How to Check if an Email Address is Valid
Marketing strategies come and go, but email stands the test of time. According to Litmus, email marketing programs can generate up to 38x returns. And Millennials seem especially influenced by email — 68% say promotional emails have influenced their buying decisions.
But not every company sees the same fantastic campaign results. They struggle to increase their open and click-through rates, which makes their budgets suffer. What gives?
They could miss out on returns due to the strength of their email content. Perhaps the messaging hits the wrong note, the content lacks educational value, or the offers fail to make an impression. But there could be another reason their campaigns aren’t performing well: they aren’t reaching their audience.
The average email list degrades up to 22% per year. Without a way to check existing email lists and prevent bad email infiltration, most emails get sent to the void.
Email Validation saves marketers time and money: it increases deliverability and minimizes the risk of being blacklisted. In this article, we’ll explain what Email Validation is, how it works, and how it can benefit your organization.
What is Email Validation?
Email Validation verifies that email addresses are deliverable by performing a series of syntax, domain, and mailbox checks. Email Validation is a critical component of marketing operations. Without it, lists get stale. Emails may get hacked, and web forms invite spamtraps, honeypots, typos, and more.
Failing to keep email lists clean not only decreases your marketing ROI, it also decreases your sender reputation. Email Service Providers (ESPs) such as Gmail and Outlook and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast track customer accounts for suspicious activity. When ESPs or ISPs detect high bounce rates from your email address, they begin to send your emails to their customers’ spam folders.
The more polluted your list, the more bounces you get, and the higher the likelihood of your emails ending up in junk mailboxes. If this cycle becomes an established pattern, ESPs and ISPs will blacklist your email address entirely. This guarantees that all of your marketing campaigns crumble, since your emails get sent to spam. To make matters worse, ESPs and ISPs share their blacklists; if you’re blacklisted on one, you’ll probably get blacklisted on another.
With an Email Validation tool, marketers can automatically remove undeliverable or erroneous addresses from their lists, which ensures emails are sent to the appropriate recipients. In this way, Email Validation helps marketers keep their email deliverability high and bounce rates low.
As campaign open rates and click-through rates go up, conversion rates improve. The best email sequences educate customers and prospects about your products and services on a deeper level. The more you get that message in front of your audience, the more likely they are to convert into a customer.
Since Email Validation gets your emails in front of your audience, your campaigns become more cost efficient. Over time, the budget you save by validating marketing emails can be spent on other high-return marketing campaigns on social media, paid search, or other channels.
The wealth and accuracy of your first-party data also improves with Email Validation, which helps you tailor demand-generation activities to people’s personal preferences. This lets you build greater awareness and nurture contacts already familiar with your other marketing campaigns. You gain a higher ROI if you show your customers and prospects that your product meets their specific needs. In this way, Email Validation makes your overall marketing strategy more powerful.
Why is Email Validation important?
Email Validation improves marketers' email deliverability and data integrity. With proper Email Validation methods in place, hard bounces stay low, even as email lists grow. Collecting valid first-party data is integral to a successful lead generation campaign. Otherwise, emails end up in spam folders, not at the top of an inbox. At the same time, Email Validation is a preventative measure, and keeps your domain from being blacklisted.
On a more detailed level, Email Validation helps you:
- Avoid risky email addresses: Detecting and removing suspicious email addresses in your list can help you block phishing campaigns or social engineering attacks.
- Get accurate data: Scrubbing your lists for spammy, old, undeliverable email addresses keeps your lists clean over time, and makes sure your emails end up in contacts’ inboxes.
- Boost your sender reputation: Email Validation reduces bounces, which helps you create an excellent sender reputation. Regular validation will keep your sender reputation high, too.
- Reduce spam complaints: Deleting invalid addresses from your database increases your deliverability, signals to ESPs and ISPs that your domain is in good standing, and emails shouldn’t be sent to spam.
- Stop catch-all and temporary accounts: The best Email Validation tools have built-in catch-all and temporary account detection features to make sure your emails resonate with real people.
- Increase engagement rates: Validated email addresses correspond to actual contacts. The more contacts you reach, the higher the potential for engagement. Email Validation enables you to message the right people at the right time.
- Get a higher ROI on email marketing campaigns: If you send emails to honeytraps, non-existent addresses, or undeliverable domains, you’re essentially paying for bounces. Email Validation gets your emails in front of your target accounts and increases conversion rates.
