Say No to Fake Email: Why Disposable Email Account is Bad For Email Marketing

July 2, 2024
14 Minutes
Modified on:
July 2, 2024
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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Over the years, email marketing has been a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their audience, nurture customer relationships, and drive conversions. Creating a clean mailing list is vital to achieve success for your email campaigns. However, the increasing use of fake email can significantly undermine the effectiveness of these campaigns.

Disposable email accounts, often used to avoid spam or protect privacy, can distort engagement metrics, damage the sender's reputation, and waste valuable resources. This comprehensive guide sheds light on the negative impact of disposable email accounts on email marketing and provides actionable strategies to mitigate these issues. Let's start by understanding what a disposable email account is.

What is a Disposable Email Account?

A disposable email account is a temporary, self-destructing email address designed for short-term use or a specific purpose. Unlike regular email addresses, which are intended for ongoing use, fake email provides users with a quick and anonymous way to receive emails without the long-term commitment of maintaining an inbox.

In general, there are three different types of disposable email accounts.

  • Aliases are typically variations of a genuine mail address hosted by a popular inbox provider like Gmail.
  • Forwarding accounts hosted by a different inbox provider to the user’s primary email account forwards messages to that account.
  • Non-forwarding accounts send only one email message, which bounces after the first send, indicating that they have no value in their business database. 

Characteristics of Disposable Email Accounts

People often use fake email addresses when they prefer not to share their real email. On the other hand, it disrupts the communication from the business point of view. Here are the main characteristics of a disposable email account:

1. Temporary Nature

The primary characteristic of a disposable email account is its temporary nature. These accounts are designed to last only for a short duration (typically from a few minutes to a few days). Once the predefined period elapses, the email address and its associated inbox are deleted automatically.

2. Anonymity

Disposable email addresses do not require users to provide personal information. This anonymity makes them appealing to users who want to protect their privacy and avoid being tracked online.

3. Ease of Creation

Creating a fake email address is quick and simple. Users can generate a new email address with just a few clicks, without lengthy sign-up processes or personal information verification.

4. Limited Functionality

Disposable email account usually lack advanced features such as folders, filters, and contact lists, focusing instead on providing a simple inbox for receiving emails.

How Does a Disposable Email Account Work?

Users visit a disposable email service provider's website and generate a temporary email address. The process typically involves clicking a button to create an email address, which is immediately ready for use. Popular services include Neo, Mailinator, 10MinuteMail, Guerrilla Mail, and TempMail. Neo, for example, helps businesses create temporary addresses with custom domains easily.

After the predetermined period, the disposable email address and its inbox are automatically deleted. Some services also allow users to manually delete the email address before the time expires.

Disposable email account are often used for:

  • Avoiding Spam: Users can sign up for websites, newsletters, or promotions without exposing their primary email address to potential spam.
  • Privacy Protection: These accounts allow users to engage in online activities without revealing their personal information.
  • One-Time Use: For activities requiring only a temporary email address, such as receiving a verification code or a one-time download link.

However, there are certain drawbacks for businesses to use such disposable accounts.

The Impact of Disposable Email Accounts

Let’s understand the impact of disposable email accounts in detail:

1. Reduced Engagement Metrics

Disposable email accounts may lead to reduced engagement in terms of the following:

  • Lower Open Rates 

These accounts are typically checked once in a while, if at all. When a significant portion of your email list consists of disposable emails, open rates drop, misleading marketers into thinking their content is not resonating with the audience.

  • Decreased Click-Through Rates

Users often create disposable email accounts to receive a one-time benefit, such as a discount or free trial, without intending to engage further. As a result, click-through rates suffer, making it difficult to gauge the true effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

2. Data Integrity Issues

The presence of disposable emails corrupts your email list, leading to inaccurate data analysis. Tracking engagement metrics such as opens, clicks, and conversions becomes problematic when many emails are sent to temporary addresses that are never accessed again or do not even exist. 

3. Misleading Customer Insights  

Disposable accounts can provide misleading information about customer behavior and preferences. For example, if you segment your audience based on engagement metrics, including disposable email accounts may result in skewed segments that do not accurately reflect the behavior of your genuine subscribers.

4. Damage to Sender's Reputation

With respect to the sender's reputation, these accounts may result in the following:

  • Increased Bounce Rates  

Disposable email accounts are often deactivated after a short period, leading to a high bounce rate when emails are sent to these addresses. This negatively impacts your sender's reputation, making it more likely your emails will be filtered into spam folders by email service providers.

  •   Spam Reports  

Abandoned disposable emails can become spam traps. If your emails are frequently sent to these addresses, it increases the risk of being reported as spam email, further damaging your sender's reputation and reducing your deliverability rates.

5. Wasted Resources: Time and Effort  

Creating engaging email content, segmenting lists, and analyzing campaign performance requires a great deal of time and effort. When disposable email accounts are included in your email list, these resources are wasted as your emails may not reach genuinely interested recipients. 

Furthermore, email marketing platforms often charge based on the number of subscribers or emails sent. Sending emails to disposable accounts increases costs or exhausts the daily email sending limits without giving any return on investment, as these emails do not result in meaningful engagement or conversions.

6. Lack of Personal Connection  

Email marketing thrives on personalization, but disposable emails prevent marketers from building lasting connections with their audience. The temporary nature of these accounts means personalized content is unlikely to be seen or appreciated. 

