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The Verizon Email Update and the Future Impact to Deliverability

Thomas Senne
Senior Director of Global Deliverability

Last week I received a notification from Verizon telling me that soon they would be deactivating accounts with no login in the last 180 days. That’s only 6 months of inactivity before they shut down addresses, which should bounce at that point. We’re continuously talking about list quality and how that has such a big impact on Deliverability, and how that funnels to your overall campaign success. Here’s another concrete example of why sending email to unengaged people is not a winning proposition.

At Verizon, going forward, you should never email anyone with 6+months of inactivity. Deliverability will suffer because you will hit closed email accounts that will either bounce or be converted to spam traps by the ISP.  Over the last few months, we have used 9 months as the cut-off point for mailing inactives. I can tell you that a large percentage of the deliverability questions and issues that we receive here at Oracle, are a result of senders pushing that cut-off point. We will need to watch the market, but it is fair to say that this change could help to reduce that timeline even further.

We’ll continue to say this over and over. You must keep customers engaged with valuable content from the beginning.  If you see that someone is not using an address, consider other methods of communication to bring them into the fold. You must come to grips with the fact that losing an unengaged email address is far less damaging than continuing to mail to it.

Here is the text from the announcement.

We wanted to let you know that we changed our email policy. 

With this change, if you haven’t accessed your verizon.net email account in over 180 days, your email account will be deleted and cannot be reactivated. This change only impacts your verizon.net email account. Your access to myverizon.com will not be affected.

If this change applies to you and you’d like to keep your email account active, simply log in to webmail.verizon.com from a computer and check your email within the next 30 days. Any verizon.net email accounts that remain inactive after 30 days of this notice will be deleted, including the email address. 

Please visit verizon.com/emailpolicy to review our updated policy.

Thanks for being a loyal Verizon customer.

This is important information that we need to look at beyond this specific instance. The window of activity is closing quickly. It is almost becoming a requirement that you make contact quickly, and don’t ever lose the interest of your customer. You should not count on building a huge database of email addresses that you can just turn to when you need a revenue pop. 

If you do lose contact with a customer and they slip into this inactive zone, the lesson is that you really should let that address go. Try other means of contacting that customer to bring them back in to the fold, but do not jeopardize communication with your active set to do it. I expect we will see more and more evidence in the near future of this shrinking window. Don’t be caught unaware.

As I mentioned earlier it is important to keep customers engaged with valuable content. 

For tips from leading content marketers and thinkers and how to develop a balanced content marketing plan to support your most significant business objectives, be sure to download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Content Marketing

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