Disposable Email Addresses: What Are They and How to Identify Them

November 13, 2021

What are disposable email addresses? Do these addresses affect your email marketing campaigns in any way? How do you handle mailing lists of email addresses with disposable domains? Read on to find out.

disposable paper
Image from Unsplash by Steve Johnson

Email has forever changed the way we communicate in this ever-evolving world. From a slow and uncertain process to a lightning-fast one, sending and receiving information changed dramatically across generations.

Email marketing and communication are now preferred by all businesses. Companies can easily generate leads and remain in touch with customers via email.

But an unprecedented increase in email traffic also means an unprecedented number of emails get marked as spam.

About 75% of email users complain they cannot stop spam from coming through. The constant bombardment of spam messages has made consumers more careful about who they share their personal information with.

While this seems reasonable on the surface, it has led to a rapid increase in disposable email addresses or DEAs.

DEAs have become increasingly popular among users in order to avoid spam and keep their inboxes clean. In light of this problem, marketers are in a bind: how can they reach a customer if they won't give them an authentic address to contact them?

Read the article to find out what disposable email addresses are, how they can affect your business, and how you can identify them.

Table of Contents

TL;DR

  • The term disposable email address (DEA) refers to a temporary email address used for a single purpose and discarded afterward.
  • There are three types of disposable email addresses - Alias, Forwarding account, Non-forwarding throwaway accounts.
  • You may end up sending messages to addresses that are likely to have expired and no longer exist if you choose disposable email.
  • Keeping a healthy list will be easy when you use an email verification tool like VerifyBee. It will remove all temporary emails and keep your healthy ones!

What is a Disposable Email Address?

Disposable email addresses (also called temporary email addresses) are those that people use for a short period of time and then discard afterward.

If you have disposable email addresses in your email list, your email marketing campaigns can produce negative results. Most of these addresses expire or are removed manually by the user when they no longer wish to use them.

It can be extremely challenging to contact potential customers or business contacts with disposal email addresses. You lose effectiveness in reaching customers and contacts, and it interferes with your email list analytics as well.

It's important to remember that if your email list contains tons of disposable emails, only a fraction of your recipients and subscribers will actually read your emails. Your high delivery and subscription rates won’t make up for it either.

Quantity is not everything in email marketing, and disposable email addresses are undeniably detrimental to attracting quality leads.

Additionally, temporary emails could reduce the delivery rate and delivery metrics. Higher bounce rates will result in fewer messages being delivered and could result in your account being flagged as spam.

What Are The Types of Disposable Email Addresses?

Alias

It is usually an alteration of the user's primary address. They are variants of real email addresses that will appear in the user's inbox but may be redirected to a folder where they will not interfere with their main correspondence.

ESPs such as Gmail or Yahoo! provide aliases that can be used to create disposable addresses. Emails sent to your alias will be delivered to a folder outside your primary inbox.

Forwarding Account

A separate email domain is used for each of these accounts. These temporary email addresses are created with different domains than the user's email account and are forwarded to that account.

Senders' databases cannot distinguish from which email addresses are being used to read email messages by recipients/subscribers. If an account is set up to receive emails, it will continue to do so until it is deleted.

The temporary email address can be used for as long as needed by users. The email provider that a recipient is actually using to read your messages will be unknown to you as an email marketer.

The email address can even be removed at any time, resulting in a hard bounce. As such, it is hard to obtain accurate results from forwarding accounts such as open or click data.

Non-forwarding Throwaway Accounts

If you use a throwaway email address, it will remain active until you no longer need it. They are specifically designed for single-use operations without requiring further correspondence. Whenever you send an email using such a disposable address, it will bounce.

Disposable Email Addresses are harmful regardless of their form. Since they do not provide your business with an actual email address, this causes your analytics to be skewed and can give you misleading insights.

The one trait that the three types of disposable emails have in common is that they are all of poor quality. So, having disposable email addresses in your email list is likely to cause a high bounce rate.

Why Would Someone Use a Disposable Email Address?

In general, disposable email addresses are used for a variety of reasons, such as to:

  • engage with a brand briefly and not commit to it.
  • creating an account that can be deleted anytime.
  • download materials that require a point of contact to access.
  • avoid any follow-up to contests and promotions.
  • get freebies, bonuses, vouchers, and other offers.
  • register for social media accounts.

How Disposable Email Addresses Harm Your Email Marketing and Your Business?

Spending Money and Time in Vain

After all the time and money spent on setting up an email campaign, sending marketing emails to disposable email addresses will have no positive result in the end. The time you spent on the campaign will be wasted.

