Effective on Monday, July 15, 2013, Yahoo! is deactivating all email accounts which have not logged in within the past year. The deactivated email addresses will "hard bounce", and these bounces will negatively impact the reputation and deliverability standing of senders. This has a number of potential implications for retail and eCommerce email marketing:
- Increased bounce rates - Retailers with a large number of deactivated Yahoo! accounts in their database may see many of those emails bounce beginning on July 15, leading to reputation-based mail deferrals, where the email simply sits in a queue for a period of time, being neither rejected nor accepted, and in most cases ultimately rejected or sitting in limbo indefinitely.
- Increased spam complaints – One month after this deactivation, "certain" addresses will be reassigned to new users. Senders who do not bounce-out or remove inactive Yahoo! addresses during the inactivity period will now be sending to a completely new person who didn't opt-in to receive mail from that sender. This could lead to a large increase in spam complaints.
- Spamtraps - A spamtrap is an email address set up specifically to flush out spammers, for only spammers would ever find those addresses. If Yahoo! decides to reactivate certain addresses as spamtraps, retail marketers could now have spamtrap addresses on their lists, causing even more deliverability problems.
Steps you can take:
We recommend that retail marketers remove from your mailing list(s) every Yahoo.com email address which has been in your database for more than one year, AND has not engaged with your email (opened and/or clicked) within the past year. Additionally, retailers may consider sending an opt-in and user confirmation email immediately to all Yahoo.com addresses asking people to click and confirm their account information.