Clearly Chimps Understand Email Marketing

Over the past 35 years, scientific research has found that human beings and chimpanzees share approximately 94% of our DNA, the basic structures that define how we grow and evolve. This study caused a bit of a shock when it was released: our collective belief that we’re vastly different from and superior to our hairier, dumber cousins was shaken.

But some research is less surprising, nearly as evident to we thinking beings as the use of tools. Earlier this week, our supremely intelligent partners Mail Chimp published the results of a study showing that mailing to an old or inactive list leads inexorably to complaints, unknown users, spamtraps — all the ingredients of the kind of deliverability problem that’ll cause the monkey in the mirror to jump up and down angrily.

But unlike the rest of the Hominids, millennia ago our ancestors discovered that throwing poo rarely solves problems. These kinds of deliverability problems are easy to solve, actually: don’t send mail to people who have indicated, in this case through rampant and continued indifference, that they don’t want your stuff. In other words, remove inactive recipients before they become complainers. Viola! Now the people who actually want your message will receive it.

Along with humans and chimpanzees, there used to be a third Hominid, which modern scientists call the Hominina. It’s not clear, now, why they went extinct — but one possibility is that they made some bad decisions, refusing to adapt to the changing environment around them. If you are an email marketer who continues to send bland, untargeted, uninteresting email to list of old, inactive addresses you may find yourself going down the same evolutionary dead end. But it’s never too late to adapt! I suggest you start by checking your Sender Score. Our will give you the quickest, most accurate snapshot available showing how your email marketing is doing — based on the exact same factors that ISPs use to filter out unwanted mail. You will quickly see whether or not your mailing practices might weather the eons.

Many thanks to everyone at Mail Chimp for doing this research. We appreciate their support of our tools, and the many nice things they’ve said about us on their blog. Most importantly, we love to see hard data that directly contributes to making email better for everyone — because on the internet, nobody really knows what kind of monkey you are. The next banana is on us.

(Hey! We didn’t mean that literally.)

minute read

Popular stories



BriteVerify email verification ensures that an email address actually exists in real-time


The #1 global data quality tool used by thousands of Salesforce admins


Insights and deliverability guidance from the only all-in-one email marketing solution

GridBuddy Cloud

Transform how you interact with your data through the versatility of grids.

Return Path

World-class deliverability applications to optimize email marketing programs

Trust Assessments

A revolutionary new solution for assessing Salesforce data quality


Validity for Email

Increase inbox placement and maximize subscriber reach with clean and actionable data

Validity for Data Management

Simplify data management with solutions that improve data quality and increase CRM adoption

Validity for Sales Productivity

Give your sales team back hours per day with tools designed to increase productivity and mitigate pipeline risks in real-time