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Email Verification: How to Verify an Email Address?

Email Verification: How to Verify an Email Address?
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Did you know that about 14% of emails don't make it to their destination? Sometimes it's due to soft bounce or hard bounce, but if it's a hard bounce, it usually means you sent the email to the wrong address.

Checking and verifying your emails is super important to make sure your marketing game is on point and your emails actually reach people. A high bounce rate can mess up your outreach, so verification is key. In this article, we're here to shed light on why email verification matters and how to effectively verify email addresses.

What is Email Verification?

Email verification is making sure the email addresses on your list are real and working. It's important because it helps get rid of fake or inactive emails, making sure your messages actually get through.

Email Verification vs. Email Validation

People sometimes mix up verification and validation, but they're different. Verification checks if an email exists and can get messages. It looks for mistakes and checks if the website is still working. Validation goes a step further, looking at how the email is set up and if it follows certain rules.

Here's a quick table to break it down:


Email Verification

Email Validation

Focus

Confirms the accuracy and deliverability of an email address.

Assesses the overall format, structure, and adherence to standards of an email address.

Primary Purpose

Checks if the email address is valid, active, and reachable.

Ensures the email address conforms to specific formatting standards and syntactical rules.

Process

Verifies the existence and status of an email address, often involving sending a test email.

Examines the email's structure, syntax, and adherence to defined standards without necessarily sending a test email.

Checks Conducted

Verifies domain validity, checks for syntax errors, and confirms the mailbox's existence.

Examines email format, syntax, and adherence to standards, considering elements like characters, symbols, and domain structure.

Outcome

Results in a list of valid and deliverable email addresses.

Identifies both valid and invalid email addresses, highlighting issues related to formatting or structure.

Application

Used to enhance email deliverability and reduce bounce rates.

Applied to ensure data integrity, improve user experience, and maintain a standardized email database.

Example

Sending a test email to confirm that it reaches the intended mailbox.

Assessing an email address for proper formatting, structure, and adherence to standards without sending an actual email.

Importance of Maintaining a Clean and Verified Email List

Having a clean and checked email list is a big deal for a few reasons. First off, it makes sure your emails actually get to the right people and don't end up in spam. A clean list also makes you look good as a sender, which is a win for your email marketing. Plus, it cuts down on bounce rates, saving you time and helping you talk to the right folks.

Why Email Verification Matters

Email verification is not just a technical process; it is a strategic investment that directly influences the success of email marketing campaigns. It's not just about checking if emails are real; it's a smart move that can shape how well your marketing efforts pay off.

Improved Deliverability Rates

Email verification is key to making sure your emails actually make it to people's inboxes. When you know the email addresses are legit and active, your messages have a way better shot at reaching your audience.

Reduction of Bounce Rates and Spam Complaints

A verified email list minimizes bounce rates by eliminating invalid or non-existent email addresses. It kicks out fake or non-existent email addresses, making your email campaigns way more effective and steering clear of spam traps. Keeping those bounce rates low and spam complaints down is your ticket to a good sender reputation.

Enhanced Sender Reputation

Maintaining a clean and verified email list is key to building and preserving a positive sender reputation. Email service providers (ESPs) keep an eye on how senders behave, and a top-notch, verified list tells them you're serious about sending quality stuff. A solid sender rep means your emails land where they should and people trust what you're sending.

Impact on Overall Marketing ROI

The impact of email verification on marketing ROI is substantial. When your emails get delivered better, bounce rates go down, and your sender reputation is rocking, your marketing becomes super cost-effective. Going after a verified audience means you're using your resources smartly, aiming for more conversions and engagement.

Common Challenges in Email Deliverability

Spam Traps:

  • Issue: Sending emails to spam traps (fake addresses to catch spammers) can mess up your sender rep and cause delivery issues.
  • Fix: Keep your email list clean, update it often, use double opt-ins, and follow good practices for building your list.

