Yahoo! Releasing Inactive Email Addresses


As you may have noticed recently, there’s been some online discussion around Yahoo!’s upcoming change to available email IDs. Yahoo! announced that they will allow new email users to gain access to the account they’ve always wanted. Many common email addresses at Yahoo! that have been unavailable for years, such as, will now be free again for public usage. This means no more need to sign up with or some other complicated email identification. In order to free up these email addresses, Yahoo! will release email accounts that have been inactive for 12 months or longer.

Throughout the past week, Yesmail’s Deliverability team has spent time reviewing this upcoming change, which Yahoo! says will take effect on July 15th. It’s important for all marketers to fully understand what impact this change will have on sending email to Yahoo and for maintaining a strong reputation with this major ISP. Overall, any email marketer that is already following deliverability best practices shouldn’t be too concerned about Yahoo!’s upcoming changes. On the other hand, if you aren’t following the rules, now is a good time to start.  To help you understand how some basic deliverability best practices apply to Yahoo!’s update, we’ve outlined a few key categories for you below.

Best Practice #1: Valid Bounce Processing

Marketers should always be confirming that they’re properly identifying invalid email addresses with their ESP through bounce processing and then removing those invalids from future mailings. Before each inactive ID at Yahoo! is made available, they are expected to bounce back for 30 days. This will give email marketers the opportunity to receive a bounce-back code and proactively remove that address from their list. At Yesmail, our Deliverability Team is responsible for regularly auditing your bounce rules and ensuring that a closed down or inactive email address is removed from future deployments.

Best Practice #2: Valid Unsubscribe Processing

As we all know, it’s important to unsubscribe email users in a timely manner when they request it. Marketers should regularly confirm that the unsubscribe process functions as expected and that the unsubscribe mechanism is clearly visible within the message content of an email. Yahoo! says it will unsubscribe inactive accounts from commercial email before releasing them for usage, so a clear and working unsubscribe is going to be critical.

 Best Practice #3: Ongoing Data Hygiene

It’s a commonly known best practice to avoid mailing inactive subscribers, as they pose risk of spam traps and major blacklisting issues for a marketer’s email program. In light of Yahoo!’s upcoming change, ongoing data hygiene will be an important best practice to keep up with as well. If a marketer has email addresses within their list that are past the 12 month mark of inactivity or non-activity, the accounts are going to be eligible for being recycled at Yahoo!. It’s recommended that marketers regularly reach out to their subscriber base and clean out inactive accounts that go over a year without engaging with an email. Following data hygiene best practices will prevent marketers from having a large inactive list of Yahoo! subscribers that haven’t had the opportunity of being removed.

Author Bio

Brad Van Der Woerd

Brad provides global email deliverability leadership and management for Yes Lifecycle Marketing’s Intelligence Products team. His expertise includes providing digital marketing strategies, email deliverability consulting and best practices to a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies including eBay, Visa, Gap, US Bank and many more. Brad holds 10 years of experience within digital marketing and is passionate about team engagement, people development and driving results for clients.