Keep Your Email List Healthy By Fixing Tpyos

By Sally Heaven

Email deliverability is on everyone’s mind today, especially ours at Blackbaud, because we want to help you ensure that your emails to donors, advocates, and prospects have the best possible chance of reaching the inbox.

We’ve told you about SPAM complaints, SPAM traps, authentication, and engagement. Today, we’re going to tell you about another way to keep your email list healthy:

Make sure the emails on your list are valid.

What do we mean by valid? We mean verify they are real email addresses. Our system detects and suppresses email addresses that hard bounce, but large numbers of failures from your list can negatively impact your sender reputation and can cause mailbox providers to divert your messages to SPAM or Junk folders (or worse).

Where do they come from?

Where do they come from?

  • Typos — People inadvertently enter errors when they complete your “join our email list” form

  • Fakers — People enter phony email addresses to access content behind forms (like reports or PDFs), but they don’t actually want to receive email from you

  • Bots — Automated programs complete your forms if they’re not properly protected

What can you do?

  • Typos will ahppen — we all make thme. You can scan your list for common typos in email domains, like Gmial.com, gnail.com, hotmial.com, and so on. Email On Acid has an article about how domain typos can ding your reputation — they're called "Typo Traps.". Find them and fix them. Do this regularly (weekly, at least) for all your new signups before you send them email that has the chance to hard bounce and make them undeliverable.

    • If you regularly download and eyeball your list, you’ll be able to compile a “most frequently made typo for email domain” list to refer to
  • Scan your list for common phrases people enter when they’re entering a fake email, like:

    • noemail

    • dontsendmeemail

    • a variety of swear words

  • Make sure your email signup forms aren’t susceptible to a bot attack. You can implement a CAPTCHA to protect against bots. The Google reCAPTCHA is a simple checkbox — “Tough on bots, easy on humans.”

You can also work with Blackbaud Services — in 2018, we will offer some Email Validation services to help you clean your list regularly. Contact your rep or your customer success manager for more information.