Yahoo! is disabling accounts that have been inactive for at least 12 months, as of Monday, July 15th. Other people can apply for these accounts any time between that date and mid-August. After that, the accounts may be re-assigned by Yahoo! to new account holders. What does this mean for nonprofits? It means that you could have addresses that, if you do not confirm them within the next month, may have been transferred to people who have not opted into receiving communications from you. If you would like to read more about this change, you can do so on Yahoo!’s blog.
As a nonprofit, how can you confirm these email addresses? Put together a query of your database for all your active constituents who have not opted out of receiving communication from you and who have yahoo.com email addresses. How can you do this? Here’s a brief example
Find all records that have:
- A Status of Active (or no status at all)
- A MailCode (or email code) something other than “No”
- An email address that ends with “@yahoo.com”
You can then use the results of this query to send a quick email (either through ResultsPlus, if the list is fairly small -100 or so) or through your email list management provider (like Constant Contact or MailChimp), asking your constituents to confirm their email address. Some will respond to you, and that’s wonderful! And specifically in this case, the accounts that have been deactivated by Yahoo! will return an auto-reply stating that the account is no longer active. Use those bounces to update your database. My recommendation is to remove the email address from the record.
May all your email addresses still be active!