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PSA: 4 Reasons why DIY First-Party Data audits do more harm than good

Published December 19, 2023

Have you ever received a dreaded letter from the IRS about a tax audit or a recommendation from your doctor to receive additional screening? Just like these situations require expertise, auditing your customer data for “machine generated emails” (MGEs) is best handled by professionals. Doing it yourself can jeopardize revenue – just as a DIY tax audit or medical test carries tremendous risks.

lockr has evaluated millions of email addresses and uncovered high levels of MGEs – essentially fake email accounts. An estimated 15-30% of first-party emails fall into this category. Here are 4 reasons to get a professional assessment of your dataset:

  1. Consult Experts: You wouldn’t attempt to respond to a tax audit on your own or rely on WebMD to replace a significant or invasive health screening. Assessing the quality of your first-party data isn’t any different. There are thousands of domains and email address patterns and new machine-generated email services are popping up weekly. It is nearly impossible to do a thorough audit on your own. Avoid analysis paralysis and let professionals share their expertise.   
  2. Address Immediately: A retroactive audit is helpful to purge your dataset of unusable data – preventing wasted storage and cost. Yet, there is nothing that can be done about the missed opportunity. By working proactively with an MGE expert, you can ensure you are getting quality, authenticated user data at the point of collection – improving match rates and the power of your dataset. 
  3. Collaborate on a Plan: lockr believes in an individualized approach to Identity. Every business has a different comfort level with how they communicate with consumers. lockr can amend messaging and sensitivity levels in line with your business goals. 
  4. Remain Vigilant: MGE patterns change rapidly and require constant reevaluation. A one-time audit will quickly become outdated. lockr is constantly amending algorithms and adding new MGE services to its Identity lockr product to ensure the widest net. 

Auditing and removing MGEs is crucial as these temporary emails have a direct negative impact on revenue. A company earning $1M in ad revenue is leaving an additional $200K on the table if 20% of their dataset consists of anonymous emails. MGEs allow consumers to utilize unique email addresses for each business they interact with. MGEs are not reused and thus cannot be matched across sites for the purposes of targeted advertising. As the percentage of MGE email signups rises over time, match rates decline and the revenue bleed will only increase. 

The solution is clear – integrating professional MGE auditing services can stem this tide. By removing MGEs and restoring data integrity, companies can ensure the collection of authenticated, matchable consumer data – thus recouping lost revenue. Act now to implement a professional MGE auditing program – let lockr handle the complexities so you can focus on your core business

Ryan Boh

Head of Identity
Ryan is the Head of Identity at lockr. With a career rooted in customer experience consulting and data trade products he has a passion for passing data controls to consumers while preserving the open internet.