100+ ways to identify fake/generic email addresses from Marketo and your CRM

100+ ways to identify fake/generic email addresses from Marketo and your CRM


There’s plenty of blogs about how to make your data better. This one is slightly different, I hope!

Firstly, databases *are* dirty.  Let’s embrace and recognise that, and if you can manage it within a low %age you’re doing well. Stuff happens to your records, they have a tough life – data gets modified, records get created with garbage from your tests, mass imports go bad and things go awry.

So how do you fix things up? Most blogs will tell you to remove such records – and so you begin an ongoing cycle of tidying up of email addresses that bounced or are fake or which will just return next week or next time you import or you run your tests.

So – for one of my clients we took a different path – and set up two Marketo programs to identify such records so that they can be handled more effectively.

Identify bounced email addresses

Marketo has an out of the box smart list that you can use to identify bounced email addresses. You can set up a program that includes the members of that list which syncs with your CRM. This way you can share the list of identified bad data with people in the business.  Get an admin or telemarketer to check and fix the data [or outsource this to RMS’s sister company off-shore, which is a cheaper option and you’ll know it’ll get done]

Another option is to define your bounced email addresses follow up list per campaign, which we think is a bit more personal, and it means that by nature the bounces ‘belong’ to the owner of the campaign. Handling bounces at this level means any subsequent follow-up will be much more specific – and even better when the email address is fixed/updated you can re-send the email that bounced.  Yay – this will not only make sure that the email is delivered to your lead, it will also serve as a double check that this new email address is correct.

Filter out fake/test email addresses

If you want to filter out fake email addresses and/or generic email addresses and get a proper personal email address instead, you can set-up a campaign to identify these records. Unfortunately there is no out of the box systems smart list in Marketo that you can use. I scanned through the database and found 100+ ways to identify fake and/or generic email addresses.  I have a starting list if you’d like to see/use it let me know below.

When email addresses get created or updated and they include one or more of these identifiers of a fake/generic email address they will get added to the program. This again either syncs over to the CRM or can just get deleted a few hours after a notification to you.  That way, when you’re testing, you can feel comfortable in the creation of “test@domainname.com” and know that your automated robot will tidy up after you soon …

If you’d like to know more about how Marketo can make your life easier around database management, or if you’d like to get the list of 100+ ways to identify fake/generic email addresses, shoot Graham an email.

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