FAQ

Why do I need to Clean My Emails?

Why clean my emails? Well there are many nasty emails floating around out there that can cause a lot of problems for you. When you email someone, all ISPs assume and grade your email sending patterns should be similar to your personal email (this is deemed normal email sending).
So if you think about your personal email, pretty much every time you email someone, they open it and click it to reply.
Rarely do you get a bounce back indicating that the email is no longer valid.
*Personal email history based on 100 emails sent:
– sent in about 2-3 days ( you probably send out around say 30-40 emails a day on average)
– open rate – probably close to 100%
– click through rate – probably 80%-90%, depending on if they had to reply to you or not.
– Bounce rate – very rare, not even 1 in 100 would bounce but let’s say 0.05%, half a percent.

All of this and other mailing habits make up your (well everyone’s) determination of how mail should be sent, how often, open rate, bounce rate, when, complaints etc. this partly why you need to clean your emails.

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What is email Scrubbing or Validation?

Scrubbing or Validation is the first part of 2 main parts to cleaning your lists.
By Scrubbing you are basically comparing all emails on your list to known harmful emails on our suppression lists and bad data filters. We simply identify which of yours are the bad ones.

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What is a Spam Trap?

“Spam traps” are usually e-mail addresses that are created not for communication, but rather to lure spam. In order to prevent legitimate email from being invited, the e-mail address will typically only be published in a location hidden from view such that an automated e-mail address harvester (used by spammers) can find the email address, but no sender would be encouraged to send messages to the email address for any legitimate purpose. Since no e-mail is solicited by the owner of this spam trap e-mail address, any e-mail messages sent to this address are immediately considered unsolicited.”

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What is email Verification?

Basically verification will tell you if the email is Hard Bounce, valid or not, dead or alive etc.
You NEED to know this because you do not want to mail to this address as all hard bounces affect your sender score/ IP and in-boxing ability. Hard bouncing will also get you in trouble with any white listed server like Constant Contact or MailChimp, not mention your affecting the reputation of your domain!

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Whats the difference between a Hard and Soft bounce?

When it comes to keeping your lists clean and knowing which emails are good or not, a hard or soft bounce are the only real way to know which is which?

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable. Its dead don’t waste your time with it.

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server (it recognizes the address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient’s mailbox is full “user over quota”, the server is down or swamped with messages “server temporarily unavailable” or the message is too large. So you would want to try again later as this email may very well be a good valid email, but this verification attempt not complete.

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My list is clean, why am I still getting bounced emails?

If your IP, domain and email campaign (copy) are clean and you’re still getting bounced e-mails, then most likely your list is not clean or clean enough!

However usually the majority of the time emails bounce back after cleaning is that your IP, Domain or both are dirty and are being blocked by the receiving servers or you email campaign is questionable. Basically the servers bounced emails back as a precaution because they are not accepting anything from your IP or domain. If your IP or Domain is flagged as questionable or your actual email looks spammy, then the receiving server simply bounces back any request (or email you send) to their servers.

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What is a “Catch All” email address and why is it Unknown?

The largest percentages of Unknowns emails are Catch All, basically these ISP’s accept all emails. The best way to explain this is to use the analogy of you receiving a letter at your house, compared to if you live in a condo development with hundreds of different people but one main Mail-room who accepts ALL mail.

Your house has one single address that the mail can only be delivered to, but if you’re not there anymore, then the mailman returns to sender (bounce back). A condo on the other hand has one basic mail room for everyone, so all mail is accepted and then gets distributed once a gets inside. At the condo, some people may have moved, don’t live their anymore etc, but the mail was ACCEPTED. This would be where email verification ends, so we are not sure of the final recipients verification and deem it “Unknown”

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After using your cleaning service, we are still getting a lot of bounces from addresses you reported as being valid. Why is this?

Some mail servers will not return non-existent email address errors when performing a simple SMTP check. This accounts for a small portion of verified addresses. What is also likely is that your sending mail server has been blacklisted or is in an IP address range that has been blacklisted either by a recipient server or one of the blacklisting services. In addition, there is no way utilizing our service to know the results of emails that are forwarded to another address that is not deliverable. Clients that use our service report back to us that anywhere between 2 to 15%, with an average of 7.5%, of reported-valid addresses bounce.

How accurate is your service?

We strive for as close to 100% accuracy as we can achieve. Many email users now require verification before email can get through, email accounts are abandoned and not terminated, email accounts become full and their servers do not return appropriate messages, some email servers will give false positives (meaning they say an account exists when it does not), we also estimate anywhere between 1.5% and 10% of confirmed addresses no longer exist because of employees leaving companies (where their email returns an auto-responder or is forwarded to another employee). That being said, for most lists, we reach on average 97% accuracy.

We’re considering using your email list cleaning service but we’re concerned about the confidentiality of our lists.

We’ve been cleaning data since 2010. During this time, we have been entrusted with several thousand lists of 500,000 subscribers or more, never mind tens of thousands of smaller lists. Our reputation in the industry is so much more valuable than what any single list could be worth to us. So our contract with you includes confidentiality and non-disclosure language.

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