Temp Email and The Fake Email Generator
Temporary email, fake emails, and disposable email addresses are nothing new and they are not going away any time soon.
Caution is warranted: The results are costly to you as an email marketer.
If subscribers have used a random email generator to create a temporary email address, they are most likely low-value subscribers.
We’ve all heard it said we live in a throw-away society. For consumers that are concerned with SPAM, having their inbox filled up with offers, or that their email addresses will be sold, that sentiment often extends to their personal email.
Disposable email addresses are a major aggravation for marketers who want to build permission based opt-email active email databases.
Many consumers use them to shield their most valuable email addresses from unwanted messaging. There seems to be a lingering misunderstanding and mistrust for the unsubscribe link.
A quick Google search of companies offering free temp email service pretty much all promotes the idea of “protect yourself from spam” as the number one reason to use a fake email or temporary email.
Below are a couple examples of companies offering temporary email. Starting with what I consider the most problematic one for email marketers.
From the company website: What is 10 Minute Mail?
A secure temporary email service. This means that it lets you have a private email address that anyone can send an email to.
The email and the address both self-destruct in 10 minutes. After your email address expires, all of your email is deleted, and the email address itself stops working a minute later.
From the company website: Temp Mail
Forget about spam, advertising mailings, hacking, and attacking robots. Keep your real mailbox clean and secure. Temp Mail provides temporary, secure, anonymous, free, disposable email addresses.
Temp email addresses are valid until you delete.
People use these temp email or fake email addresses in these and other scenarios:
- Opt into marketing messages
- Open an account
- Download content
- Enter a contest
- Collect an incentive like a discount, coupon, or freebie
Consumers don't trust brands because they are worried about having their addresses sold to the highest bidder. However, almost-daily data breaches have ramped up consumer anxiety and distrust, especially when a big-name brand gets hit and makes the news.
Those are the legitimate uses of disposable email addresses.
There is also a dark side because people use them to hide their identities so they can spam, troll, or otherwise harm other people. That's why disposable is also known as "dark mail."
On the Dark Side
Users may use these temporary emails to take advantage of your promotions or offers. If you offer an incentive to opt-in for email like a discount or free trial, some people will try to use it more than once and will submit multiple fake or temporary emails.
They want to harm your business. Some users are intent on misusing your brand and websites. They'll use temporary email to hide their true identity so they can post comment spam, negative reviews of your brand in reviews or abuse other users on your platform.
Temporary Email Can Spell Disaster For Email Marketing Campaigns.
Understanding what they are, why they are used, and how they affect businesses helps email marketers adjust their strategy when collecting email addresses.
Although temporary email addresses work well for consumers wanting to keep their personal accounts safe and clean, their use can wreak havoc on a business’s email marketing campaigns. Some users have their emails forwarded to real email addresses where they can control what they receive and read. Others never read their emails or use a service provider that expires them within 10 minutes after receiving them, thus creating a hard bounce.
Temp email addresses reduce the marketer’s efforts to reach potential customers—and affect the email list analytics and campaign reporting. In other words, a business owner may have thousands of subscribers on his or her list with only a small percentage of them actually reading their emails. In this case, quantity over quality losses. Real emails rather than fake emails can be the difference between quality leads and worthless lists.
Protect Your Business From Subscribers Using Temporary Email Addresses
Protecting your business from temporary email addresses isn’t always easy, but there are several ways to increase the likelihood of generating real email addresses from potential customers.
- Start with email validation services like Kickbox or Fresh Address for existing lists. List hygiene, including removing non-openers, will quickly resolve issues with your existing email list.
- Email marketing managers can also inhibit the use of temporary emails by using online sign-up forms that make use of email validation in real-time to determine if an email address is disposable and block it from being submitted.
- Be proactive - build trust, offer value beyond the opt-in. Providing valuable content beyond the signup can also keep the attention of those who sign up, whether they use a real or disposable address.
- Tell people why you are asking for their email addresses and how you will keep their data safe (pretty much a standard now).
- Link to your privacy or data protection policies.
- Ensure your privacy or data protection policies written in everyday language.
Email use continues to grow, and email remains consumers’ number 1 channel for communicating with brands. However, they're more concerned about how their data, including their personal or business email addresses, is being used and protected.
Email marketers need to work harder than ever to win the trust of our potential customers and this includes asking for their primary email addresses.