(This post was previously posted on Deliverability.com, and has been refreshed since then.)
In mid-June, Yahoo! announced a plan to start re-introducing email addresses that have been inactive on their platforms for 12 months. They did so by allowing users to sign up for the email address they’ve always wanted in mid-July and by mid-August, they let those users know which ones they received.
This recycling has many downstream effects on email delivery and deliverability, so let’s take a look at what effects it may have had on you.
Your old account may have a new owner.
If you had an account with Yahoo! that you didn’t use very often (especially prior to July 15), it may have been recycled. While Yahoo! stated that there would be a deactivation period of 30 days after accounts were shut down, many new owners of these accounts are still receiving mail targeted towards the previous owner.
You should maintain regular contact with your recipients.
It is often times like these that you may reflect on your business process, wishing you had a regular, periodic email to your recipient base to ensure you have an engaged, active and clean recipient list.
Losing contact with your recipients for long periods of time can leave their email addresses at risk of being non-existent or recycled. Work your business process to ensure you have a justified, reasonable reason to email your recipients for updates on a known and expected period.
Avoid sending to the wrong recipient.
Since some accounts are receiving old mail, newsletters, and sometimes even sensitive information about the previous owner, Yahoo! is encouraging companies to implement its Require-Recipient-Valid-Since (RRVS) email header system to sensitive emails (like password resets).
RRVS will help in reducing the amount of mail sent to the new account holders by allowing Yahoo! to verify that the age of the email account matches the age of the account on file with the sender. If the ages do not match, the message will be returned to the sender so that they can find another way to communicate with the account holder.
The deliverability best practices don’t necessarily change with a major move like this, but the criticality of having a thorough deliverability process with your mail stream becomes even more essential.