Yahoo: A Reminder for List Hygiene


List Hygiene

We’re always monitoring the performance of our client emails to ensure all is well. And sometimes….we find something fishy. Over the last ten days we’ve been monitoring a growth in hard bounces from Yahoo mailboxes. It’s now apparent these are being caused by disused accounts – those that haven’t been opened in over 12 months. Yahoo has been e-mailing users that haven’t logged in to accounts for over 12 months, advising them to access those mailboxes in the next 5 days in order to avoid them being disabled. Looks like they are doing a bit of list hygiene of their own.

yahoo email screenshot

The effect on client sending from Engaging Networks has been significant. As of Monday, 25 March 2019, around 235,000 hard bounces have been attributed to this specific error code accounting for 96% of all bounces to Yahoo mailboxes, and affecting 1.6% of all delivery to supporters with a Yahoo address (some clients have been more significantly impacted than others).

Our mail servers are set-up to automatically suppress e-mail accounts that return this category of hard bounce but, this serves as a reminder that sending e-mail broadcasts to disengaged mailboxes is heavily penalized by major webmail providers and affects your sending reputation with them negatively.

Our e-mail engagement scoring system can easily identify addresses with low engagement. Any Yahoo mailbox with a score of 11 (our lowest score), for example, would be a potential target for this particular hard bounce.

We wanted to share some tips for proper list hygiene to keep your campaigns and emails working in your favor.

  • Create a re-engagement campaign in marketing automation. Target supporters with low engagement scores sending them your strongest email content to re-engage them with your campaigns.
  • Focus on your welcome series. Long-term engagement with your supporters is won and lost in your first three months of email delivery to them, so make that welcome series as good as it can be. The investment will pay off in the long-term.
  • If all else fails, sunset your supporters. If you’ve tried everything and they still won’t budge from an email engagement score of 11, it could be worth saying goodbye to that particular supporter. At this point, the potential damage they can do to your delivery may far outweigh any future re-engagement.

Want more information? Watch my presentation at ENCC UK 2018.

If you’re a client, please reach out and let us know if you’d like support addressing these mailboxes in your own subscriber lists, or for advice on how they may be impacting your e-mail delivery. If you’re not an Engaging Networks client and want to learn more about email deliverability, our tools, and our monitoring process, give us a shout.

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