In today’s day and age, email verification has become a “must do,” not a “nice to have.”
What happens when you send an email campaign to a list full of invalid emails?
Your bounce rate increases.
Next thing you know, ISPs flags your sender’s reputation.
This decreases your sender reputation, you get poor email deliverability and poor open rates.
Your emails are been sent straight to the Junk folder and do not make it to your subscribers’ inboxes.
This directly translates to bad ROI.
Your emails are not getting the traffic they deserve or don’t get delivered at all. On top of that, you get blacklisted as a spammer.
Fixing it is hard and if you start with a clean list, what about the old list you have purchased or put money and effort into building it.
Your solution is email verification.
We’ve written this article to teach you all you want to know about email verification services.
This email covers the authenticating process of your email address, how to improve your sender reputation.
What is an Email Verification service?
Email verification service is an automated service that verifies every invalid and disposable email address. Email verification services protect your sender’s reputation from being flagged by ESPs or ISPs. Every verification service, either bulk or single, processes emails in multiple steps for verification.
The most common verification steps are syntax, domain, catch-all, MX record checks, and email address ping. Email verification services help you toss bad emails addresses and recoup your acquisition costs, drive conversions and sales, connect with your subscribers and avoid deliverability issues.
Here are a couple of statuses on our Email Verification Service that will allow you to understand how to interpret a certain email address and then act accordingly.
Valid – Deliverable, legitimate email address
Invalid – Non-deliverable inbox that for some reason cannot be reached
Risky – Valid email address that has some risk factor to it (like a domain with low reputation or known naming patterns that were used by abusers)
Unknown – We were not able to categorize it as any of the above
Types of Email Verification tools
There are three types of email verification tools.
Email verification tools remove invalid emails that may hurt your deliverability.
The differences between tools depend on the type of integration, ease of use/features, checks performed, accuracy, support, and price.
Bulk verification tools
Bulk email list verification tools work best if you have almost bottomless email lists.
All you need to do is upload your list.
Bulk email verification tools are useful if you have a very large list you want to check.
Bulk email verification tools are useful if you have an old, or purchased list you want to check. However, you will still be putting yourself at risk of serious damage to your deliverability by blasting a large number of emails at once.
Real-time verification tools
Real-time email verification tools allow you to check and reject emails.
Real-time verification tools use CAPTCHAs followed by double opt-in, these two are not only valid for data security.
Real-time tools catch invalid emails, either mistyped or invalid email addresses, using email verification API.
A real-time tool catches the spelling errors so you don’t miss out on conversions simply due to typos. This is a great tool if someone enters an invalid email by mistake.
Ongoing/automated verification tools
Automated email verification tools work best to constantly verify emails.
Automated email verification tools will regularly scan your email database and automatically will clean and remove invalid emails.
Automated email verification tools can also warn you when a list needs cleaning.
The best part of automated email verification tools is you get to decide the cleaning and removal process in your settings.
Advantages of Email Verification Services
1. Reduces bounce rate:
When there are too many bounces, your sender’s reputation will suffer, and it will affect your email campaign as well. Email verification services will help you eliminate all the invalid email addresses and reduce the email bounce rate up to 90%. A good email verification tool will not simply check for the email address in the database but conduct a real-time check to see whether the email address is active or not. This will help to increase email deliverability, improve your sender score. it’s the lifeline between you being a trusted sender or spammer.
2. Provides accurate insights:
After your email verification service cleans your email addresses list, you will have only valid email addresses. When you run your email campaign, the recipients’ actions will be more reliable for data analysis.
3. Saves money:
Storing email addresses and sending emails doesn’t come cheap. There is a price to pay to maintain a clean database and send emails. When you automate the verification of email addresses, the invalid emails will get removed from the list, and your database’s size will reduce. You will also send emails to fewer people. And that translates to saving money.
