Updated: Yahoo Releasing Email Addresses Monday, July 15

In the next 7 days, all email campaigns need to take this step.

Yahoo accounts are closing – specifically, those that haven’t been logged into in 12 months will close.

Shortly thereafter, they will be released for the public to claim.

Some Of These Addresses May Be On Your Lists

Since this post was originally published, new information has come to light. Word To The Wise reports, “Last week, a Yahoo spokesperson told the press that only 7% of the inactive accounts had associated email addresses.”

However, of those 7%, those who haven’t opened an email from you in over 12 months are likely to be among those released.

Other people may claim these addresses.

If those addresses are still on your list, the new owners will get your emails (that the old address owner, not the new, signed up for). Not expecting them, they may report you for spam. If the released addresses go unclaimed, your emails to those addresses will bounce. Both situations can impact your deliverability.

Again, only 7% of Yahoo accounts inactive for the past year have email addresses, some of which might be on your list.

However, according to Return Path, “Yahoo! will likely attempt to unsubscribe the inactive accounts from the mail they’re receiving.”

It would be prudent, at this point, to unsubscribe your unresponsive Yahoo subscribers.

To Clear Old Yahoo Addresses From Your List, Follow These Steps

Note: This feature is only available to customers with the analytics package. If you do not, you can upgrade for newer features that allow you to see who exactly is opening your emails, clicking on links, and more. AWeber is one of few services that provides this much insight on subscriber activity, and we highly recommend contacting us to upgrade if you have not already.

Step 1

You need to identify what email addresses on your list will be released. Search subscribers from Yahoo who haven’t opened an email from you in 12 months – but were added before that point (so you don’t unsubscribe recent subscribers who haven’t yet opened an email). Save them as a segment.



Step 2

If you choose, send that segment a win-back email. Chances are, someone who hasn’t opened an email in 12 months won’t open this one either, but stranger things have happened. (If you do this, you’ll need to take Step 1 again (to account for those who open your win-back email) and create a new segment.)


Create your email, then choose that segment to publish to

Step 3

Stop sending emails to that segment of Yahoo addresses by opening that segment, checking the “all” box and hitting “Unsubscribe.”


Do this under the Subscribers Tab

If the new owner of the email address decides to subscribe to your list, they will be able to, and the address will revert from unsubscribed back to subscribed on your list.

That’s it; you’re done. Call us if you need help (877-293-2371 or +1 215-825-2196).

Note: Yahoo will forward email from a user’s old address to their new one, so if any of your current subscribers (with active Yahoo accounts) choose a new email address, you won’t lose them.

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By:
Amanda Gagnon is the former Education Manager for AWeber and has started a number of small businesses.

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33 Comments

  1. I see no option to use the “no opens” search string criteria. I do not have the analytics package since it’s so expensive for my list sizes.

    7/8/2013 10:02 am
  2. Matt – Understood. Without the analytics package, you won’t be able to create the segment or see stats on how your subscribers have been engaging. Call us if you’d like to add it.

    7/8/2013 10:07 am
  3. Isn’t it in the best interest of Aweber to make sure all Aweber account owners can scrub their list in the way you’ve shown in this article? I’m not going to upgrade my account for thousands of dollars to get this done.

    7/8/2013 10:12 am
  4. I don’t see the second option in the email instructions sent out to see un-opens.

    Seem Aweber should have segmented their own list to only send these instructions to those who have a package which supports it? And, I agree with Matt – since this is a radical move on yahoo’s part, why not make this available to everyone on the Aweber service for now so we can get this taken care of?

    Just my feedback!

    7/9/2013 1:49 pm
  5. Unfortunately, if someone uses the criteria as you gave above, they will also be unsubscribing anyone who has recently subscribed with a yahoo.com address.

    I routinely scrub my list of “dead weight”. To avoid removing someone who has recently subscribed, you should add the criteria “date added before” …

    I know you are saying that if someone gets inadvertently unsubscribed that they will somehow know/remember to resubscribe. But I don’t think that will win many brownie points with credibility, and more likely is just going to aggravate people that will then feel like they are not wanted.

    7/9/2013 2:08 pm
  6. Chet

    I’m with Matt. With the little money I’m earning from my email lists, I simply can’t afford to upgrade to the analytics package to be able to scrub the appropriate yahoo addresses.

