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Four Types of Email Addresses Damaging Your Deliverability, and What You Can Do About Them

by Chad White  |  
September 26, 2016

In love and in marketing, you have to learn to admit when a relationship isn't working—especially when the email subscribers you're attempting to woo are hurting your performance numbers.

Email is a great medium for connecting with leads and customers. But when your list becomes bloated with bad addresses and inactive subscribers, it's time to clean house.

Otherwise, you're merely sending messages to bots and people who don't want to hear from you, and you're also damaging your engagement rates and deliverability rates, making it harder for you to reach the subscribers who do want to hear from you.

You're even risking getting blocked and blacklisted.

So let's look at the four types of offending addresses and how to deal with each of them effectively.

1. Invalid Email Addresses

Invalid addresses are unmailable: They don't match any existing email accounts. You end up with them because sometimes people submit their contact information with typos. Others purposefully enter fake email addresses because they're annoyed that they have to provide one to access a site, and they'll give addresses such as "" or "" to avoid unwanted emails.

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Chad White is the research director at Litmus, a Web-based email creation, testing, and analytics platform.

LinkedIn: Chad White

Twitter: @chadswhite

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  • by Kurt Roswell Mon Sep 26, 2016 via web

    "Invalid Email Addresses" are really a pain in the behind... But I guess we really can't blame people, there are a lot of spammers out there and individuals are getting cautious giving out their email addresses.

  • by Colette Tue Sep 27, 2016 via web

    Great post! We see so many posts about how important it is to grow your list and what people should be doing with their email lists but very few about deliverability, so thank you - really useful!

  • by Patricia Rountree Tue Sep 27, 2016 via web

    Spam traps created by inbox providers and blacklisting organizations can be picked up unknowingly by:

    Not using confirmed opted-in and other permission based maintenance
    Harvesting addresses
    Purchasing email addresses
    Renting email addresses
    Using an email Append service
    Deliberately added to your list
    Using an old list

    And you're right, removing a spam trap is a difficult task, and you may not be successful unless you reconfirm your list

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