Update Your Email Lists Before July 15

Shawn Collins has a good post this morning explaining why you need to update your mailing lists before July 15 since Yahoo! is cleaning out inactive email addresses by then:

Clear Old Yahoo Addresses Off Your Email Lists – Affiliate Marketing Blog by Shawn Collins: “So you’ll either be mailing to dead addresses, which can impact your deliverability, or the new owners will start getting your newsletters, and will be upset that you are emailing them.

They will either unsubscribe or mark you as spam. The latter can negatively affect whether ISPs such as Gmail and Outlook accept your emails.”

More specifically, Yahoo! will be deleting any email accounts that have been inactive for 12 months or more. The folks at AWeber also have a good post outlining what you need to do to clean those addresses of your mailing lists:

Updated: Yahoo Releasing Email Addresses Monday, July 15: “You need to identify what email addresses on your list will be released. Search subscribers from Yahoo who haven’t opened an email from you in 12 months – but were added before that point (so you don’t unsubscribe recent subscribers who haven’t yet opened an email). Save them as a segment.”

Go update your mailing lists and make sure you’re not going to be sending email to the wrong people (in case some of those deleted accounts get claimed by new owners). Yahoo! has said they’re taking measures to unsubscribe accounts on the hit list, but there’s no way to make sure they catch everything.

We use MailChimp at Harrelson Agency, so here’s their post on how to clean up as well:

Yahoo Is Recycling Email Addresses | MailChimp Email Marketing Blog: “If you don’t perform regular list maintenance, let me suggest you start. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to segment out any inactive Yahoo addresses.”

Why Email Marketing Still Matters

I got my start in online marketing in 2002 working for an email marketing group in Columbia, SC. I was fresh out of an Ivy League masters program with a degree in ancient religion and literature (and some archaeology experience). Needless to say, that wasn’t a highly valued skill set for a 22 year old just moving to South Carolina.

However, those years I spent with that email marketing (eventually affiliate and search marketing) company were the perfect trial-by-fire for finding my legs in the wider world of performance marketing. I realized some very important things about online marketing in general and email marketing specifically. It was a great education in the various ways of doing agency business in a post 9/11 but pre CAN-SPAM world of glitzy conferences, making lifelong connections and getting deals done with great agility and detail.

Although “the long tail” is a term that has lost much of its 2007 cache, there is still a great amount of truth to the term within the concept of online marketing. I’ve argued to clients and friends over and over that email is (and will continue to be) a very long term prospect of increasing returns over time in a world of short-lived Twitter and Facebook promoted posts as advertising.

The SumAll folks have a great post laying out a similar argument and some nice tips you should read at the end…

Why E-mail Marketing is More Valuable Than Ever – SumAll – Blog: “It’s been a widely held notion that after you’ve sent out your campaign, you have 12 hours to get the most opens you can before your e-mail is lost in inbox limbo. But based on our research, e-mails have a much longer tail than people are aware of. “

Whatever marketing channel you’re using, email is a great compliment and something you should bake in early in your campaigns.