What is Email Validation?
Email marketing has been a staple of B2B and B2C marketing for years, and continues to yield impressive results. So much so that 37% of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budget.
But some marketers won’t use that budget to its fullest potential. And that’s because they aren’t leveraging Email Validation. Emailing incorrect or false addresses is not only a waste of money, it also damages a company’s email sender score. Maintaining a good sender reputation is key to deliverability; without it, organizations risk being blocked or blacklisted.
Email Validation should lay the foundation for any marketer's email marketing plan: it ensures emails end up in the right inboxes at the right time, which increases the chances of higher engagement, clicks, and conversions.
In this article, we’ll explain what Email Validation is and how it works in detail. Then we’ll share the many benefits of Email Validation that you can look forward to when it's a part of your marketing strategy.
What is Email Validation?
Email Validation is a series of steps that verify email addresses exist, are deliverable, and aren’t risky. Marketers use Email Validation to clean email lists they already own and ensure they collect legitimate new addresses. Email validation tools run email lists through a sequence of syntax, domain, and mailbox checks. These checks identify invalid, undeliverable, or nonexistent addresses that marketers can remove from lists.
Unfortunately, Email Validation isn’t a one-and-done exercise. That’s because email marketing lists degrade over time—22% per year, on average. Confirmation emails get buried in junk email folders or erroneously sent to spam folders , while some people stop using old inboxes when they switch to a new job. Plus, users sometimes make mistakes when they enter their email addresses into web forms. These formatting and spelling errors prevent emails from reaching the intended recipient.
Bots also have the power to subscribe to your email list. What they’ll do is even more nefarious: bots enter fake email addresses with shady or nonexistent domains to your lists, or sign-up addresses that don’t have a mailbox that actually accepts messages.
The more unused or invalid accounts that you target in your campaign, the more likely that those emails will get delivered to spam inboxes. Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and Email Service Providers (ESPs) track suspicious activity, and if they’re dubious of your campaigns, they might start to send your well-intentioned emails to spam. And if you continue to use lists with bad data, ISPs and ESPs will block your company’s email address altogether.
The good news is that companies can utilize Email Validation in real time by adding it to their web forms. Whenever users fill out a contact form, validation services can automatically confirm whether or not the address is valid. This reduces the risk of emails being marked as spam, thus preserving a company’s email sender score and reputation.
After your campaign has reached customer inboxes through validation, your marketing team has the budget to spend on other prospective activities. Let’s say that you decide to spend your extra dollars on a Super Bowl ad. Not only will you get increased web traffic from the ad, you’ll get valid email addresses from customers if you already have a real-time webform on your site.
Leveraging Email Validation helps marketers reach their audience, which improves the ROI of their campaigns. Plus, if you use real-time validation, you’ll get valid first-party data, directly from your prospects.
How does Email Validation work?
The purpose of Email Validation is to ensure emails make it to their intended recipients. Without it, marketers risk wasting money on emails that don’t reach anyone. Email validation allows marketers to maximize the returns on their email campaigns. This lets them allocate the extra budget they save for other impactful promotional activities, like ads.
There are a few different Email Validation methods, including:
- Real-time feedback: As mentioned above, some organizations use an API on their web forms to collect and verify email addresses as they come in. By automatically scanning emails and removing invalid ones keeps marketers’ lists clean, even as they add new addresses. Plus, these real-time webforms prompt users who incorrectly enter their email onto these forms to try again.
- Manual checks: Marketers working with a small marketing list can manually check emails by emailing each address and confirming it goes through. They could also use validation methods like pinging the server Google searches, or one-time verification tools. But as you might guess, manual checks aren’t particularly efficient, nor are they always effective. Manual checks are only recommended for one-off validations.
- Bulk verification services: Bulk verification platforms are a common validation method for enterprise organizations due to their ability to quickly validate large email lists. Marketers upload their lists and wait for the tool to run validation checks on each email address. They can then review the resulting report of addresses that will likely hard bounce, are invalid, or contain an error. Marketers can adjust with minor errors, like syntax, while they permanently remove others from their list within minutes.
Using Email Validation techniques consistently can have lasting positive effects on your email marketing efforts. However, you should be sure to consider the right email validation method for your company. A method like manual checks may not be suitable for your organization if your marketing team has to validate a plethora of emails. Examine your organization’s goals and budget to determine which methods may be right for you.
Why should you validate your email?
The obvious benefit of Email Validation is to improve email deliverability. But there’s more to it than that. Keeping hard bounces low keeps your domain safe—a key component of the email sender score. The higher your email sender score, the more likely ISPs and ESPs will deliver your emails to recipients using their network or application, and the less likely your domain will be blacklisted.
Beyond these benefits, Email Validation also helps marketers:
- Avoid sending emails to risky email addresses, an entry point for fraud.
- Get accurate data that can be used for other strategic GTM purposes, such as personalization or retargeting campaigns.
- Boost their sender reputation so their emails continue getting delivered to recipients’ inboxes.
- Reduce spam complaints from prospects and customers.
- Stop sending to catch-all and temporary accounts that don’t belong to actual prospects or customers—essentially, a waste of an email.
- Increase email open rates, which typically translates to higher engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.
- Achieve a higher ROI on their email marketing campaigns, giving them the confidence to launch new ones, and the extra budget to fund other marketing projects.
Clearly, Email Validation is good for much more than just deliverability.You won’t reap the benefits of Email Validation or maintain clean lists without an automated tool. Manual checks cause faulty addresses to fall through the cracks, rendering even the best email marketing campaigns ineffective.
Amplify your email reach
Email marketing can potentially be a powerful lead-generation engine, but you can’t get those leads without clean lists. Email validation helps marketers pinpoint bad email addresses—whether because of their syntax, domain, or mailbox—and delete them from their lists. Putting Email Validation into practice every day increases deliverability, sender reputation, and ROI while decreasing the chances of being blocked by ISPs or ESPs.
While Email Validation is a must for marketers, they don’t have the time to cross-check every email in their list by hand. They need tools that can do the validation for them so they can focus on the marketing activities that matter most, and that’s where AtData comes into play.
AtData is a comprehensive email address intelligence solution that helps marketers maximize revenue while reducing risk. The AtData Email Validation solution automatically avoids blocklists, corrects typos, removes disposable domains, and prevents emails from going to spamtraps and honeypots.
AtData offers fast, reliable, and easy validation through automated batch cleaning via SFTP or API and real-time checks on CRM and POS systems, client-side integrations, or web-based forms. The best part is that even large lists can be cleaned and vetted in minutes, giving your marketers time to spend on development and value creation.
Still not convinced? Contact us today to talk with an Email Expert about our Email Validation solution.