How many times did you craft a perfect email and send it only to have it bounced back undelivered?
Or did you make a compelling email campaign with the great potential to generate a lot of positive responses, but all you heard were crickets?
The reason sometimes can be as simple as a typo in an email address, but more often, it is as complex as a non-existing email account. Imagine having a large list of potential customers, making a perfect campaign, and most don’t exist. That is why email validation is important.
Email validation goes far beyond just avoiding minor inconveniences. That critical step could decide if you’ll make it or break it.
Should You Validate Your Email Address List and Why?
In short, yes.
Imagine sending out a massive email campaign only to have a significant portion of your emails bounce back. Not only does this mean wasted resources and missed opportunities, but it also paints a poor picture of your brand. High bounce rates can lead to your email service provider labeling you as a spammer, tarnishing your sender reputation.
An unvalidated email list can also trap you in the web of spam traps. These are email addresses specifically set up by email service providers and anti-spam organizations to catch spammers. Sending an email to these addresses can block your IP, severely affecting your future email deliverability.
So, how does email validation help? By verifying the validity and deliverability of an email address, email validation eliminates hard bounces and reduces the risk of falling into spam traps. It ensures that your emails reach the intended recipient, improving your email deliverability and open rates.
Moreover, email validation helps maintain a clean and accurate email list. It weeds out invalid, inactive, and risky email addresses. It is ensuring that your communication efforts are targeted and effective. It can also prevent potential security issues, such as fraudulent sign-ups, by confirming that an email address belongs to a legitimate user.
In essence, validating your email address is like checking the address on a parcel before sending it off. It’s essential to ensure your message doesn’t end up in the digital equivalent of a lost mail pile. It’s about efficiency, effectiveness, and safeguarding your reputation in the digital space.
7 Methods to Validate Your Email Address List for Improved Deliverability
Validating your email addresses is very important, and we talked about why it is so. But how can you validate them? There are several methods, each with its advantages. Here are the top 7 proven ways we chose to present.
Professional Email Validation Services
A good tool is half of the work. And many great tools can help you validate your list. They will check for common issues, like syntax errors, invalid domains, and disposable email addresses. Some advanced services also check against known spam traps and hard-bounce emails. These services can be particularly beneficial if you have a large email list to validate.
Implementing Double Opt-In Methods
Sometimes, you get a confirmation email when you sign up or subscribe to someone’s list. This is not only to allow you to change your mind but also a great method for validating addresses. When the user clicks on the link in the confirmation email, it is the verification that the email is valid. Also, it confirms that the user wants to receive your emails, which will improve your engagement rates.
Syntax and Format Checking
The most basic form of validation is the syntax check. It simply checks whether the email address is in the correct format, i.e., [email protected] . It also checks for common syntax errors like missing ‘@’ signs or periods.
Domain and MX Record Checking
Domain and MX Record Checking is a process where you check if the domain exists and if it has a valid ‘signpost’ (MX record). A domain is the part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol. For example, in the email address “e[email protected], “something.com” is the domain.
An MX record is a data type in a system (Domain Name System) that directs your email to be sent through a specific server. In simpler terms, it’s like a signpost that tells the postman (email sender) which post office (mail server) to drop off your mail (email) for further delivery.
Role-Based Account Detection
Role-based accounts are emails like info@, support@, sales@, etc. These accounts are not tied to one person but to a role or department in the company. Multiple people often manage them and may not be monitored regularly. Because many people might have access to these emails, your message might not get the attention it deserves.
So, Role-Based Account Detection identifies these general email addresses in your list. By knowing which emails are role-based, you can exclude them from your email campaigns to improve your chances of your emails being opened and read.
Checking Against Known Hard Bounce Emails
If you send an email to an invalid address, it bounces back to you. If you keep trying to send emails to these invalid addresses, it can harm your reputation as a sender. Email services might start to see you as a spammer, which you don’t want! But what if you have a list of those hard-bounce emails? And where can you find that list?
Some email validation services keep a list of emails that have previously bounced. Before sending your emails, you can check your list against this list of known hard bounces. This helps you avoid sending emails to those addresses again, protecting your sender reputation and increasing your chances of your emails being successfully delivered.
This is the most comprehensive form of email validation. It uses the “handshake,” which means connection between two serves over the internet. The server trying to verify the email address sends a message to the recipient’s mail server. The actual message is not sent in this process. It is just the “handshake “with the recipient’s mail server to confirm the existence of the mailbox.
This “handshake” involves a series of back-and-forth communications where the two servers agree on the rules of their interaction (like security settings, authentication, etc) before starting the actual data transfer. Once they agree, the connection is established, and the verification can proceed.
However, it’s a resource-intensive process and may not be suitable for large email lists.
Choosing the right method for your needs
Each of these methods has its strengths and limitations. The best approach is often to combine several methods for a more comprehensive validation process.
Choosing the right email validation method depends on several factors, including:
the volume of emails
level of recipient engagement
risk of spam traps and hard bounces
the type of email addresses
The goal is not just to minimize bounce rates but also to enhance overall email deliverability and effectiveness. Hence, selecting a method that aligns with your specific needs and communication goals is crucial.
Email validation is a key practice that not only reduces bounce rates but also boosts email deliverability and effectiveness. While different methods like professional services, double opt-ins, or syntax checks may be used, the ideal approach should fit your needs. This step can enhance your current emails and future marketing efforts, improving email performance. So, make email validation a routine part of your process for significant rewards.