Email Validation/Data Breach Case Study

The Problem: A Major Data Breach

A leading health and fitness brand (“Provider”) suffered a massive data breach, which affected ~100 million of their customers/users (“Users”). In an effort to address its Users’ concerns and to clarify the situation before too much damage was caused to its reputation, the Provider wanted to reach out to its Users as soon as possible. Communicating with its Users without delay was critical to maintaining its reputation, protecting its Users, and minimizing the repercussions of the breach.

The Solution: SafeToSend Email Validation


While the Provider had email addresses for almost all of its Users, there was a huge risk that many of these email addresses were invalid or, worse yet, had been turned into spamtraps – email addresses used by Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), anti-spam organizations, and other groups as a way to identify spammers and block their emails from being delivered.

Messaging this file without cleaning it through a service like FreshAddress’s SafeToSend offering (described in detail below) would have resulted in being blacklisted by the ISPs, which would have brought down the Provider’s email marketing program for weeks, if not months, at a minimum.

Further underscoring the need to clean this email marketing database before any email deployments, the Provider’s email vendor informed the Provider that it would not risk its servers or reputation messaging a file this large and old until the Provider had processed its file through FreshAddress’s SafeToSend email hygiene, correction, and validation service.

The Results:

The Provider reached out to FreshAddress and FreshAddress began processing its file the very next day, working 24 hours/day until the file was completely clean. Upon completion:

  • FreshAddress had identified ~30% of the file to be bouncing or problematic, thereby enabling the Provider to safely message the remaining 70% of its file.
  • The Provider’s messaging went off without a hitch, averting a potential disaster and allowing the Provider to rebound from this massive data breach with its reputation and customers intact.
  • Furthermore, the Provider saved tens of millions of dollars it would have otherwise spent if it needed to reach out to its Users through direct mail, which also would have been significantly slower to do.
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