It has often been said that the need to validate email addresses is primarily a tool for marketers. With email being one of the most successful channels for marketers, this is of course very true. However, when you look at other areas such as where compliance and risk are a principle focus, you can see some other obvious fits.
Take, for example, changes to the UK Companies Act, which afforded companies greater flexibility in the way they communicated with shareholders by allowing the use of e-comms to a far greater degree. Previously, as older versions of company law had been written before the advent of most digital technology, all contact with the shareholder base of a company had to be paper based. Now, the great revolution in shareholder relations has begun, with proxy management, dividend payment, account updating and annual report presentation all facilitated by one electronic method or another.
The need for security in this particular sector is vital, as any slips would result in significant levels of investigation and sanction from multiple regulators such as the ICO and FCA. In this regard, the need to check the validity of an email address already maintained on a system is paramount - and needs to be checked on a very regular basis.
If you consider the issue of shareholders accessing a registrar portal for the purposes of:
All of these processes are fraught with risk when conducted through e-transactions where the identity of the use cannot be determined. Setting up and subsequent access to their accounts via the investor portal will require use of their primary email address. Research from The Relevancy Group found that ‘30% of consumers in the aforementioned Relevancy Group Consumer Survey indicated that they have switched or created a new email address in the last year.’1 Therefore if individuals are changing their primary email addresses on a regular basis, companies need to ensure that there is a process in place to validate this particular piece of customer data, especially prior to the mass mailing of tax counterfoils or annual reports.
Only by doing so can the company be sure that it is ensuring that they themselves are not leaving shareholders at risk of:
Additionally, any email validation service must be able to validate ALL email addresses and not just some as well as ensuring granularity of results across their entire shareholder base.
1 2011 The Relevancy Group, LLC, David Daniels, November 2011
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