positive sender reputation can be challenging. Several factors contribute to how email providers perceive a sender. Add subscribers using disposable email addresses to the mix, necessitating re-evaluating your approach to list hygiene, engagement metrics, and their impact on your customer lifecycle.

What exactly is a disposable email address?

A disposable email address is employed to set up a temporary account, avoiding the need to share a primary email address. Certain mailbox providers facilitate the creation of alias email addresses through account settings, enabling users to filter emails with custom rules.

Other providers generate exclusive disposable addresses, automatically deactivating the account after a specified expiration. Meanwhile, free email platforms empower subscribers to create numerous accounts conveniently.

Why use a disposable email address?

It’s natural to be wary of individuals who conceal or misrepresent their identity, especially with the potential for some to undermine your marketing efforts. However, the widespread use of disposable and alias email addresses stems from various reasons, not all involving intentional deception.

Some reasons are a response to questionable marketing practices—subscribers might have had negative experiences. Or, perhaps, they sought an online coupon but didn’t anticipate frequent emails.

Many have questioned how they ended up on unrelated company lists at some point. Creating multiple alias addresses is also typical for establishing filtering rules directing emails straight to designated folders, which even email marketers use for testing purposes. One prevalent reason is to enable individuals to avail themselves of various sign-up incentives such as free trials, discounts, or new member gifts.

Types of disposable email addresses

There are various types of disposable email addresses, each with distinct creation and deactivation methods.

Throwaway accounts

These are single-use or limited-time accounts that automatically deactivate after use. Setting them up is quick and easy, requiring minimal private information.

Forwarding account

Configured to automatically forward emails from one address to another, allowing users to avoid sharing their personal addresses and deactivate an alternate account.

Alias

This type filters emails to a dedicated folder instead of the inbox. It helps users identify which companies may have sold their addresses to others. If spam floods the alias address, users can easily discard it.

Example:

Original: jimmy.carter@domain.com
Alias: ceo@domain.com or jc@domain.com

Private relay

Apple offers a unique variation of alias and forwarding accounts. When using “Sign in with Apple” for third-party apps and websites, users can choose “Hide My Email,” creating an alternative address that forwards to their primary Apple ID email. Users can manually create a decoy address in their Apple user profile. Turning off email forwarding prevents senders from reaching the inbox through the private relay address.

Downsides of mailing to disposable email addresses

Whether you agree with why people use disposable or alias addresses, the impact on your email program can’t be ignored.

Affecting revenue and customer behaviour

These disposable or alias addresses fail to contribute substantially to revenue and deviate from the typical behaviour of loyal customers. When individuals generate multiple aliases, it leads to clutter within your mailing lists, introducing duplicates and undesirable data. This not only hampers the efficiency of your efforts but also results in minimal returns.

Limited time frame

Disposable emails offer a limited window for subscribers to receive messages. After this timeframe, any further emails sent to these addresses will bounce back. This poses substantial implications for your email marketing strategy, potentially distorting audience metrics. The result may include a shortened average lifecycle length, heightened subscriber mix rates, and hard bounces.

High bounce rates and adverse sender reputation

A bounce rate exceeding 2% can harm your sender’s reputation, suggesting poor list acquisition and hygiene practices. This may result in a decline in your inbox placement rate and potential blocklisting if high bounce rates continue or become a long-term trend. Maintaining a bounce rate below this threshold is crucial for preserving a positive sender reputation and ensuring consistent email deliverability.

Misleading engagement metrics

Alias emails filtered to a dedicated folder are counted as “delivered” by the email service provider (ESP). There may be a delay in reading since it’s not in the primary inbox, and these filtered emails might be ignored or even deleted. Tracking engagement is crucial; a list with many inactive subscribers affects your reputation. Mailing to low-interest addresses signals spammer behaviour to mailbox providers.

How to get rid of disposable emails using an email validation tool?

Email validation tool acts as disposable email checkers, alerting you to any untrustworthy or harmful contacts in your email list. They employ internal technologies to communicate with email servers and identify potential issues, saving you from the trial-and-error process that could lead to setbacks. These tools provide the count of throwaway accounts and specify which contacts they are. This allows you to remove these contacts from your list, safeguarding your reputation and ensuring compliance with ESP’s sender policies. Using such tools is a proactive way to maintain a clean and effective email list.

Spotzee’s email validation process identifies disposable contacts in your list as part of our comprehensive email cleaning process. This method ensures that insufficient data is avoided from the outset, allowing you to maintain a clean and high-quality email list for delivering engaging email content. This feature enhances the accuracy of your email database and contributes to a more efficient and effective email marketing strategy.

Tracking acquisition

Effectively monitoring acquisition sources is crucial for understanding the primary motivations behind using disposable email accounts. By tracking where your subscribers are coming from, you gain insights into the key factors that drive individuals to resort to throwaway accounts. This information is invaluable for adapting your email marketing strategy, ensuring you address the root causes behind such behaviour. With a clear understanding of acquisition sources, you can tailor your approach to encourage genuine sign-ups and discourage disposable emails, ultimately contributing to a more reliable and engaged subscriber base.

Key takeaways

Temporary emails, often referred to as throwaway or disposable emails, are short-lived addresses created for temporary purposes. They come in various types, including one-time-use throwaway accounts, forwarding accounts, alias accounts, and private relays. The adverse effects of these emails on email marketing include low revenue generation, increased bounce rates, and potential damage to the sender’s reputation. Implementing robust email validation tools is crucial to avoid these issues. These tools can identify and filter out temporary emails, ensuring a cleaner and more engaged subscriber list leading to more effective email campaigns.

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