    Given AWeber’s traditionally outstanding customer support, I would think the company will offer an option to scrub lists for long-time customers such as myself who can’t afford to upgrade to the extra features so we can do it ourselves.

    Another option might be to make the needed “No opens” option available to those of us who haven’t upgraded but who have been long-time customers. It seems to me that making the “No opens” option available is a win-win because that way we can clear our lists of those who don’t open and AWeber will subsequently no longer be using bandwidth that would otherwise be required to send out emails that aren’t being opened.

    I hope AWeber will consider a win/win option for those of us who don’t have the “No opens” feature.

    Thank you.

    7/9/2013 2:21 pm
  7. The legacy package is the very basic service; we encourage all customers to use the full AWeber service for the very reason that with it, you CAN reengage, scrub lists, target, split test and so forth. It’s a “get what you pay for situation,” to be honest. Without the full service, those options aren’t available.
    There is no feasible way for us to do the steps above from our end; they are specific to each list owner.

    7/9/2013 2:59 pm
  8. Jackie – Thank you for pointing that out. Noted.

    7/9/2013 2:59 pm
  9. Stefano

    I agree with Jackie, always put a “data added before” to avoid deleting new subscribers.

    I delete inactive subscribers every 15 days or so to keep the quality of my list as high as possible, and stay under the 10k subscribers.

    Which brings me to a suggestion: is it possible to implement a system that automatically deletes inactive users after a certain amount of time?

    7/9/2013 3:26 pm
  10. Wes

    HI Amanda,

    Thanks for the warning and tips, but I have a couple of related concerns I’ve been meaning to ask anyway:

    I found that when I started using the new broadcast editor even my own messages don’t get marked as open unless I download the images.

    Using the old editor they got marked as open regardless if I downloaded the images or not.

    If we remove any “no opens” isn’t there a pretty good chance that many people are opening the message but they aren’t getting recorded as opens because their mail client has images blocked?

    7/9/2013 4:06 pm
  11. Matt and Chet, I can understand your pain. I was there several years ago (Oct/Nov 2008) when I struggled to make the decision of whether to pay for the enhanced analytic capabilities or stay with the legacy system.

    I finally decided to bite the bullet and I am glad I did. I figure that by being able to scrub my list, segment for improved responsiveness, etc., I have actually saved money in the longer term over the higher fees I would have had to pay anyway for the extra “dead” subscribers that invariably will happen with a list that has been around for a while (e.g. who would have abandoned their email address rather than closing it down or bothering to change it in their subscription options).

    But that was based on my own situation. Obviously the number of subscribers you are dealing with might be fewer, or you already have a very high open rate and therefore really don’t routinely have to cull out the dead meat.

    Anyway, just wanted to offer that running a cost analysis over a longer-term period might be helpful.

    7/9/2013 4:15 pm
  12. The post explains how emails will get flagged as spam etc. Since this will reflect badly on Aweber, I think you should make the facility to segment lists based on ‘noopens’ regardless of the package purchased.

    Just my 2c.

    Will :)

    7/9/2013 7:52 pm
  13. Johnny

    If the Yahoo.com had been closed the unactive email, does the aweber account (i mean my account don’t have “No Opens” feature) can detect this email as undelivered? So that i can choose it on the “Select field” there to delete it? If “Undelivered” feature can’t detect it, so can you let me know what’s the feature for this “Undelivered” button?

    Thanks,
    Johnny

    7/10/2013 1:33 am
  14. Alex B

    I agree with Jackie, these instructions seem to be flawed as I risk removing anyone who has recently been added to our lists. Will have to add the “date added before” criteria as well.

    Also, is there a larger scale way to apply these changes? At the moment it would only be possible to remove subscribers 100 at a time.

    7/10/2013 2:59 am
  15. Just be careful with unsubscribe.

    This is not working correctly and I’ve pointed it out before… seems like Aweber haven’t made any changes yet or is not going to change it – unfortunately.

    Here’s what I mean:

    Let’s say we have:
    list1
    list2
    list3

    When I send broadcast from list1 AND select to include also list2, list3, etc…
    now when someone from list2 clicks and/or opens the link from my email – it will NOT show up when you clean your list2!

