Verizon recently sent a letter to its customers stating that they would deactivate any email accounts that had not been active within the last 180 days (6 months). After that, any messages sent to these email addresses will bounce. But there’s more to this story.
Verizon’s policy change is an answer to every email marketer who’s ever asked, “What’s the harm in emailing subscribers that haven’t been active in a while?”
The harm is that bounces aren’t the only negative consequence of this practice.
Just to be clear – we’re not making Verizon the “bad guy” here. All ISPs have the right to decide when to turn off old accounts, and follow through on those decisions. The trouble is, they don’t stop there. They often turn those old email addresses into spam traps. This not only negatively affects the ROI of your campaigns – it can cause serious damage your sender reputation.
This is why we advise against emailing unengaged subscribers.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s of the utmost importance that you maintain a clean and high-quality subscriber list. You should email your subscribers every 6 months at a minimum – or you are likely to face delivery issues, spam trap hits and lower inboxing rates. All of which can harm your reputation and your ability to reach your audience via email.
As Kevin Senne said in his recent post, “losing an unengaged email address is far less damaging than continuing to mail to it.” We couldn’t agree more.
So keep those lists clean.
Remove anyone who hasn’t engaged with your campaigns in the last 6 months. A little bit of housekeeping goes a long way towards maintaining a healthy list, a good reputation, and excellent ROI on your email campaigns.