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What’s happening

In a recent blog post we explained that Yahoo! is about to embark in a big “clean up” of inactive users. See Inactive recipients, Yahoo! and your sender reputation.

We wanted to provide a bit more information on what is going to happen, and clarify what you need to do as a MailUp user.

First, let’s look at what’s going on:

  1. Yahoo! refers to users, not email accounts. Those that access their Yahoo! account (e.g. because they use MyYahoo!, Yahoo! Finance, etc. ) are NOT included in the “inactive” pool, even if they never use their Yahoo! mail account. In other words, those that don’t use their Yahoo! Mail account, but use other Yahoo! services, will not be considered “inactive” with regard to this clean-up effort.
  2. All – and only – Yahoo!-owned domains are included (e.g.,, etc.)
  3. Yahoo! will attemp to re-engage inactive users by sending them an email notification to their secondary address (if present).
  4. Yahoo! will attempt to unsubscribe inactive accounts via the List-Unsubscribe header. This is a piece of information included in the header section of an email that tells the receiving system how to unsubscribe the recipient.
  5. This new Yahoo! policy is not a “one-time” event, but rather a procedure that will remain active going forward.

Recap of what to do

As a MailUp user, what should you do? Here is a recap:

  1. Good news! MailUp supports the List-Unsubscribe header. This means that recipients will be automatically unsubsribed by Yahoo!, and that the risks to your sender reputation mentioned in our previous blog post should not affect you, if you are a MailUp user. This also means that privacy issues (a new Yahoo! user receiving an email intended for the “old” user) should not apply.
  2. Because of (1), you may see a reduction in the total number of subscribers in your list(s). Again, this is due to Yahoo! automatically unsubscribing inactive @yahoo addresses by using the List-Unsubscribe information that Yahoo! will find in the header of the messages sent via MailUp.
  3. Those addresses unsubscribed by Yahoo! are likely “abandoned” accounts. You should remove them from your list(s) and can do so by filtering out @yahoo recipients that were unsubscribed due to one of the following 3 reasons (which you can filter in your MailUp admin console when exporting recipients):
    1. List-Unsubscribe link
    2. List-Unsubscribe mailto
    3. Inactivity

Inactive users vs. inactive recipients

With regard to this inactive users clean-up – as mentioned above – somene that logs into their Yahoo! account is considered an active user. If they never open or click in an email received in their Yahoo! inbox, they’re an active Yahoo! user, but they are certainly an inactive @yahoo recipient.

These inactive recipients will not fall into the “user clean-up” process discussed above, but they will hurt your sender reputation in the long terms because lack of engagement means a higher chance for your emails of ending up in the SPAM folder.

To minimize the chances of having inactive recipients in your list(s), you should put in place an automated re-engagement campaign.

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