    I mean if you do the suggested action of cleaning – and it doesn’t matter if it’s @yahoo.com or not – you would unsubscribe someone who DID click or open your email!

    The same goes for other lists.. not the original list where broadcast was made from.

    It would be a disaster if you delete subscribers that do clicks and opens your emails just by doing the “silly” house-cleaning!

    7/10/2013 7:55 am
  16. Wes, The open count always depends on images because that’s the only way we (or any service) can track what happens in email services (Gmail, etc) – so it actually did in the old editor, too. The caveat is, if someone clicks a link, the open would count because we could infer that they must have opened to click. You’re right in that people who might not count as “opened” in the past year may have, BUT, if they haven’t clicked on anything, they’re not an “active subscriber” (read: one you want to keep), so unsubscribing them isn’t going to hurt anything.

    7/11/2013 8:41 am
  17. Jackie – Thanks for bringing up cost-analysis; it can definitely help with the decision.
    Will – Any customer certainly has that option with the full AWeber package. The price for the legacy package is so low specifically because it only includes the basic features we started with; the full AWeber package features them all. If we made all of those features available in the legacy package, the price would go up, and we’d much rather not force a price increase on those loyal customers. I do understand your point, though, and thanks for weighing in. :)
    Alex – Once you have the segment created, you can actually call us and let us know what segment it is and we will delete it for you.
    Marian – “Did not Open” shows only subscribers in each list who were sent the message and failed to open it. So someone who on a different list who was included in the message send would not have been sent the message from that list, and thus, whether they opened or not when getting it from the include, wouldn’t be in the search results either way.

    7/11/2013 9:19 am
  18. Wes

    Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for the reply. I understand what you are saying about images. I’ll try to replicate what I was talking about – I think it was a unique situation – and email support if I have any concerns.

    Just and FYI: I did test clicking a link without downloading the images on 6/27/13 using two different broadcasts and neither one of them have recorded the open yet. I have link tracking enabled.

    7/11/2013 2:32 pm
  19. Hey I did not get the email sent from you about this issue, I have done everything, all looks good.

    However “Send a Win Back email” were is the tutorial to show me how to do that, cannot find.

    7/11/2013 3:59 pm
  20. When I filter only those “currently subscribed” my list still shows people that have already unsubscribed. Why are they showing up? If I send a “win back” email after creating a new segment, this won’t go to them, will it?

    7/11/2013 6:16 pm
  21. Rob

    Hi Amanda,

    Would it be possible to get your team to update the “instructions” on this page (and in the email) to include adding what Jackie suggested with the “date added” criterion?

    Seems like a massive oversight; one that EVERY ONE will miss unless they read these blog comments – so thankful I did.

    And thank you, Jackie!

    7/11/2013 9:29 pm
  22. Andy

    As Jackie said, these instructions will delete ANYONE with a Yahoo email who hasnt opened an email yet… even if they signed up this morning.

    Doesn’t do much for your credibility Aweber’s when you cant even give users correct instructions. (This almost lost me 30 new subscribers.)

    For anyone wondering. Add the field search line:
    [Last Message #] [is greater or equal to] [number of your last followup message]

    7/11/2013 9:36 pm
  23. Jonathan

    Seems like a perfect case for the Aweber approved http://www.AWProtools.com to segment your lists. Is this true?

    7/12/2013 1:39 am
  24. Amanda, I couldn’t agree with you more about what you told Wes: that if a subscriber doesn’t click on any link then they’re not an “active subscriber” and it would be ok to delete them.

    So not true! I am a DIY/crafts/home improvement blogger, and I send a full text email to my subscribers. I do try to include in-text links to previous posts, ect, but sometimes, people may just refer to read my whole post via their email and may be care to click on my post to view it on my site, and may not click on any other link. But they’re still reading along. I would consider them active because they opened my email.

    Serena
    Thrift Diving

    7/12/2013 5:28 am
  25. Mike

    Hi Amanda,

    You mentioned that “Without the analytics package, you won?t be able to create the segment or see stats on how your subscribers have been engaging.”

    If we’re now in the legacy package and we upgrade, will we be able to find the “Unopens” that haven’t been opened since one year ago? (meaning are the unopens tracked even if we’re currently in the legacy package?)