A mailing list's pricing is determined by how many active subscribers it has. A list that is excessively filled with disposable email addresses may provide a weaker ROI (Return on Investment).

Skewed Analytics

There is no point in having thousands of email subscribers if only a few people actually open and read your emails. For those who use disposable email addresses, you cannot even reach anyone!

If your list contains a large number of disposable email addresses, your messages won't be opened. Additionally, the effort you put into attracting customers goes unrewarded.

Trust Issues Between You and Your Subscribers

If your customers suddenly start using disposable email addresses, it may be a sign you need to take a second look into your customer service.

An increase in the number of disposable emails may also indicate that you’re losing the trust of your subscribers. Users might also feel that you aren't protecting their personal information properly.

Churn Rates Will Artificially Increased

The churn rate, or the percentage of new subscribers who remove themselves from your email list after a short period of time, cannot be avoided.

Calculating the churn rate involves dividing the total number of lost customers by the total number of customers within that time period. You will experience a higher churn rate with disposable email addresses.

Lower Email Delivery Rates

The owner of disposable email addresses usually ignores the addresses or deletes them after a short period of time. Being unaware of the situation, you will still plan to use the email address in future campaigns but the address no longer exists anywhere else except your database.

The result is that your campaign will have low deliverability rates, and the email service provider will charge you for email addresses that are no longer valid. It's a lose-lose situation for you.

Sender's Reputation is Damaged

A sender's reputation is determined by a number of factors, including IP address, domain reputation, authentication of sending policy framework (SPF), bounce rate to date, engagement rates, subscriber complaints, and spam traps in your subscriber list if applicable.

Emails sent to disposable email addresses decrease engagement, damage domain reputation, and ultimately harm the reputation of the sender.

Poor Reputation and Blacklisting of IP Addresses

Your IP reputation can be badly affected if you employ poor sending practices, resulting in your emails ending up in spam folders. The practice of emailing unknown users is bad. In this case, it may have been a throwaway account that has expired.

When you send too many bounced emails to these accounts, you can be labeled as a spammer. Your content will end up in their spam inboxes in the future, which will significantly reduce its chances of being read by real users.

How to Spot a Disposable Email address?

It is true that you should be happy that a large number of visitors are becoming subscribers through your website alone.

The problem is, however, that it is not easy to identify whether all of the subscribers are legitimate. Your vast list of emails probably includes quite a few Disposable Email Addresses as well.

man pointing to board
Image from Pexels by Cottonbro

Disabling sign-ups from known disposable email address domains can be simple. However, there are hundreds of new such domains being added daily. It can become cumbersome to do this manually.

You can conduct periodic checks for deliverability and monitor the email inbox on a daily basis by yourself. The process can be time-consuming and tedious.

It is easier to do this using a third-party service like VerifyBee, which lets you focus on running your business while maintaining a clean email list. With the ability to fully verify and clean email lists, VerifyBee is a user-friendly and secure service.

Why Disposable Emails should be removed from the list?

Successful email marketing relies on having a clean list. Marketing your products to interested individuals will help you avoid wasting time and money.

You will also benefit from the fact that you will not be putting your sender reputation at risk. The benefits of having a clean list include improved deliverability, higher open and click rates, protection of your sender reputation, and reduced bounce rates.

You should also keep in mind that disposable emails last only for a short period of time and are temporary. Any transactions carried out through that email address will not be recorded, including receipts and proofs of purchase.

Overall, it's not a good sign to have a list with disposable email addresses. If you keep sending emails to them, you can be blacklisted. This will affect your IP reputation and will stop you from reaching real customers.

How Can VerifyBee Help You Avoid The Disposable Email Addresses?

There is almost no way to go through every single email in a list of thousands of emails to ensure that they are not disposable mailboxes. Hence, automating the process through a service like VerifyBee makes sense.

VerifyBee is a service that allows you to maintain a clean list. You will also be able to get rid of potentially risky emails to ensure a healthy sender reputation score.

Moreover, without knowing the legitimacy of your customers' email addresses, it is difficult to communicate with them. With VerifyBee's free trial, you can verify your list or email address in order to reach your customers more effectively with email marketing.

The Bottom Line

Spammy websites have become increasingly popular as a result of the increased use of disposable or temporary email addresses. Hence, marketing professionals should verify email addresses if they see disposable addresses on their mailing lists.

Using an email verification tool like VerifyBee will allow you to keep the good email addresses and eliminate the risky disposable ones.

Email verification should be affordable and of high quality and VerifyBee believes email verification shouldn't break your bank.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up on VerifyBee today and say goodbye to disposable emails!

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