When amassing email addresses to grow your list, chances are you will come across a number of “role” accounts such as sales@___.com or contact@___.com. Whether these were entered through your opt-in forms (sometimes people just throw in an email to sign up for events) or obtained them through a list-buy, generally it’s a bad idea to send to a role address. Why? Because a role address is meant for exactly as it sounds: to serve the role listed in the account.
Some role accounts may put you in touch with an actual person as the recipient, but many dump emails into a mass account typically accessed by multiple people. Other times, messages will get forwarded along or sometimes completely ignored altogether, in turn tanking open rates. Unless the message you’re sending pertains exactly to whoever is at the receiving end of this generalized account, odds are your message will get marked as spam. Even if there may be one person who uses sales@____.com who entered that email when filling out a form on your site, the rest of the recipients at sales@___.com probably have no idea someone opted-in and don’t want to receive your messages.
Keeping role addresses off of your email lists will generally help you in the long-run. More emails going to real people means increased deliverability, in turn keeping your messages out of the spam folder and into the inbox. Go ahead and take a look at your current lists — Try avoiding role addresses in your next send and see how much your open rates increase.
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts