ECOA: The Email Marketer’s Tool Against List Attrition

When you google ECOA, you’re more than likely to find the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association or learn about the Equal Credit Opportunity Act than actually discovering what Email Change of Address is all about. Hopefully that speaks less of our SEO, and more to the fact that Email Change of Address is simply a relatively unknown, but very powerful tool for email marketers. For whatever reason, email list attrition is a major problem for all, but doesn’t garner much discussion.

So what is ECOA anyway?

ECOA is a service for both consumers and businesses. The Email Change of Address Registry and Service, maintained by FreshAddress, allows individuals to register their new and old email address, enabling people to find them when trying to get back in touch. It’s ideal for anyone looking to reconnect with friends, associates, old classmates, former customers, business prospects, or relatives. You can sign up for free here. In addition, many email lists and newsletters use ECOA to stay current, so if you change your email address and forget to change your preferences, you’ll give that company a shot at reconnecting with you.

Which leads us to the business service that ECOA provides to email marketers. Call it what you want (list attrition, list churn), the problem remains the same. People change their email address. Often. According to HubSpot, 25% of your email marketing database is lost each year due to people changing jobs, switching internet providers, or maybe just deciding it’s time to try out the latest and greatest webmail service ( anyone?).You also have the people who have multiple email addresses and registered on your site with their secondary account.

There are some basic things you can do to try and fight this, including segmenting your list and maintaining a solid preference form, but let’s face it, people are usually changing their email address and not looking back. As email marketers, not only are you dealing with more and more inactive/unresponsive customers, your email sending reputation is suffering and your ROI is continuing to drop. That’s where ECOA can help!

FreshAddress’s patented ECOA technology finds updates for up to 20+% of the bouncing or inactive email addresses in your file. We offer unparalleled match rates and data accuracy due to our proprietary internal database of over 122MM change pairs (i.e. old:new email addresses), our multi-partner approach to data sourcing, and our exclusive list hygiene and double-scrubbing processes. All data provided by FreshAddress is 100% opted-in and opt-in permission-messaged.

How ECOA works:

  1. You send your customer email bounce/inactive file to FreshAddress
  2. We run your list through our SafeToSend email validation and hygiene solution to weed out any formatting problems, syntax errors as well as any damaging but deliverable addresses. Most importantly, we identify and update any typos with our domain “spell check” technology, returning to you deliverable corrections
  3. We match the remaining file against our proprietary change-pair database (122+MM) and those of our data partners
  4. We analyze the raw matches and weed out any emails that are not SafeToSend
  5. We send out a branded opt-in “Permission Message” to the updated email addresses to request permission
  6. We perform a second scrub to ensure your file is SafeToSend based on our most current knowledgebase of toxic addresses
  7. We return your file to you, with up to 15+% more 100% guaranteed deliverable and SafeToSend email addresses

So when thinking about what to do with your inactive/bouncing emails, don’t throw them away, try an ECOA!

Email Change of Address

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