Bounce Rates:

  • Issue: Lots of bounces, both soft and hard, can mess with your delivery game.
  • Fix: Get your email verified, remove the invalid addresses, and keep an eye on those bounce rates to keep your sender rep up.

Sender Reputation:

  • Issue: If your sender rep takes a hit with lots of spam complaints, bounces, and crickets (low engagement), you're in trouble.
  • Fix: Stick to the good stuff—follow best practices, send emails people want to read, and keep complaints low to keep that rep shining.

Authentication and SPF/DKIM/DMARC:

  • Issue: Messing up your email ID card (misconfigured or missing SPF/DKIM/DMARC) can mean your emails get side-eyed or rejected.
  • Fix: Play it safe—use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to prove your emails are legit and guard against sneaky stuff like phishing.

Content and Engagement:

  • Issue: Spam filters hate irrelevant or too-promo content, and low engagement rates could land you in the spam box.
  • Fix: Craft engaging and relevant content, segment your audience, and monitor open and click-through rates to improve engagement.

Volume and Frequency:

  • Issue: Dropping a bunch of emails all at once or going over the email limit can set off spam alarms.
  • Fix: Ease into it—ramp up your email volume slowly, stick to a regular sending schedule, and play by the rules for how many emails you're shooting out.

List Quality:

  • Issue: Poorly maintained email lists with outdated or inactive addresses can harm deliverability.
  • Fix: Keep things tidy—clean and update your email list often, set up double opt-ins, and remove unengaged subscribers.

How Email Verification Works

Email verification is a process designed to confirm the accuracy, validity, and deliverability of email addresses within a given list. The goal is to ensure that when you send emails, they reach the intended recipients and do not bounce back. Here's an overview of how email verification typically works:

  • Syntax Checking: First off, the system checks if your email addresses look right. It's like making sure they're dressed in the right email outfit following all the standard rules.
  • Domain Verification: Next, it does a quick check on the email address's home – the domain. It confirms that the domain is real and set up to get emails. This helps catch typos, dead domains, or addresses with no place to go.
  • MX Record Check: Then, it digs into the Mail Exchange (MX) record for the domain. MX records tell us which servers are in charge of catching emails for that domain. The verification makes sure these servers are not just hanging out but are reachable and doing their job.
  • Role Account Detection: The verification process keeps an eye out for role accounts like "info@company.com" or "support@company.com." These generic addresses often lead to bounces, so the system tags them for attention.
  • Disposable Email Address Detection: Ever used a temporary email for a quick thing? The verification process catches those disposable email addresses, marking them during the check.
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) Handshake: A simulated SMTP connection is established with the mail server to check if it is capable of receiving emails. This involves initiating a conversation with the server to ensure it is responsive and can accept messages for the specified email address.
  • Catch-All Domain Handling: Some domains are the friendly "catch-all" types, accepting emails for any mailbox, real or imaginary. The verification process knows about this and checks if the domain is playing the catch-all game.
  • Spam Trap Detection: We're on the lookout for sneaky spam traps – those email addresses set up to catch spammers. Sending to these can really mess up your sender reputation, so we keep an eye out.
  • Greylisting Check: Greylisting is a technique used by some mail servers to temporarily reject emails from unknown senders. Verification systems check for such instances and may retry verification after a delay.
  • Final Verification and Output: After completing these checks, the email verification system provides a final status for each email address, indicating whether it's valid, invalid, or needs further investigation. The verified list can then be used for targeted and effective email campaigns.

Methods to Verify an Email Address

Skrapp - Email Verifier

Method 1: Use an email verifier tool

Email verifier tools (such as Skrapp) are specialized software designed to validate email addresses efficiently. These tools typically perform various checks to ensure the legitimacy and accuracy of an email address. The key features of email verifier tools include:

  • Syntax Check: Make sure your email addresses follow the right rules and look good.
  • Domain Check: Confirms the email address's home is real and has a working mail setup.
  • MX Record Check: Looks into the Mail Exchange (MX) records to be sure the domain can handle emails.
  • Disposable Email Address Detection: Spots those sneaky temporary email addresses.
  • Role-based Email Detection: Catches those generic job title emails, not personal ones.
  • Spam Trap Detection: Sniffs out emails that could be spam traps set to catch spammers.

