To clean or not to clean....!

Hi everyone

I apologise if this is not in the right place - I am learning slowly! I am in the process of writing a connector for Shopify and have a question I would be interested to know your opinions on.

When a contact is available to be passed over to Mautic, is it useful to validate that email address at that stage, or leave it up to the Mautic side to do that?

My thinking is that it is a better thing to only pass validated/good emails over, or at the very least perhaps create a custom field with a “type” as well, eg. good, bad, spam, complainer, never opens etc. etc.

It would be simple enough to run those contacts through a validator prior to adding.

What are everyones thoughts? clean before, or leave it up to the existing systems and processes?


I have had another thought.

Would it be helpful to be able to select the service that you use from a dropdown and enter your API details on the Shopify side, if you have one?

Each contact would be put through that process and passed (or not) with more contextual information.

Hello @tonyr !

Why would you have not validated emails in Shopify? Is that because the emails are old?

No, it’s because there is no mechanism to do that. As an e-commerce platform it’s not a function Shopify has.

It’s not uncommon for people to misspell email addresses and not get any notifications for example.

Hey, so Mautic will not do real email validation. What we have done is use n8n to connect up to zero bounce or the likes to take care of e-mail verification.

The other option is to have a verify campaign where you shoot the person an email ask them to verify the email by clicking on a certain link and then using campaign decision to take care of if the link was clicked and ‘visited’ then mark the email as valid.

Either way would be interesting to see what kind of connector you do with Shopify.

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We do rinse our emails through Mailfloss via their API integration when they are pushed to the community instance of Mautic, mainly to get rid of junk emails before they hit our reputation (they are one of our infrastructure sponsors).

I guess that it would also be helpful in the ecommerce setting as there are some useful things like fixing common typos with domain names, for example, which could help people buying in haste and typing the wrong address. It may need some T&Cs depending on regulations though as you are technically changing the info that they have provided to transact with you? Not sure on that side but it might be worth checking out.

In that scenario we are acting on behalf of the owner of the data as a subcontractor.

I guess the question for me which I am not clear on is whether we should offer as a service the ability to cleanse ‘on the fly’. Remember, I am neither a Mautic nor email marketing expert so please treat me like I know nothing on those two fronts. This feature for me has come about by reading some threads on the importance of clean lists in reputation and deliverability and the old programmer saying ‘garbage in garbage out’. I see some folks use third party services to do that from time to time and it is certainly possible to integrate those so the data going in to Mautic is in better shape or more trustworthy/reputable. Just because it can be done though doesn’t mean its a good idea or anyone actually would want to do it.

I am also now thinking a Shopify app to do this on that side for all data may be a good thing as there are no tools to help with it whatsoever. There are an increasing number of people that use Shopify Mail for marketing with a very limited toolset.

Shopify as a platform is something that has the ability to throw contacts at Mautic at a rapid rate.

Shopify is an interesting use case, for me anyway…

It has all the usual opt in/opt outs handling you would expect and the store owner is obliged to comply with all regulations.

We could just only pass details marked opted in for marketing, or pass all details anyway with an opted in/out flag.

The rationale is that for online sales, a degree of communication is necessary whether you opted in our out. An order acknowledgement for example is a requirement either way. I know that some people want to use a third party tool like Mautic for handling those “mandatory” emails because the Shopify side is weak, so to that degree they are legally allowed to do so.

Also, there is always spammers/fakes (newsletter signups), fraud orders, misspelt names and email addresses and more… Data of varying quality let’s say.

Should I care, and offer ways to mitigate that, or not care and just pass what has been selected from the options chosen?

My thinking is to give the user that choice and power. They decide. We’re just the software tool that implements those decisions.

I can’t help but think that better quality data being passed to Mautic is a good thing, but others may disagree!