    If yes, can’t we simply ask an Aweber staff to help in deleting the yahoo unopens and retain the legacy package? I’m willing to pay an extra fee to get this done.

    But if yahoo will continuously free up emails not opened within 12 months, then scrubbing lists is a continuous task, and ALL Aweber basic users are then required to upgrade?

    Thanks so much!

    7/12/2013 5:32 am
  26. Yuri Yeleyko

    is Yahoo ‘yahoo.com’ only?
    we have other yahoo like yahoo.co.uk
    Shouldn’t we put just ‘yahoo.’ in contains field?

    7/12/2013 8:20 am
  27. Andy and Rob – Please see post above; it was updated to include that information several days ago.

    Jonathan – ProTools can’t pull the analytics from legacy packages, since those analytics don’t exist. For analytics packages, you could either use ProTools or your Subscriber Management tool right in AWeber, which may be faster.

    Serena – If you’re not sending links in many of your emails, then yes, you are correct. That’s not a limitation of AWeber, but of what information ISPs are technically able to expose for ESPs (like AWeber) to gather.

    Mike – Analytics are only stored with the analytics package, so they don’t exist right now for accounts not on the analytics package. What you will be able to do if you switch to analytics, you can wait a few weeks (the addresses won’t be released for new users for a few weeks anyway) and scrub the list at that point. On scrubbing lists being a continual task, yes, it should be for every email marketer, based on Yahoo’s current change or not – it’s a standard best practice for the best deliverability possible.

    Kelly – The email can’t go to anyone unsubscribed. Are you searching for “Stop Status” “Is” “Unsubscribed?”

    Michael – Send a win-back email just means, send a broadcast to that segment saying, “If you still want to get these emails, click here!” And then they’ll automatically be pulled out of the “inactive” segment, so they won’t get deleted.

    Wes – That definitely shouldn’t be, so please give us a call and we’ll take a look. Thanks for the heads up!

    7/12/2013 10:05 am
  28. Mike

    Hi Amanda,

    Regarding what you said:
    “What you will be able to do if you switch to analytics, you can wait a few weeks (the addresses won?t be released for new users for a few weeks anyway) and scrub the list at that point.”

    Does that mean we can’t send broadcasts or emails for a few weeks once we upgraded to analytics package? What if we have scheduled dates to send emails? Thanks!

    7/12/2013 10:57 am
  29. Mike

    Also, I’m a bit confused about this…

    Let?s say we have:
    list1
    list2
    list3

    Everytime I send a broadcast to list1, I also select to include list2, list3, etc? Someone from list2 have not opened any of my emails for a year. Now when I search for “No Opens” from list2, they will not appear in the search even if
    they have not opened any of my emails. How do we resolve this?

    Is there a way to simply search for ALL email addresses who have NOT opened their emails (regardless of which list they belong to)?

    Thanks again.

    7/12/2013 11:18 am
  30. UPDATES: All, updated information on the situation: Only 7% of Yahoo accounts inactive for the past year have email addresses, so its likely few, if any, will be on your lists.

    Also, according to Return Path, “Yahoo! will likely attempt to unsubscribe the inactive accounts from the mail they’re receiving.”

    Hopefully this new information will ease concerns.

    7/12/2013 12:13 pm
  31. Mike – Of course you can send emails. You just won’t want to actually unsubscribe anyone until you’ve collected data on whether they are active first – and those analytics start compiling as soon as you’ve switched to the analytics package. (But please see the update above – it’s good news.) Regarding searching per list, the subscriber search feature works in each list separately, since in many other cases, you’ll want to perform actions on those lists separately (say, unsubscribe people from one list that you’d like to keep on another).

    Yuri – Yes. Excellent point.

    7/12/2013 12:19 pm
  32. Thanks Amanda for sharing this. Without visiting this blog I would have been left in the dark and have no idea that Yahoo accounts are closing. Once again thanks.

    7/13/2013 3:55 pm
  33. Chriz

    All this also assumes the addresses accepting/ seeing your images as it is used in the pixel tracking. Not accepting or seeing the image means they are tracked as unopened.
    Only safe guard is to send a message to re-confirm or indicate active interest.

    7/14/2013 9:18 pm

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