Here's how Skrapp Email Verifier works.

Using these tools is like having a super-fast and automated email quality check, perfect for businesses or groups handling loads of data.

Pros and cons of Email Verifier tool

Pros

Cons

Efficiency: Email verifier tools can quickly process a large number of email addresses.

False positives: There is a slight risk of marking valid emails as invalid or vice versa.

Accuracy: They use various checks, including syntax validation, domain verification, and more.

Cost: Some advanced email verifier tools may come with a cost.

Method 2: Do manual checks

This method involves human intervention to inspect email addresses for potential errors. It includes:

  • Syntax Check: Take a good look at the email address, making sure it's got the "@" and a legit domain.
  • Spelling Mistakes: Hunt down common spelling blunders, like typos in the domain or messing up the provider name (think "gmial.com" instead of "gmail.com").
  • Domain Validity: Make sure the domain is the real deal by checking if it's spelled right and actually exists.

While manual checks might not be the speediest for big batches, they're great at catching those little errors automated tools might breeze past.

Pros and cons of manual checks

Pros

Cons

Customization: You have control over the specific checks you perform.

Time-consuming: Manually checking each email can be time-intensive, especially for large lists.

No cost: This method doesn't require any additional tools.

Subjective: Human error might still occur, and judgments may vary.

Method 3: Send a test email

Sending a test email is a practical way to verify the deliverability of an email address. This involves:

  • Confirmation of Delivery: Shoot a test email to the provided address and make sure it lands where it should.
  • Response Time: Keep an eye on the clock for any response or bounce-back messages – quick feedback on the email's health.
  • Interaction: Some verification systems go the extra mile, including a link or code in the test email. The user needs to take a specific action to give the green light.

While effective, this method may not be suitable for high-volume verification due to the time and resources involved in sending and monitoring test emails.

Pros and cons of sending test email

Pros

Cons

Confirmation: You get a direct confirmation of the email's validity when the user interacts with the test email.

Time-consuming: It might take time for users to respond to the test email.

Real-world verification: This method confirms that the email is not only valid but actively monitored.

Possibility of being marked as spam: Some users might mark test emails as spam, affecting your sender reputation.

Email Verification Best Practices

Use an Email Verification Service: Opt for reliable email verification services or tools that automate the process. They efficiently check email validity, spot issues, and provide detailed reports.

Regularly Cleanse Your Email List: Perform regular email list hygiene to remove invalid, inactive, or unsubscribed email addresses. Regular cleansing helps maintain a clean and engaged subscriber list.

Implement Double Opt-In: For new subscribers, go the double opt-in route. Send a confirmation email with a verification link to make sure they genuinely want your emails. It's a solid defense against fakes.

Check for Syntax Errors and Typos: Look out for correct email syntax, including that crucial "@" and a legit domain. Also, scan for common typos or misspellings that can mess up deliveries.

Verify Email Addresses at the Point of Entry: Stop invalid or disposable addresses at the door. Implement real-time email verification during user registration to keep your system clean from the get-go.

Monitor and Analyze Email Metrics: Keep tabs on performance metrics like bounce rates, open rates, and click-through rates. These numbers can reveal issues with your list and cue further verification if needed.

Detect and Remove Spam Traps: Keep an eye out for potential spam traps in your email list. Remove any email addresses that may be associated with spam traps, as hitting these traps can severely damage your sender reputation.

Test Email Campaigns: Before sending large-scale email campaigns, send test emails to a small sample to check for potential issues, including deliverability and engagement. Adjust your list based on the results of these tests.