4. Gets better ROI:
Email verification reduces the chances of bounces which helps increase ROI. Look at it this way, sending emails comes at a cost. Each email has a price tag. That is why even a single email bounce will impact your campaign ROI. Emails bounces mean a waste of the money invested in email marketing.
5. Reduces efforts in fixing bounces:
If your email list is not verified for your email campaign, the bounces will be coming your way. If you are managing your email list manually, think of using a system that unsubscribes hard bounces.
You can use an email service provider, they will move the bad addresses to a separate list.
The service provider will note the bounces as well. Different email service providers set limits, and if the number of bounces surpasses that limit, the service provider will warn you. If the bounces keep happening in the future, the service provider will ban you.
All your problems will get resolved once you use an email verification service. The email verification tool will remove all the undeliverable email addresses from your email marketing list. That will be a huge benefit to your marketing strategy.
6. Reduce spam complaints:
The spam complaints should be less than five for every 5000 emails you send. For you to stay in the clear, you should keep the spam rate the lowest, or else it will ruin your sender’s reputation.
7. Increase engagement rates:
By verifying your email list, you remove invalid addresses. It will increase the engagement rate. When only valid email addresses receive your emails, you can get a better email open rate and a better email click-through rate.
8. Avoid emailing risky email accounts:
Verifying your email list will help you get rid of emails linked to risky email addresses. It is crucial to stay away from these email accounts as you can get black-listed for sending too many emails to traps.
9. Identify catch-all mail servers:
Catch-all mail servers are those that accept all emails sent even if the mailbox doesn’t exist. When you use an email verification tool, you are notified of this particular server configuration and remove such email addresses from your list.
10. Detects temporary accounts:
Fraudsters use randomly generated temporary accounts quite often that they use only for 48 hours. Being real when you collect them, you won’t come to know that they are temporary. With an email verifier, you can identify such accounts in the list later on and remove them.
11. Protects your reputation:
Online, you build a reputation among email service providers and internet service providers. It’s called a sender’s reputation and it depends on how many times do recipients send your email spam traps and how many email bounces occur.
With verified email lists, you won’t have to worry about your emails getting marked as spam or causing bounces.
12. Saves from getting penalized:
When your campaign is getting several bounces and spam reports, your email service provider will start sending you warnings. If the problem keeps on repeating, you will be black-listed. In severe cases, it can make you pay a heavy penalty as well.
When you use an email verification service, bounces and spam reports are minimal as you have a clean list.
13. Helps build a reliable database for sales teams:
If you don’t verify the emails on your list, your outreach campaign will not reach the results you want. Verifying email addresses in your list will be fruitful for your marketing campaign.
Email validation makes your email marketing job cleaner and more productive. With better lists, you have the framework to generate better results. The rest is up to you. You may worry that scrubbing your lists will have a negative impact on your email success. However, if the addresses in your list are dead weight, to begin with, you’ll actually see the opposite happen.
How is the Email Verification process works?
The email verification process uses several steps of email verification to approve your email deliverability.
Only removing bounces and doing spam trap detection is not enough. Different verification services have different steps and verification methods, but here is a general idea.
First, it does a check to see any issues and possible problems before they’re caught by ISPs or ESPs.
The email verification process checks your mailing list for spam traps – email addresses that have been created with the intention of capturing senders who aren’t following proper practices.
If you’ve been buying mailing lists, chances are you’ve got a few spam traps. But even if you’ve manually garnered email addresses on your list, there can be one or two spam traps on there.
Email verification makes sure that these addresses are removed from your mailing lists. Otherwise, if you send an email to a spam trap, you’ll either be asked to remove that address from your list, or you’ll be blacklisted by ISPs and ESPs.
The next step of the process is domain verification. The email verification service checks the DNS records to make sure that the domain name is correct, and that the domain mail exchange server is able to receive emails.
Lasts step is that the email verification process does an email ping check, known as SMTP authentication.
Much like checking spellcheck for your copy, email verification services do the same.
