What’s Going On?
In order to free up user ID’s on their service, Yahoo! are recycling accounts that have been dormant for a year and allowing new users to sign up with the old ID.
All previous data associated with the old accounts will be deleted, including email messages, contacts and any other personal information.
So Someone Could End up Getting Mail We’re Sending to the Previous Owner?
This quick answer here is yes. While Yahoo! say that most of these ID’s don’t have an associated mailbox (as they were using other Yahoo! services), it’s possible that the new owner could receive email sent to the previous owner.
Ok, What Should I Do?
First off, don’t panic!
In order to give email marketers time to adjust, Yahoo! have begun bouncing all email messages sent to these addresses. They have also stated that they will be auto-unsubscribing all email newsletters received until the 15th of August.
During this time we recommend sending a campaign to all Yahoo! users in your lists who have been dormant for a year. You’ll want to target addresses ending in “@yahoo.*” “@ymail.com” and “@rocketmail.com”.
If you are not due a campaign send within this time period, feel free to send a courtesy email advising subscribers of the changes at Yahoo! We’ve put together an example of what you might like to say.
Yahoo! Mail are making some changes that could mean you’ll miss out on our emails. We obviously don’t want that to happen, so we’re sending you a quick courtesy email to check you’re still with us!
If you’re reading this blog, we’ll know that you’re alive and well, so there’s no need to do anything.
After sending the campaign, keep a close eye on all emails that hard bounce, and remove them from your lists. If you’re a Campaignmaster user, these can be found in CAMPAIGNS > SENT CAMPAIGNS > SUMMARY > SEND DETAILS.
If you’re not sure which users in your lists have been inactive for a year, get in touch with your account manager who’ll be happy to run a report for you.
Why Are They Doing This?
Yahoo! have been around since 1995, which in ‘internet years’ is practically forever. During this time, they have been offering services such as email, file storage etc… to anyone who creates a Yahoo! ID with them.
In the near two-decades that they have been in use, Yahoo! ID’s have become a bit convoluted. Want James_smith@yahoo.com? Try James_smith_2873a97@yahoo.com.
In the future, I image this kind of recycling will become more commonplace. Whether you think Yahoo! are dealing with this in a clever or foolhardy way, you kind of have to commend them for being the first to try it.
Ok, Understood! so Does That Mean I Can Sign up for the Account I’ve Always Wanted?
Yep! It sure does, head on over to the Yahoo! Wishlist for the start of the next user ID land grab!
Oh Nice, John_Smith@Yahoo.Com Can Finally Be Mine!
Indeed it can! Although we’d watch out for these kind of obvious addresses that other people that might use as fakes in online forms. Spam ahoy!
Got It! What Should I Do If I Need More Help?
If you have any other questions, queries or worries that you’d like put at ease, our super-friendly support team are here to help you out.