Inactive Recipients, Yahoo!, And Your Sender Reputation

26 June 2013

Recycled Yahoo! user names: watch out!

Yahoo Mail

Using their newly acquired Tumblr platform, Yahoo! recently posted some really interesting (and potentially troubling) news for email marketers: they’re soon going to recycle Yahoo! user names… which also means Yahoo! email addresses, and let new users adopt them.

Specifically, if a user has been inactive for more than 12 months, someone else can grab that user name.

Now, imagine this:

  • You grab a recycled Yahoo! user name
  • You start using your cool, new Yahoo! mail account…
  • … and you find in your inbox all sorts of emails that you never signed up to (the previous owner of that user name did!)

What are you going to do?

  1. Best case scenario: you’re nice, patient, and polite, so you unsubscribe
  2. Worst case scenario: you’re not feeling particularly patient… so you just flag it as SPAM

Well, that’s exactly what might happen to you – as a sender – after July 15, 2013, when this new Yahoo! policy goes into effect.

Inactive recipients management to the rescue

So, what can you  do? The answer is a pretty simple one, although one that most email marketers don’t like to hear: reduce your list size: get those inactive recipients out of there!

How? MailUp makes it easy. In MailUp 8.2.3 and above you can activate “Inactive Recipients Management”, which allows you to automatically unsubscribe recipients that have not been engaged in a long time. You can decide whether you make this part of a re-engagement campaign or not. It’s up to you.

Here is a screen shot of those list-level settings. As you can see, you could easily implement a system where recipients that have been inactive for 6 months are contacted with a special re-engagement message, and then unsubscribe after another 60 days of inactivity.

Inactive recipients management

Inactive recipients and re-engagement campaigns

Next steps:

Recipients engagement is king. Don’t let some old Yahoo! addresses compromise your sender reputation!

This article was written by

Massimo Arrigoni

Massimo Arrigoni

As head of products at MailUp, I spend my days (and nights) thinking of new tools that can help marketers get the job done more effectively. In MailUp 9, for instance, we just introduced a new way for our users to collaborate on email campaigns. With, we took our drag-n-drop email editor and turned into a stand-alone, embeddable plugin. The objective is to create tangible value, gather feedback, and push real product innovation based on it.

Related articles