If you are an email marketer, you must have faced the issue of temporary email addresses on your list.

Customers prefer temporary or disposable email addresses because they want to protect their primary email box from spam. However, they can be a nightmare for a marketer.

Building a clean and active email list is the backbone of email marketing. Without a good email list, you are going to waste your time, effort, and money.

What is a temporary email address?

A temporary email address is an alternate email address that is available for a short period of time. People use it to hide their identity and save their primary email inbox. It’s also known as a disposable email address.

Following are some scenarios where a user might use a temporary email address to:

  • Register on a website
  • Get a free trial
  • Download content
  • Opt-in for emails
  • Use social media
  • Participate in a competition

They are also known as dark emails because they can be used to hide their identity, take unfair advantage of a free service, spam, troll, or even harm others.

Types of temporary email addresses

There are three types of temporary email address:

1) Variation of real email

A user creates a slight variation of his original email address. It’s known as an alias. This email address can be hosted by the user’s email provider such as Yahoo or Gmail. The emails sent to an alias can be received in the primary inbox or in a specified folder. Most people do it check where they shared their original email address.

2) Forwarding account

Mostly, a forwarding account is used to receive an email to different email. Whenever you send an email to a forwarding email, it will be forwarded to a primary email address. Your subscriber will get your message. However, you won’t get accurate analytics like open and click-through rates.

3) Non-forwarding account

When a user creates an email address for one-time usage, it’s known as a non-forwarding account. These email addresses bounce right after the first email, and hence your marketing campaign will be severely affected.

Whatever the type is, a temporary email has no value for a marketer. Instead, it wastes your time and resources.

Why is a temporary email address used?

The reasons for the usage of a temporary email depends upon the scenarios. However, the following are the most common reasons for using a temporary email address:

There is a lack of trust

The consumer doesn’t want to trust you. A consumer is always afraid regarding the privacy of his data. Furthermore, we also hear about data breaches almost daily. It increases the customer’s distrust.

You can address this issue quickly. Simply explain why you need their email address and explain the measures you have taken to protect their data. Explain your privacy policy in layman language.

They want to misuse your service

If a user tries to use a temporary email address, it indicates that the user is trying to take unfair advantage of your service. For example, you offer a free download, an e-book, case study, or a free trial of your service. A user might try to use different disposable email addresses to avail it more than once.

You can offer an extra download, coupon, or something else in their main account. This process will keep them engaged.

They don’t value your service

If a user doesn’t see enough value from your side, he might opt for a temporary email address.

The first impression is the last. When users visit your website for the first, show them the benefits of subscribing to your service and extra reward for being loyal. Answer their question and show them your privacy policy.

They want to hide their identity

Some users don’t want to reveal their identity. There can be a number of reasons. You can allow them to comment or interact anonymously.

You can limit the information or functionality available to anonymous users. Also, don’t ask for private details. There should be a minimal display of user information. Meanwhile, you can convince them to join the mailing list through a valid by explaining the benefits.

They want to damage your reputation

A competitor might try to damage your business. A user might want to misuse your service. Mostly, it has been observed that spammer signs up through temporary email addresses.

You can set up an email verifier right at the entry point. It will detect the spam and temporary email addresses automatically. A tool like this prevents entry of temporary email addresses into your list. It also makes the user realize that you have already set up preventive measures.

How to manage temporary email addresses in a mailing list?

Check your list manually: You can find the temporary email addresses in a mailing list through a quick lookup. They look too long from their appearance. If you know a domain offering the disposable email addresses, you can search for that domain in your database.

You can opt for manual checking if your contacts are less than 50. More contacts mean more time and effort.

Use a tool: You can use a tool to automate the process for you. An email checker not only allows you to automate the process, but it also uses advanced mechanisms to save you effort, time, money, and domain reputation.

Segment your list: Disposable email addresses are of no use. However, alias email addresses have some value. You can segment your email list to separate the alias. A specific strategy for those email addresses might yield some good results.


Email continues to be the primary source of communication for businesses. Consumers also prefer communication through email. However, many are skeptical about data sharing, and it’s protection.

If you are an email marketer, you have to step up and go for some extra effort to get rid of temporary email addresses. You can do so by keeping an eye on the email list or use an email checker tool to do the same for you.