Invalid and Corrupted Email Addresses Hurt Retailers’ Sales & Deliverability

Newton, MA – (January 25, 2006) FreshAddress, Inc., a leading email database services provider, released the results of its study “Email Address Validation Study of Fifty Top Retail Web Sites.” The sobering results show none of the tested websites successfully blocked the most common email address registration errors, thus allowing typos and undeliverable email addresses into their databases. The average cost to each of these retailers is $6.7 million dollars annually in lost sales.

The 50 retail web sites were selected from Internet Retailer’s list of Top 300 Retail Web Sites, and included Amazon.com, Dell.com, and Staples.com.

The nine invalid email addresses used in the test included common typographical, formatting, "dead" domain errors, and bogus email addresses, such as:

  • Bob_8@attbi.com - Attbi.com is a “dead” domain & out of business
  • Bob_8@hotmial.com - Common misspelling of “hotmail.com”
  • Bob_82hotmail.com - Common typo where the shift key was not pressed for the “@” symbol

The results show that 98% of the sites tested failed to block at least two types of invalid email addresses, 96% failed to block three or more types, and fully 86% failed to block four or more types of invalid email addresses.

After a holiday season where online sales were at a record high and major companies are announcing up to 30% increases in their 2006 online advertising budgets, inaccurate databases can create significant problems. By averaging the conversion and customer-value rates provided by Internet Retailer, it is estimated that over $500,000 per month, per retailer, is lost due to faulty email address validation.

According to FreshAddress, Inc. President, Austin Bliss, “The solution is to provide a simple, user-friendly process that immediately identifies invalid email addresses and offers intelligent corrections. After years of perfecting and utilizing validation technology in-house, we now offer this Real-Time Email Address Validation service to our clients. The interest has been incredible.”

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) utilize bounce and spam-trap thresholds to thwart spammers from clogging their systems and annoying their customers. When these thresholds are exceeded for a given campaign, ISPs often blacklist the offending source. This results in falling deliverability, open, and/or response rates, which directly impacts customer sales revenues or member donations.

“The nine invalid email addresses tested represents a small subset of the millions of invalid email registrations that occur daily,” said Bill Kaplan, CEO of FreshAddress, Inc. “List hygiene is the underlying cause for many email deliverability problems facing companies today. If organizations don’t address this problem at the source, they will continue to throw millions of dollars away in lost revenues.”

Further details and a copy of the Real-Time Email Validation study can be found at www.freshaddress.com/resources or by contacting a FreshAddress Professional List Consultant at 617.965.4500.