NEWTON, MA -- ReliaQuote®, is an online service that supplies free rate quotes from leading life insurance companies.

The Challenge

ReliaQuote (RQ) wanted to actively market its term life product but most email service providers (ESPs) were afraid to handle RQ’s deployments. ESPs believed there was a significant risk of being blocked or blacklisted due to:

  • Excessive bounces and invalid email addresses
  • Excessive “This is spam” complaints from inactive customers
  • The high likelihood of spam traps in the file

Freshaddress and Reachmail come to the Rescue

Fortunately, one of FreshAddress’s ESP partners, ReachMail, was up for the challenge. With over 500 customers deploying over 40 million emails monthly, ReachMail knew that the problematic email addresses in RQ’s email marketing strategy were likely to cause significant deliverability problems, not only for ReliaQuote but potentially for the rest of ReachMail’s client base as its sender reputation could be damaged by one “bad apple”.

To proactively avoid these issues, ReachMail chose to utilize FreshAddress’s Automated Batch Email Hygiene service as part of a comprehensive three-step process to ensure it could deploy ReliaQuote’s initial and ongoing marketing communications while maintaining its excellent standing with the ISPs going forward.

The Solution

ReachMail’s on board program for ReliaQuote consisted of scrubbing the file of problematic email addresses through FreshAddress’s proprietary email hygiene services, employing multiple messaging servers with both active email and cleaning email accounts to cycle through the file for its initial deployments, and scrubbing all new registrations through FreshAddress.

Step One: FreshAddress Automated Batch Email Hygiene Processing

ReachMail processed RQ’s entire file through FreshAddress’s email hygiene service which:

  • Checked the MX record status of every domain
  • Identified typo, formatting, syntax, and top level domain errors
  • Flagged known hard bounces
  • Marked known spam traps
  • Highlighted “squealers and screamers”

Step Two: Multiple Messaging Servers

ReachMail employed multiple messaging servers, including an “Active” and “Cleaning” account process, as follows:

  • Loaded the post hygiene file into the Cleaning Account
  • Messaged
  • Moved all delivered email addresses into the Active Account
  • Messaged the Active Account and moved any bounces back into the Cleaning Account
  • Repeated process until there was no room for improvement

Step Three: Perform Hygiene on New Registrations

ReachMail regularly processes all new RQ email registrations through FreshAddress’s Auto Batch Email Hygiene service to catch problems BEFORE they get entered into the RQ database for marketing

Results and Benefits

Initial Processing:

ReachMail was able to identify and remove: 22% of flagged addresses

Deliverability Improvements:

  • ReliaQuote’s bounce rate on the initial file deployment decreased to 5%
  • ReliaQuote’s spam complaint rate decreased to less than .1%
  • Spam traps and blacklisting issues disappeared


ReliaQuote’s ROI on its internal email marketing program now generates twice the return versus other programs it uses to capture new policy buyers!

About Reliaquote: ReliaQuote specializes in the marketing and sale of life insurance policies through the World Wide Web. Providing consumers with a quick and convenient way to shop for and purchase life insurance 24-hours a day from their homes or offices, ReliaQuote offers a selection of hundreds of life insurance plans from highly rated insurance companies to meet the diverse needs of each consumer.

About ReachMail: Founded in 2001, ReachMail is an Email Service Provider that offers a hosted solution for email marketers. ReachMail’s 500+ clients deploy over 40 million emails on a monthly basis. ReachMail focuses on ease of use and personal customer service to ensure the satisfaction and highest deliverability rates for each of its clients.