3 ways bulk email verification can prevent free trial abuse
Businesses have learned how to mend the weak spots in free trial marketing.
- Free trials are an excellent marketing tool but people can take advantage of the system by using disposable emails, jumping from one free trial to the next.
- You can use free trial marketing to great effect if you know how to protect your business against those who want to take advantage.
- Here are 3 ways to identify email addresses that will never lead to a genuine sale and remove them from your lists.
Isn't it a fundamental consumer right to try a product or service before purchase to make sure it works? Then again, not all consumers are as ethical as we would like to believe. Quite a few never end up purchasing licenses or subscriptions and are content with abusing free trials by primarily using disposable email addresses. Companies can, however, fight back against free trial abuse with the help of a bulk email validation solution. Here are three ways how.
Limit registration to non-disposable email address users
Protection against freemium abuse begins upon signup. Limiting registration to only those who don't use disposable email addresses is one way to do that. You can integrate a bulk email verification API into your registration page or use a disposable email domains database like the one provided by WhoisXML API to automatically check if the email address a subscriber provided is disposable or not. A useful bulk email validation tool would tell your administrator immediately that the address is disposable, and so it's likely you're dealing with someone who might try to abuse a free trial.
Make sure the email address is contactable
Not all freemium abusers use disposable email addresses. Some can just as easily use personal email addresses from Gmail, Yahoo, or other free services. A lot of people keep extra email addresses to direct email marketing or newsletters to. It's one way to keep their primary personal inboxes less crowded.
Since these secondary email addresses probably get tons of marketing collateral each day, they're likely full, and so messages will sooner or later bounce. That's not good for any company as it translates to a high bounce rate, which can adversely affect its email deliverability and domain reputation.
A robust bulk email validation API can instantly let you know if all the email addresses in your contact database are accessible. It tells you if every address is Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)-enabled and, therefore, able to receive messages. So, if you, for instance, have the email address email@example.com in your database, which has an email verification result that says it isn't SMTP-reachable, it may be best to take it off your distribution list to lower your bounce rate.
Taking the email address that's probably no longer in use off your subscription list is also advisable. That way, your chances of dealing with a freemium abuser is reduced as well.
Keep your distribution list in tip-top shape
The more unreachable email addresses in your distribution list, the higher the chances of ending up in someone's blacklist. It is, after all, not uncommon for spammers or cybercriminals to use the shotgun approach in attacks. Sending messages to as many inboxes as possible, after all, increases their chances of success. Using their tactic for a legitimate business, however, is unacceptable either. Organizations are not allowed to send emails to just about anyone without their consent.
And so companies that want to stay off blacklists should make it a point to keep their distribution lists updated at all times. But we also know that over time, contact lists can grow to a massive size, making cleanup tedious and time-consuming. The quickest way to keep email databases in tip-top condition is to use a bulk email validation solution. It lets you check up to 50,000 email addresses in one go to make sure that they won't do your domain reputation any harm and cause you to end up on a dreaded blacklist.
Bulk Email Verification API/Lookup can confirm if each email address:
- Has the correct syntax or follows established Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards
- Is not disposable by checking its domain against those of known disposable email providers that include Mailinator, GuerrillaMail, and more than 2,000 others
- Has a corresponding mail server evidenced by properly configured mail exchanger (MX) records
- Points to a valid inbox that lessens your chances of dealing with suspicious users
- Is not associated with a catch-all mailbox that isn't assigned to any particular user and so may not add value to your distribution list
While allowing every potential subscriber to try your product/service free of charge is a great thing, you still need a way to keep the system honest. Strike a balance between keeping free trial abuse to a minimum and encouraging individuals to register for your offerings with the help of bulk email validation solutions.
Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.
- The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
- According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
- "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."
Puerto Rico's iconic telescope facilitated important scientific discoveries while inspiring young scientists and the public imagination.
- The Arecibo Observatory's main telescope collapsed on Tuesday morning.
- Although officials had been planning to demolish the telescope, the accident marked an unceremonious end to a beloved astronomical tool.
- The Arecibo radio telescope has facilitated many discoveries in astronomy, including the mapping of near-Earth asteroids and the detection of exoplanets.
