Yahoo! recently announced that they will start recycling old addresses that have not had any logins for the past 12 months allowing other individuals to register for the addresses they desire. 

We’re freeing up IDs, that have been inactive for at least 12 months, by resetting them and giving them a fresh start. In mid July, anyone can have a shot at scoring the Yahoo! ID they want. In mid August, users who staked a claim on certain IDs can come to Yahoo! to discover which one they got.”

What does it mean for us?

The immediate result of this for the email marketer is twofold:

  1. there will be a notable increase in bounces to addresses that used to be deliverable, but came back with no responses over the past 12 months.
  2. addresses that used to bounce, will start accepting mail because they have become spam traps.

Fortunately for our customers here at Emarsys, the impact will be minimal due to our list hygiene procedures, which involve automatic and constant hard bounce clean-ups.

However, there are a couple of consequences that you should pay attention to, in order to ensure your deliverability and reputation remains high.

  • Pay attention to recipient activity

Make sure that recipient activity is factored in when creating the sendout lists – no activity is an indicator that the address should be removed. Recipient engagement has always been important to us, and will become even more important now that the time to act is shortened. But not to worry, customers here at Emarsys who already follow our best practices will be unaffected, as we have recommended such strategies for several years now.

  • Be even more cautious with list reactivation

Reactivating an old list that hasn’t been mailed to for a year or more, is now incredibly likely to generate a high number of hard bounces – and more importantly, result in you sending to spam traps. Old lists, are old for a reason – don’t be tempted to try and reuse them!

When dealing with recipients who have been inactive for a longer period of time, simply make one reactivation attempt involving a special incentive (e.g. cupon) and if there is still no activity – remove the address permanently.

We are often asked by customers if we can see if there are any valuable addresses in previously cleaned lists that they can send to. Trying to identify an active address in such a list by sending to it is now more risky than ever, with the only realistic outcome being a damaged reputation and deliverability.