Many websites require customers to create an account before they can browse through the website and make purchases.
One of the main reasons for doing this is to get the customer’s email address. This can then be added to the company’s mailing list so that the business can reach out to more people with promotions and special offers.
However, given how instances of data theft are becoming commonplace, customers are often wary of sharing their email addresses and personal information.
So, they may set up disposable email addresses and use these accounts to log in to a website. Unfortunately, these email accounts could be bad news for the companies.
What is a disposable email address?
As the name suggests, disposable email addresses are email addresses designed for temporary use. They are also known as single-use email, throwaway email, burner email addresses and one-off email.
They aren’t technically illegal but they are often used for fraudulent activities.
Disposable email addresses are used for short periods of time when a user needs to submit an email address to access something on a website.
After a specified period of time, these accounts will automatically expire. Some may expire after as little as 20 minutes while others stay valid for a month.
How to create a disposable email address
Getting a disposable email address is very easy. All it takes are basic user skills and an internet connection.
Many disposable email address providers will assign and activate disposable email addresses the second a user accesses their website. There are no sign-up, validation or personal details required for these accounts.
Disposable email addresses should not be confused with free accounts offered by email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, etc.
When a person sets up these accounts, he/she must verify the account by providing personal details such as a phone number, other email accounts, etc. Thus, people are accountable for these email addresses.
How can a disposable email address be harmful?
Convenience and trust are the core points of the debate on whether disposable emails are beneficial or harmful.
For users, it the convenience associated with throwaway email addresses that makes them appealing. By using these email addresses, users can log into sites without fear of being spammed by newsletters and promotional emails.
On the other hand, using disposable email addresses lowers trust. Today, quite a few websites recognize these email accounts and do not allow people to sign up for services using them.
The main reason they’re considered bad by email verification services is that emails sent to these accounts will never reach the intended recipient and be read by them.
As a result, when a company is running an email marketing campaign, the results will not be accurate.
For example, you may have very high subscription rates but only a fraction of the emails sent out will actually be received and read by customers.
Thus, companies have zero benefits from accounts created with disposable email addresses.
If an email address in a company’s mailing list has expired, you’ll get a hard bounce. This doesn’t just affect your marketing team’s efforts to reach out to customers.
It also affects the campaign’s bounce rate and can harm the company’s IP rating. Too many bounced emails and your account may be blacklisted as a spammer for no fault of yours.
What can you do?
To protect themselves from the ill-effects of disposable email addresses, companies must continually clean and update their mailing lists.
They should also look into preventive action. Why are users entering disposable email addresses in the first place? It’s usually because they do not have enough trust in the website.
So, what you need to do is build a trustworthy image for your brand. Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Reassure users that their data is kept secure
- Present contact information clearly on signup forms and on the website
- Publish easy to read security and privacy policies
- Give users the option to opt-out of subscriptions
- Practice permission-based email marketing.
How Can Melissa Help?
Melissa understands the value of having a clean mailing list that is free from disposable email addresses. When it comes to mailing lists, quality is more important than quantity.
We could actually say more. Our global email verification can identify disposable email domains as the user attempts to enter them to create an account, register for a service, request a white paper or collateral, in real-time at point of entry.
You can then design rules around your email collection process to return a notice to the user that the “email is invalid, please try another email address” or similar message if you don’t want to allow the disposable email into your database.
Our service can also help companies clean up their existing email lists. It identifies disposable email addresses (as well as spam emails and honey pots) and segregates them so that they can be removed from your mailing list.
Content sponsored by Melissa.
Latest posts by Muhammad Akheel (see all)
- What You Need to Know About Disposable Email Addresses #spon - December 9, 2019