How does email validation play a part in helping Greenpeace make the world a better place?

Greenpeace is on a big mission and we’re happy the Email Hippo email validation API has a tiny part to play.

Have you ever signed an online petition? Maybe you got a notification in Facebook, or saw a TV programme that made you act? But did you ever think about how the data you provide is used to influence opinions and help bring about change?

That’s a job for Florian Bolka, (Head of Department - Digital Mobilisation) and his team at Greenpeace in Austria. It’s the head office for Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe and it’s where the data provided online by Greenpeace supporters who engage with the ‘greenpeace.at’ website is turned into a valuable resource.

 So what was the problem - why is Email Hippo being used?

Florian was facing a challenge with bad email addresses, nearly 10 % of all online action takers used email addresses that were mis-spelled or wrong. That might not seem like a big deal, but consider what Greenpeace does and what its goals are and the problem gets a new perspective.

Petitions are a fast moving, influential online source. They shape policy and share opinion. The UK is not alone in valuing online opinion. Five signatures on a petition and it will be published on the government website. If it gathers 10,000 signatures the government will respond. 100,000 signatures will force a debate in parliament.

Greenpeace can present and harness the collective support of individuals to bring about change. So it matters that the data is right in order for the organisation to be seen as credible. Clean data really helps Greenpeace to be certain of facts.

Furthermore, being financed by private donors the organisation puts a strong focus on cost effective work –mis-spelled and wrong emails cause extra work and money when trying to keep their supporter data clean for efficient communication.

So when Florian and his team had to spend time cleaning data they looked for a solution that would improve the confidence they had in their data, improve their processes and save them time.

The solution was to use the Email Hippo API to check through and clean email records regularly. 

Greenpeace.at doesn’t use double opt-ins but confirmed opt-ins on forms and gathers about 250,000 email signatures on petitions each year. Knowing they will be checking emails gives Florian the confidence to avoid the friction of a double opt-in process, which is another bonus of using the API solution.

And the result?

Everyone is really happy. In fact, Florian and his team will be rolling out the API to the Greenpeace.at website for validating online information and sign-ups and will be getting into more depth of the detailed back-end report and spotting patterns and potentials in the results.

Florian explains; “We thought it would be cool to remove throwaway emails and deal with mistakes. It’s a super tool and it’s really good to see how many errors there actually are. It’s important for us to show that we care about the emails we get when people sign-up. If our emails are bad then our results aren’t so good and it’s not so easy for us to say for sure what the support is for our campaigns. We need our emails to be credible and influential. That’s why we’re happy with Email Hippo.”