How to Keep Yahoo’s Dead Pool from Sabotaging Your Email Program

Debra Ellis President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Posted on July 17th 2013

How to Keep Yahoo’s Dead Pool from Sabotaging Your Email Program

Yahoo is running a fire sale on dormant email addresses. All of the addresses in their dead pool have been released for people to claim. An individual can request up to five addresses between July 15, 2013 and August 7, 2013. The people who receive rights will have 48 hours to activate the accounts beginning August 15, 2013. Giving people the opportunity to claim the names they really want is a great idea for users. It is a challenge for email marketers.

Spam reports triggers spaminators more often than any other delivery no no. A campaign generating as few as one spam report for every thousand emails sent can get the account temporarily blocked. Continued spam reports will inevitably generate a permanent block completely destroying your email marketing program. Dead pool addresses that are in your email database will go to new people who did not opt in to your program. Pressing the spam button is the easiest route for them to stop the messages. This will hurt your business. Taking action now keeps the Yahoo changes from affecting your company. To minimize your risk:

  • Segment Yahoo addresses that have not responded to your messages in twelve months or more. Send them a personalized email asking for confirmation that they still want to receive emails from your company.
  • Monitor bounces closely because Yahoo is currently bouncing messages to the dead pool addresses. All Yahoo addresses that are bounced need to be moved to the “do not mail” list.
  • Before the August 15 deadline, send a second email to people who did not respond to your first confirmation request.
  • Move all Yahoo addresses that did not respond to the confirmation requests to the “do not mail” list in your marketing database.
  • Flag all Yahoo addresses that did not respond to the confirmation requests as “do not mail” in your order management system. If you do not have the option to flag them, consider removing the addresses. Spam reports can be generated by transactional emails too.
  • Ask customer service representatives to verify existing customer email addresses to insure that you have the most current ones on file when speaking to customers.


Debra Ellis

President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Debra Ellis is a business consultant, author, and speaker. She specializes in showing companies how to improve customer acquisition and retention using integrated marketing and service strategies. Her latest marketing guide, 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, is a practical resource for marketers seeking better results with minimal investment. Her engineering background provides statistical insight to finding actionable data that can be used to grow companies and reduce costs.

She is recognized as an expert in marketing from direct mail to social media, customer behavior, and strategic planning. Her expertise is often tapped by media sources including: The New York Times, CNN/’s Small Business Makeovers, Target Marketing, Multichannel Merchant, and MarketingProfs.

Her marketing guides include 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, Social Media 4 Direct Marketers, and Marketing to the Customer Lifecycle.

Debra loves the art and science of multichannel marketing. She is a student and teacher of the methods that transform shoppers into buyers and buyers into lifelong customers. In 1995, she founded Wilson & Ellis Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in creating strategies that make channels and departments work together to optimize the customer experience. Since then, she has worked with over a hundred distinguished clients such as Costco, Edmund Scientifics, Jacuzzi, Ross-Simons Jewelry, and The Body Shop.

Prior to founding her firm, Debra was instrumental in the record growth of Ballard Designs, Inc. while serving as Chief Operating Officer. Today, she uses her experience and expertise to show executives how to successfully navigate marketing channels and integrate activities to profitably grow their business. Her practical approach maximizes the return on investment.

She can be reached via email at She blogs at

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