Yahoo’s New “Not My Email” Option

As you may remember, Yahoo recently closed email accounts that had been inactive for 12 months and then released them to the public to be used again. At the time, Yahoo took several precautions to maintain user privacy, including sending 30 days of messages notifying the owner that their account would be closed and recycled, and bouncing messages back to senders to let them know that the account had been deactivated.

Along these lines, they’ve introduced a new “Not My Email” option in all email accounts. This will allow a new user to indicate that an email they received was intended for the previous account owner.

What Does This Mean For Your Messages?

It’s like someone moving into a new house and receiving mail addressed to the previous tenant. They didn’t ask for this mail, and they’re not interested in reading it. They want to make sure that the sender knows the old tenant moved out, so they send it back.

This is what happens when the new owner of a recycled Yahoo account selects the “Not My Email” option. And if you are the sender, your email newsletters will get bounced back to you.

It’s Time To Do Some Housekeeping

While very few of these emails may still be on your lists, it’s important to go in and clear old Yahoo addresses from your account. If you didn’t do this before because you’d been hoping to keep the new account owners as subscribers, there are a couple of reasons why this won’t work.

The emails bounced back by the “Not My Email” option will count as a “hard bounce,” and this means in your AWeber account we’ll automatically unsubscribe these addresses from your lists anyway. They also still have the option to report you for spam since they didn’t sign up to receive mail from you. And both bounced emails and spam reports can greatly impact your deliverability.

It’s best to clean up your account now, getting rid of any old Yahoo emails and re-engaging the ones you want to keep. To do so, just follow the steps outlined here.

While You’re At It

Why stop at just Yahoo emails? Search for all subscribers who haven’t opened your mail in a while and reach out to re-engage them. Then, clear any inactive ones from your lists.


  1. Emily

    10/3/2013 11:42 am

    I think that this initiative is absolutely priceless – as we are all receiving mail that we don’t want from spammers and other entities. It would be great if that bounce would count as a mark against them so that they might be inspired not to spam the email box. 🙂 Hope springs eternal, I figure.

  2. Tony Ramirez

    10/3/2013 2:27 pm

    What happens with old Flickr accounts? Are they subject to same Yahoo standards? Just curious. Thanks Rachel

  3. Rachel Acquaviva

    10/3/2013 3:31 pm

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your questions. This is what I found in Flickr’s forum:

    “If you don’t use your Yahoo! Mail for an extended period of time, your Mail account may be deactivated. If you only use Flickr and used a Y!ID to register, the Y!ID may become inactive even if you log in to Flickr regularly.

    However, this shouldn’t affect your ability to log into Flickr, nor will your Y!ID be recycled (Y!IDs associated with Flickr accounts are exempt from the recycling program).”

  4. Jan Merrifield

    10/5/2013 12:15 am

    This is a great post, thanks for sharing it with us! You’ve got some very strong ideas!

  5. Dave

    10/5/2013 10:07 am

    I’m currently using a recycled address but don’t have the “Not My Email” option.

    Does anybody know if this is something that needs to be added on or am I looking in the wrong place?

    When I click on actions I don’t have the option of “Not My Email”

  6. Rachel Acquaviva

    10/7/2013 1:39 pm

    Hello Dave,

    You can find “Not My Email” under the “Spam” options.

  7. Randall Magwood

    10/5/2013 11:06 pm

    I like the “hard bounce” option. I have alot of Yahoo subscribers. And i’m extremely busy with marketing my site that i barely have time to check my email – let alone manage it. I’m glad you guys have this feature though.