3 Email List Hygiene Best Practices to Implement Before the Apple Mail Privacy Protection Update – EEC – Email Experience Council – ANA

According to Apple, “Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. It prevents senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”

Depending on open rate and click-to-open rate as indicators of email engagement is no longer an option. (see what top email experts had to say about it)

What does this have to do with email list hygiene?

Now more than ever, marketers need an additional layer of intelligence to mitigate the risk of blindly mailing to potential threats like recycled traps or dead addresses. Webbula’s Email Hygiene was designed to provide that additional layer of intelligence.

Relying on a verification or validation solution only allows you to understand what emails are valid or invalid. Email Hygiene will give you deeper insight into those problematic, real email addresses (spam traps, bots, disposable domains) that can and will click on your emails.

Download Webbula’s 2021 Email Hygiene and Verification Trends and Benchmarks Special Report

Email hygiene practices to mitigate your risk:

  • Cleanse your list with email hygiene every 3-6 months. Every month, up to 3% of your customer data becomes obsolete. Avoid sending to the wrong people and wasting marketing dollars.
  • Implement real-time email verification. If you’re protecting your web forms with ReCaptcha and/or double opt-in, you’re only halfway there. Bots and disposable domains can pass through easily unless you implement real-time email verification.
  • Suppress your “screamers” from regular campaigns. It’s crucial to check who engages with and who complains about your mailing list. Keep a consistent eye on Google Postmaster for your spam complaint rate. This indicates that subscribers were either not interested in your campaign’s content, or they are no longer interested in your brand at all. Then act accordingly!

Making these practices a regular part of your email marketing processes will ensure you:

  • Avoid deliverability issues and a damaged sender reputation. Without email hygiene, you can easily mistake spam traps, bots, disposable domains, and other threats for real email addresses because they are active like real addresses. They can cause deliverability issues and damage your sender reputation or worse, cause you to be blocklisted.
  • Avoid blocklists. If you’re blocked, it may not shut down your whole organization, especially if you’re using a subdomain for your email marketing, but it could shut down your entire email marketing program. Any external (and sometimes internal!) email communication will be put on hold, resulting in upset customers, and ultimately, lost revenue. Software or server uptime pings via email to customers will be halted, as well as any automated workflows to alert customers of account status or specific usage thresholds.

Problematic email addresses can act like real people and open your emails.

Now that email marketers can no longer rely on the open rate, you should be cautious and use an email hygiene provider to ensure you’re protected from malicious emails. Ultimately, Apple’s move to eliminate tracking pixels will encourage email marketers to follow email list hygiene best practices and utilize more meaningful email metrics.

For more tips on how to navigate Apple’s latest news, download The Email Marketer’s Survival Guide to Saying Goodbye to Apple Mail Tracking Pixels.


Melissa McGaughey, Director of Marketing at Webbula and SEO Strategist and Inbound Content Marketer with a decade of experience in B2B spaces. With a background in Agile Scrum methodology, developing processes and systems to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and drive ROI is her jam.


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