Additionally, disposable emails can distort your segments, sending irrelevant content to genuine subscribers and reducing the overall effectiveness of your campaigns.

7. Regulatory and Compliance Risks

Using disposable emails complicates compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Maintaining accurate records and obtaining valid consent becomes challenging when dealing with temporary addresses. 

Non-compliance with these regulations can result in hefty fines and legal issues, further damaging your business’s reputation and finances.

Best Practices for Managing Email Lists

While now you know how much disposable email accounts can impact the deliverability of your email marketing campaign, it's time to know how to handle them. Here are some best practices to instill to manage your email lists proactively in 2024.

1. Email List Hygiene

Maintaining a clean email list is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. A clean list ensures higher engagement rates, better deliverability, and more accurate metrics. Regularly remove inactive or unengaged subscribers from your list and use tools to identify and remove invalid or fake email addresses. Periodic list cleaning helps maintain the integrity of your email list and improves overall campaign performance.

2. Subscriber Verification Techniques: CAPTCHA and ReCAPTCHA  

Implement CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA during the sign-up process to prevent bots and automated scripts from registering with disposable email addresses. This additional email validation step helps ensure that your subscribers are genuine users.

3. Confirmation Emails  

Sending a confirmation email as part of a double opt-in process ensures that subscribers genuinely want to receive your emails. This process requires users to confirm their subscription by clicking a link sent to their email, reducing the likelihood of disposable email usage.

Advanced Strategies to Combat Disposable Emails

Here are some advanced strategies email marketers can implement to combat disposable emails:

1. Behavioral Analysis

Monitor user engagement over time to identify patterns that suggest the use of disposable emails. Look for signs such as low open rates, no clicks, and no conversions from certain email addresses.

2. Predictive Analytics

Use predictive analytics to identify and block disposable email addresses. Analyze data points such as email domain, registration time, and user behavior to predict the likelihood of an email address being disposable.

3. Better Incentives  

Offer ongoing incentives that encourage the use of real email addresses. For example, provide exclusive content, access to a loyalty program, or personalized offers that require a valid email address for continuous engagement.

4. Loyalty Programs  

Implement a loyalty program that rewards long-term engagement and provides benefits for using a real email address. This can include points, discounts, or early access to new products.

5. Respecting User Preferences  

Maintain transparency in your email marketing practices. Clearly communicate why you are collecting email addresses, how they will be used, and what subscribers can expect. Respect user preferences and provide easy options for subscribers for seamless management of their email preferences or unsubscribe. Building trust with your audience reduces the likelihood of disposable email usage.

Neo’s Business Email Marketing Campaigns

Are you tired of email campaigns that fizzle out the engagement of your business? A cluttered database filled with fake email addresses can harm your lead-generation efforts. 

Several email verification tools can help identify and filter out disposable email addresses. Popular tools include ZeroBounce, NeverBounce, and BriteVerify. These can be used with Neo to schedule and send top-notch, personalized email campaigns. 

Neo offers several features to simplify the creation and execution of email campaigns. It offers a library of email templates for creating structured emails, which can be created and saved for future use. 

It supports the Gen AI-powered email writer tool, Smart Write, to compose a robust, professional, or creative (as per your requirement) first draft. Besides, it features the Send Later feature to schedule the email campaign at the desired time. Also, to provide a holistic view of the email campaign, it has Read Receipts features, which provide analytics. These analytics can help you determine the success or failure of your campaign. 

Wrapping up!

The use of fake email accounts poses a significant challenge for email marketers, undermining the effectiveness of their campaigns and distorting engagement metrics. By their very nature, disposable email addresses are designed to be temporary and anonymous, appealing to users who want to avoid spam or protect their privacy. 

However, this convenience for users translates into a host of problems for marketers, including reduced engagement rates, inaccurate data, and damage to the sender's reputation. Simply put, while these disposable email account is becoming ubiquitous, taking a proactive approach and Incorporating effective strategies will be the key to keep your business and email list in good shape. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a disposable email account?  

A disposable email account is a temporary email address that self-destructs after a certain period or specific use, often used to avoid spam or unwanted communication. The basic idea behind this fake email is to avoid sharing the primary addresses to ensure the privacy and security of the user. 

2. How do disposable emails affect my email marketing metrics?  

Disposable email accounts lead to lower open rates, decreased click-through rates, and higher bounce rates. Having the fake email addresses can adversely affect your marketing performance metrics as well as the business’s online reputation. 

3. Can disposable emails harm my sender's reputation?  

Of course, high bounce rates and potential spam reports from disposable emails can damage your sender's reputation by affecting email deliverability. Even though these fake email accounts aren't illegal, they are known as burner emails, as they can be only offered for a limited time and get burned out quickly.

4. How to prevent disposable email accounts?

The only way to block disposable email accounts is to find them before you publish an email campaign for your business. There will always be others who use fake email accounts. Hence, it's important for you to take pre-emptive action. You can simply identify fake accounts through an email validation process.

5. What are the disadvantages of using disposable email accounts for your business?

There are several ways in which fake email accounts can harm one’s business. While they affect the engagement metrics and hard bounces on email marketing campaigns, they cause more hazardous effects on a larger scale. It allows your users to take advantage of any offers and leave spam comments about your brand, affecting your reputation as a whole.

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