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The True Cost of Bad Emails Revealed


Georgina Adamson 3 minute read Data quality

As a marketer, my primary goals are customer and prospect engagement. I look after a suite of products and email marketing enables me to communicate the benefits to a specific target audience. Email is still my primary channel for communication, and it is for most marketers. Of course there’s a big buzz around social media at the moment but there’s no denying that email is going to be around for some time to come. ROI and increasing bottom line are key deliverables within the marketing function here at Experian Data Quality and ensuring my messages reach the intended inbox plays an important part in achieving these.

How does Email Validation ensure my messages reach my customers?

The main purpose of my role is to connect to my customers and prospects through the use of email. Without verifying whether or not the emails are actually valid, my communications may not even be reaching the inbox. Before every email send out, I ensure my data is up to date and trustworthy by filtering out all the 'bad' email addresses. Additionally email validate can be implemented into every customer touch point to ensure only the correct email addresses are being captured and stored. The average person changes their email address up to twice a year so for me, validating each email address before a send out is vital.

My message to marketers

The true cost of bad emails is far greater than the pennies it costs to send them. It’s that message that I don’t really think has resonated too clearly with marketers yet. Of course, sending an email is low cost, but Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are getting increasingly sophisticated with email filtering and with more spam traps it’s much easier to get caught out. It only takes a few of these bad email addresses and you’ll find your messages are getting filtered into the junk folder. Often if your bounce rate is high, you could easily see a whole campaign completely blocked. Regulators are also cracking down, especially within the financial services sector where heavy penalties can be inflicted if they get their communications wrong. The average sender reputation score in the UK is 51 which means that only around 23% of emails are actually reaching the inbox. This figure really does emphasise why sender reputation and deliverability are so important. Validating your email lists at the point of capture and validating legacy email addresses will ensure your messages reach the inbox, increasing deliverability, ROI and customer satisfaction.


To read more on how to improve your email placement rate, download our latest research by B2B Marketing, 'The State of Email Marketing 2014.'