Why You Need An Email Validation Service!

By: Teamwork Retail

This is a guest blog post from Keith Reinhardt, Marketing & Communications Specialist at FreshAddress. Keith is a marketing nerd, dog-lover and avid hiker. He is not Nancy; but unfortunately, Sephora seems to think he is. Below is a little funny email story and how you, retailers of the world, can avoid making the same mistake as Sephora.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten a misdirected email, and actually not the first I’ve gotten from Sephora. But this most recent example made me think about the connection between the end recipient’s experience and the hygiene of your acquisition sources. Sephora acquired what it thought was Nancy’s email, and is trying to grow the relationship – “look how many points you have, Nancy!” Instead, one bad email address has resulted in two bad customer experiences; I’m getting misdirected emails, which makes me think less of Sephora, and Nancy is missing the emails she thought she signed up for.

There are a lot of different contexts in which this could have happened, but when you look at enough email address registrations over time, typos become a frequent suspect. A likely scenario: Nancy is on www.sephora.com and types her address into a prompt asking her to sign up. Or maybe she is in a brick-and-mortar location and provides her email at the cash register.

Either of those avenues are prime suspects for being sources of bad data – fat-fingers, clerks who enter the same email address over and over again – we’ve seen it all!

What’s the solution? Use an Email Validation Service at the Point of Collection

Sephora can, of course, verify email addresses after collecting them – that would have fixed the issue of sending Nancy’s email to me, protecting their email marketing program from downside risk of a poorly engaged address and/or spam report. But that approach misses the opportunity to remain connected to Nancy; quantify that opportunity as whatever an email subscriber is worth to Sephora over time (a scan of their pricing suggests that it has to be a lot!)

The ideal approach is to validate and correct the email address at the point of collection enabling the organization to suggest potential fixes of the initial email. For example, if Nancy’s actual email address was the same handle as mine, but at a different domain, an email validation service could have helped by suggesting that my address is uncommon.

It’s simple, but a “Did you mean…” message could be the difference between keeping Nancy as a customer or a “this is spam” click. (I’m not that mean; I just unsubscribed from their emails.)

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