What you need to know about disposable email addresses

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What is a disposable email address used for?

A disposable, or temporary email is one which is usable for a limited amount of time.

The main uses are;

  • Staying anonymous online (for good or bad reasons)
  • Testing software system processes
  • Preventing spam and therefore fraud attacks in 'real' personal inboxes

Disposable email address use is edging towards 'normal'. You'll see trusted consumer advice services advising people to use disposable emails to avoid spam and fraud attacks.

As email verification providers we’ve seen a steady growth in the use of disposable email addresses. In fact our first disposable email register was simply a static list that we maintained manually. It was easy to stay up to date by just regularly doing online searches for disposable domains. We didn’t need to list it as a feature as customers weren’t sure what disposable email addresses were so it was a sort of 'added extra' tech feature that we thought of in the same lines as filtering dark web emails.

Are you seeing more disposable email addresses in your data?

If you're reading this blog then you have probably become more aware of temporary emails. How does your business cope with them?

Do you know how many disappearing emails you have on your system, or what the financial and resource impact is in terms of administration or lost time? For example, if you send a quote to a disposable email address do your sales team waste time trying to reach a person who isn't there anymore? Are your marketing results falling as your email campaigns reach fewer real inboxes?

We think it's a great idea to filter these emails form your sign-up forms, get an idea of the scale of the issue and then decide how you deal with them. For example, will you ship goods to someone who uses a disposable email address? Will you allow them to download services or assets? In our experience, disposable email addresses are a sign of either intent to commit fraud or a lack of conviction to engage with us in a Business-to-Business environment. 

How to decide what to do about customers who use temporary email addresses

Email Hippo infographic disposable email addresses

To help you work out what to do with disposable sign-ups, we've created a guide for businesses. It's free to download and is partnered with a set of infographics as a useful framework for planning. We hope it's helpful. It's been put together from the experience we've had from all sides. We use disposable email addresses for development work and sometimes we like to stay anonymous online too. Our MORE API filters disposable emails from all our processes and we help our customers track more disposable email addresses than any other service provider in our channel.

Please get in touch with me if you've any questions or feedback - we're always keen to engage with people about this.

Download the guide and infographics (no email required!)

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