Email marketing – Understanding list management

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For most legitimate marketers, proper management of e-mail lists is a worthwhile practice. It often happens that the mail server tries to repeatedly send the same message.

On the other hand, if the list of recipients is large and it targets a large number of subscribers or customers, measuring the number of recipients considered unknown is particularly interesting for the company.

One important step is therefore the number of blocked or rejected emails. These must be distinguish emails considered undesirable and are classified as such by anti-spam filters. Emails rejected can be of various kinds:

Domain not found

This generally refers to incorrectly written email addresses. For example, the actual address, monnom@domaine.ca could be replaced by monnom@domaine.com, here the user has changed the last part of the address “.ca” to “.com”. The mail server generates a sending error message.

Unknown user

Again, it may be a mistake on the part of the sender (email marketer): for example, someone says monnam@domaine.ca instead of monnom@domaine.ca. In this case, the server will generate an error unknown user response, if the user does not actually exist.

There are different types of rejected emails, sometimes because the inbox of the user is full. This is called softbounces as opposed to hardbounce that can not be recovered by resubmits.

Many companies try to correct errors hardbounces through software corrections using an expert system to intersect the invalid addresses and try to “fix” them. The above case “domaine.com,” could be easily repaired by a suitable algorithm.

The problem repairing an address entails a risk that the mail server will send an email to a someone other than the person who requested the information and then be rightly accused of polluting the email of that person.

The email marketers face different choices with regard to the maintenance of their list but it is better to lose an address than trying to repair it.

Treatment of rejected emails for invalid address also raises an issue. Some email clients set a limit for users who do not visit their inboxes for a given period, sometimes 30 or 60 days.

If the set period is past without visiting this address it automatically becomes inaccessible thus generates rejected email responses.

The marketers who sometimes invest heavily in the acquisition of these emails should however take some time before deciding to remove those addresses from their database to protect against temporary loss of access.

There are also a series of measures to guard against obsolescence of an email list including frequent invitations to visit the website of the sender in order to update email addresses.

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