Bradley Rivera via twitter.com<p>In 1963, the concave dish was built into a natural sinkhole on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The location was <a href="https://www.space.com/20984-arecibo-observatory.html" target="_blank">picked because it was near the equator,</a> providing scientists a clear view of planets passing overhead, and also of the ionosphere, which is the uniquely reactive layer of Earth's upper atmosphere where the northern lights form.</p><p>Since its construction, scientists have used the Arecibo telescope to map near-Earth asteroids, detect gravitational waves, study pulsars, detect exoplanets and <a href="https://www.seti.org/goodbye-arecibo" target="_blank">search for alien civilizations</a>, among other projects. Here's a brief look at some of the discoveries and accomplishments made using the Arecibo telescope:</p><ul><li>1964: Astronomer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Pettengill" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gordon Pettengill</a> discover that Mercury's rotation period is 59 days, significantly shorter than the previous prediction of 88 days.</li><li>1974: Physicists Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. discover the first first binary pulsar, for which they won a Nobel Prize in Physics.</li><li>1974: Scientists use the telescope to transmit the "Arecibo message" to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Globular_Cluster_in_Hercules" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">globular star cluster M13</a>. The message, when translated into image form, contains basic information about humanity and human knowledge: the numbers one to 10, a map of our solar system, an illustration of a human being and the atomic numbers of certain elements.</li><li>1989: Scientists use the telescope to image an asteroid for the first time.</li><li>1992: Astronomers Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail become the first to discover exoplanets.</li></ul>
The recent AstraZeneca offers a cautionary tale.
- AstraZeneca's press release about its recent vaccine trials was filled with erroneous data.
- A manufacturing error meant that some participants only received half of the intended dosage.
- In the rush to produce a vaccine, science by press release is of growing concern.
AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Likely Needs a Restart: Johns Hopkins<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2913149af137b447f306b83ee2808ced"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YsfvESm84PQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Science has always been and will continue to be complicated. In regards to the pandemic, more surprises await, like the fact that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/chemicals-found-in-everyday-products-could-hinder-covid-19-vaccine" target="_blank">PFAS could negatively impact</a> the efficacy of <em>any</em> COVID-19 vaccine. This is of particular importance to Americans, as this acid is used in many common products in this country. <br></p><p>There's little comfort that an adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health says we "have to cross our fingers and hope for the best" in regards to the possibility that the chemicals in non-stick pans and waterproof clothing might thwart our chance of successful vaccination. Discovering this possibility isn't a conspiracy; it's indicative of science working as intended, even if we don't like the results. </p><p>Chemistry matters; so does patience. Weill Cornell Medicine vaccine researcher John Moore <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/after-dosing-mix-latest-covid-19-vaccine-success-comes-big-question-mark" target="_blank">phrased it best</a> when calling AstraZeneca's head-scratching announcement "the worst aspect of science by press release." In the rush to deliver good news during a challenging year, we overlook the fact that science is a slow process governed by consensus. Rushing out half-baked data does no one any good. </p><p>AstraZeneca's rush to break news is especially perilous given the <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/09/17/u-s-public-now-divided-over-whether-to-get-covid-19-vaccine/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">growing influence</a> of vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaxxers. Misinformation is like a dry forest floor after a hot summer. Vaccine science needs to be evidence-based. Fear-mongering thrives when the focus is a headline instead of clinical efficacy.</p>
Photo: Raquel / Adobe Stock<p>As Jonathan Berman writes in his recent book, <em>Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement</em>,<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Vaccination occupies a unique space as one of the most effective technologies ever developed to fight disease, as well as the only technology to ever eliminate a disease entirely. Vaccination conveys both individual and collective benefits, and carries very modest individual and collective risks." </p><p>Perhaps because this is the first global pandemic in generations we've forgotten how deadly diseases can be. In the 18th century, more humans died from communicable diseases than today's biggest killers, like heart disease and cancer; roughly 300 million people died from smallpox in the 20th century. COVID-19 isn't nearly as deadly, yet that doesn't dampen the real problems we face around vaccine disinformation. </p><p>In some ways, even the botched press release isn't new. Conceptually, vaccines are thousands of years old. Louis Pasteur, building on Edward Jenner's work on cowpox, was as much publicist as scientist when his <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/anthrax/resources/history/index.html" target="_blank">anthrax trial</a> helped usher in the modern age of medicine. He made sure to invite plenty of journalists to observe his trial, which is how word of this medical advancement spread widely. </p><p>Expediency often sacrifices integrity. Fortunately, Pasteur's scientific literacy was as dependable as his love of fawning writers. As Victorian-era statistician Francis Galton presciently commented, "In science credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not the man to whom the idea first occurs." </p><p>We have to wield the power responsibly. Vaccine development by press release does not serve anyone. There are too many variables in medicine and humans are impatient animals. Good science relies on the input of many researchers and tens of thousands of volunteers. </p><p>That great strides have been made in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine should comfort us—a little—but also serve as a reminder that little arrives as quickly as we desire. That's just not how science works. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a>. His new book is</em> "<em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KRVMP2M?pf_rd_r=MDJW43337675SZ0X00FH&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy</a>."</em></p>
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by Freethink Media, Inc. All rights reserved.