Email list cleaning can be good or bad. It all depends on the company that is aggregating your data. Over the years, we have heard dozens of frightening stories about bad experiences with email validation services therefore I think it would be good to write about them to give help warn you before you make the same mistakes.

Switched Lists

A few years ago, I had a client have me sign a huge non-disclosure and data safety agreement. Since we don’t keep data, it’s all good with me. He continued to tell me this awful story. One of our competitors scrubbed his list and sent it to someone else and vice versa. Get this – both companies were in a similar industry. One had an optin list of 120,000 subscribers to an online poker game (Texas Hold’em smartphone game to be exact) while the other client had a list of 80,000 gamblers. Both lists were sent to the wrong client(s). It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the lists were not named! But they were named by company name and list numbers. I don’t need to fill you in on the rest of that story.

Suppression Switch

A client of mine said, one time a competitor (email verification services) accidently scrubbed against the wrong suppression list. When they sent the email, they hit all kinds of traps, complainers, bounces and litigators. Nearly shut them down. Manually scrubbing (sending a file without FTP and/or UI automation) is a major risk. When we first started scrubbing files back in the early 2000’s, we did things manually on a desktop. It was easy to hit the wrong button when choosing suppressions. Always ask the email list cleaning company “where” and “how” they manipulate the data.

Stolen Data

You’d better be seeding your data! An easy way to do so is create a free email account and have it fwd to your regular email. 90% of all email list hygiene companies will keep your data. If they say they don’t, just assume they are lying. They might not use it “right then” but you can bet your life they will later. Many have API’s where they upload all of the data into an appending platform have offer access to the data to their clients. Your data just goes into the “pot” for all to gain access to. Bottom line is, you have to be able to trust your email validation services Company, so find out what they do with your data after you upload it. eHygienics and Verify550 will not and never has used any of their clientele data. We will sign anything you wish.