To make campaigns as fruitful as possible, Email Validation should be an ongoing process. Companies constantly collect new addresses that have the potential to contaminate lists; and as we know, emails become obsolete over time. These two factors make keeping lists clean easier said than done. Marketers need to find sustainable and effective validation solutions to avoid harm to their sender reputation and their campaign success.
How to check email validity
There are two main methods for checking address validity: manual checks and verification tools.
That’s why most marketers turn to Email Validation tools such as bulk verification solutions. A bulk verification tool allows you to upload your email lists, and the software performs a series of checks for:
- Domain names
- Disposable email addresses
- Mail exchanger records
Once the software finishes running its checks, you can view a report of which addresses will cause hard bounces or contain errors, and which are valid. Thoroughly reviewing and removing the incorrect, spammy, or undeliverable email addresses helps you maintain clean email hygiene. .
You can also validate addresses by using a real-time API checker on your webforms. Whenever a visitor provides their email address, the tool scans it for syntax and domain issues. If there’s a spelling mistake, the form will prompt users to enter their address again. If the email address is spam, it won’t be added to any lists. Organizations benefit from APIs by keeping databases clean in the long run.
Many enterprises use a combination of bulk verification services and real-time APIs to assess the lists they already have, prevent any future contamination, and preserve their sender reputation.
Benefits of using a verification tool
According to Statista, 61% of customers and prospects still prefer email communication as a main method of contact. But your emails won’t reach your customers with an inaccurate list. Email Verification improves the accuracy of your data, the deliverability of your emails, and your sender reputation. Other benefits include:
- Clean data: Verifying email lists enhances deliverability by eliminating addresses with glaring errors, mailboxes that don’t exist, honeypots, and spam traps. A clean list increases your validity in ESP and ISP algorithms. Since more of your emails reach subscribers’ inboxes, you gain better overall campaign results.
- Inbox placement: Keeping your lists clean helps you avoid sending emails to invalid mailboxes that hurt your sender reputation. Over time, if you continue to send emails to inaccurate addresses, ISPs will mark your emails as spam. If this happens too often, you risk blocking your sender email address altogether. Email verification keeps your bounce rate low, minimizing risk and maximizing deliverability.
- Accurate customer information: Email campaigns build relationships with customers and prospects: they keep your brand front-of-mind while they give your prospects the information and confidence they need to make a purchase. But with every bounce, you limit your marketing ROI. Maintaining an up-to-date list helps marketers connect with their audience, as well as curate personalized buying journeys through segmentation, targeting, and customization.
- Elimination of hard bounces and blocked emails: Verification tools identify and remove addresses that cause hard bounces and blocked emails, ultimately strengthening your sender reputation and deliverability. Even if regular verification means having a list with fewer subscribers, prospects and customers are more likely to receive your emails and engage with your content.
All of these benefits can significantly improve marketing ROI. Email Validation ensures emails actually reach your audience, which increases the chances of conversion. At the same time, Email Validation protects companies from being blacklisted by reducing the number of erroneous or harmful email addresses in your list. Build your sender authority with Email Validation to maintain a high reputation over time.
But reaping those benefits is only possible with a robust platform that has proven results.
Give your marketing ROI a boost
Some marketers send thousands of emails a day, and rely on their campaigns to drive traffic to their site, educate their buyers, and form deeper, more personalized relationships with their customers. If only some of those emails reach the intended audience, conversion rates dramatically decrease, while the risk of being blocked or blacklisted dramatically increases. Without incorporating regular Email Validation into day-to-day marketing processes, organizations are minimizing their marketing performance.
Following validation best practices help you hit and exceed your marketing KPIs. But the tools you use to get there matter. Today, Email Validation software varies widely in effectiveness and scope. To maintain highly accurate email lists, you need an always-on solution to validate your existing lists and check emails at the point of collection.
AtData is the premier Email Validation solution, with 24/7 batch validation, real-time validation, and even managed services offerings. Besides syntax and typo correction features, AtData has a proprietary set of SMTP and mailbox verification, with over 30 disposition codes to help you make informed decisions when refining your lists. AtData also has built-in integrations with CRMs, POS systems, and webforms to address problematic emails before they even enter your database.
With AtData, Email Validation is fast and easy, giving marketers the time and peace of mind they need to accelerate their go-to-market plans, improving sender reputation and boosting customer loyalty and conversion rates in the process.
Eager to get more out of your email campaigns? Try AtData’s Email Validation services today.