As an email marketer, you must have heard about list bombing. List bombing is a malicious act in which hackers flood your email list with fake email addresses to cause server overload or denial of service (DoS) attacks. It can cause severe damage to your email marketing campaign, as it impacts your deliverability rate and leads to your emails being flagged as spam.
How is list bombing executed?
List bombing is usually done with the help of bots that automatically submit fake email addresses to your subscription forms. These bots use sophisticated algorithms to generate many phony email addresses, which can quickly fill up your email list.
Why do hackers engage in this practice?
They do it to take down specific servers by overwhelming them with traffic. They might also do it to extract sensitive information or to hold your email list for ransom.
How do I protect myself from list bombing?
To protect yourself, you need to take preventive measures. One of the most effective ways is to use double opt-in. With double opt-in, subscribers must confirm their email addresses before they are added to your list. This helps you ensure that the email address is valid and owned by the subscriber, thus minimizing the risk of fake email addresses.
Another critical step is to monitor your email list regularly. A lack of engagement will hurt your deliverability even if subscribers don’t mark you as spam or unsubscribe. Therefore, it’s essential to remove inactive subscribers periodically.
You can also protect yourself from list bombing using a service like reCAPTCHA on your forms. This tool from Google helps you identify whether a human or a bot is filling out the form. Using reCAPTCHA, you can avoid bots and protect your email list from fake email addresses.
List bombing can severely impact your email marketing campaigns, but you can take preventive measures to protect yourself. Double opt-in and reCAPTCHA on your forms are the best ways to protect yourself while being excellent practices for healthy deliverability.