March 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

How one retailer boosts e-mail deliverability in less than a second

E-mails are a top marketing tool for retailers. Bad e-mail addresses are a top frustration. That’s why one retailer is using a service in its stores to verify the validity of e-mails staff enter in its checkout systems.

E-mails are a top marketing tool for many retailers. Bad e-mail addresses are a top frustration. That’s why one retailer is using a service in its bricks-and-mortar stores to verify the validity of e-mail addresses employees enter in its point-of-sale systems.

Market Share Inc., which sells AT&T; cell phone service through a chain of eight stores, this month began using a system from Upaya Solution that uses the Internet to verify the authenticity of e-mail addresses associates enter at checkout. The system checks the address before an invoice is saved in the retailer’s POS system, and invalid addresses are removed from customer records and put aside for further checking. The retailer says the verification process at checkout takes less than a second.

“We had always captured e-mail addresses to invite our customers to participate in a store survey the next day,” says CEO Chris Corcoran. “But we had a high number of undeliverable e-mails.”

Market Share, which does about $5 million in annual sales, has reduced the rate of undeliverable e-mail from 30% to 2% in the few weeks it’s been using the e-mail verification service, Corcoran says.

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