BT change email terms: Repercussions for Email Marketers

Last week, on the 17th of June, BT changed the way it deals with dormant email accounts. Currently, BT uses Yahoo! Mail as its email client.

All BT broadband customers that haven’t used their email accounts for more than 150 days will have their account disabled. This meant a user would need to have logged in between the 18th of January and the 17th of June 2013. If a user hasn’t accessed their account during this time, the email address and all the contents within the mailbox will be deleted.

Users will need to log in at least once every 150 days to ensure the account remains active. BT Yahoo Mail users will have been informed of the change before they took place.

Most of the accounts affected are ‘’ or ‘’ although this may affect other BT Yahoo Mail users.

From an email marketer’s point of view, this means we may see an increase in soft and hard bounces when sending email marketing campaigns to addresses including these domains.

If your email list is more than 6 months old, it may include some of these addresses. BT Yahoo Mail have closed these accounts or users may have manually closed a dormant account after the announcement from BT, which will lead to the increase in bounces. Marketers must also be aware that users may have implemented an auto response, so do look out for replies, or forwards to new addresses.

If you are seeing higher than normal bounce rates, it may be worth spending some time cleansing your data, and focusing on these domains. Email marketers should consider sending a re-marketing campaign to check the list still include accurate data.

You should also consider setting up a segmentation query to identify your non-openers with the above domains greater than 150 days of sends. You can then suppress the addresses, delete them, or get in touch with them to try and update their information.


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