Syntax check algorithms look like this:
- Email standard correspondence: the local-part, the at-symbol ( @ ), and a domain name with a dot-symbol ( . ) are present
- Number of symbols: no more than 64 characters are allowed in the local-part
- Appropriate placement of dots ( . ) and the ( @ ) symbol.
Being blacklisted is a very common issue in emailing. When you get blacklisted, your emails will no longer be accepted by servers and never reach the inbox. There are various blacklists that either automatically delist you after a certain amount of time or keep you listed until you reach out to them.
Being blacklisted takes a long and damaging process of getting back on track and getting delisted. Regularly doing email validation is a good email list hygiene. You get to verify all your contacts and only keep email addresses from reputable sources is a great start.
You should also consider checking your IPs on a daily basis to make sure you weren’t added to a blacklist. Regardless of your sender score, you should daily check if your email address is blacklisted.
Domain/MX record check
MX records check is a more complex solution for identifying garbage emails. MX records identify the mail server that is responsible for accepting emails on behalf of a specific domain. MX records check if the email address exchange entry listed in the email address is valid.
MX records check the registered and hosted domain names. MX record check is an inevitable step in an email verification process. MX record check is very accurate and provides correct results.
Email ping check is also known as SMTP authentication. Email ping check sends a ping to an email address to see if it is capable of receiving emails and reacting to them. If the request reaches the recipients’ email address and receives a response, an email is considered active and you can safely send real emails to it.
What to look for when choosing an email verification tool?
Selecting a bulk email verification service depends on your needs and use case.
Here is a list of characteristics to help you choose an email verification tool.
- Accuracy: Really good email validation tools have accuracy rates as high as 99%, and many will guarantee bounce rates under 2% or 3% after cleaning. Remember, accuracy can go both ways. A system that flags too many legitimate emails can end up doing more harm than good.
- Integration: If you’re going to be using the service regularly, check the tool’s integration process and how much time it will take to set up. Some services have far better/more automated integrations than others. Pick the service that best suits your use case.
- Great customer support: all the best features in the world add up to nothing without customer support.
- Level of control: What does the output of the service look like? How granular can you get in selecting which emails you want to keep, and which you’d like to reject? Keep in mind, not all email verification services have the same options or level of control.
- Speed: If you have a small list, speed may not be an issue. But if you’re regularly sending to lists in the hundreds of thousands, turnaround time may be a real consideration. Not all tools are created equal in this regard.
- Price: If your list is large, sure, price shop, but email verification is relatively inexpensive — in general we recommend buying the best tool for your use case vs price shopping.
Think of your email verification service as your doctor. Email list verification is like your annual physical check. Email verification service runs tests on your data, diagnoses the problems, and recommends how to fix them and then how to avoid them.
How does Email Inspector verify your email addresses?
A basic validation system just looks up the mailbox (or MX) record of an email address and decides if the email address exists or not. But this simple procedure can overlook the greater problem of problematic addresses that put the integrity of your email database in jeopardy.
That’s why you need an email verification service like Emailinspector, which uses email verification API to verify that addresses are not merely valid or deliverable but also that they are safe to send to and pose little or no risk in your database.
Emailinspector has many email verifier options.
MX record check: lets us confirm the email is in use and able to accept mail.
Batch verification: let us verify a specific group of email addresses, such as all of the addresses you collect in a set time period, like a day.
For this process, Emailinspector uses an API that pulls the data from your database and verifies it using the same factors as in bulk verification.
Real-time verification: let us verify an address at the moment your user provides it. Real-time verification not only gives you immediate information about the email address but also keeps invalid or low-quality addresses out of your database.
Emailinspector takes less than a second, and it’s done without sending out a single email manually.
You receive your results right after email verification is complete. You can see which email addresses are hard bounces and should be removed, which are disposable and fake, and which are just straight-up invalid.
If you want to make sure that you’re getting full email deliverability, make sure you’re also regularly updating and checking your mailing lists, and staying away from shady practices.