Email verification is a good habit to get into. You want to make sure you have accurate, valid email addresses in your database so that you don’t waste time and money. If you regularly send emails to addresses that are outdated, fake, or incorrect, you hurt your professional reputation as well as your potential to successfully send emails to the addresses you have that are correct.
You have many options for email verification. But an email verification service is the most effective option. You can verify one email address at a time or upload an entire list. Email verification helps you ensure that your contacts receive your messages.
What Does “Verify Email” Mean?
Email verification is the process of making sure that the email addresses on your list are tied to an inbox. Therefore, by verifying email addresses, you ensure they reach the intended destination and don’t bounce.
An email bounce happens when you send an email to an invalid address. It then “bounces” back to you since it can’t be delivered; there is no inbox for it to reach.
When an email bounces, it not only does not get received by the intended recipient, it also hurts your sending reputation. Your sending reputation refers to your success rate sending emails.
If you have a high rate of undelivered emails, your sending account could be flagged. This protects consumers against spam emails. So emails that you send to valid addresses could land in recipients’ spam folders instead of inboxes if you have a history of sending emails to invalid addresses.
This is one reason why it’s so important to verify email addresses if you send a lot of emails frequently.
What Makes an Email Address Invalid?
Email addresses can be invalid for a number of reasons. The most common reason is typos. If you collect email addresses from web forms, customers could mistype their email addresses and submit the information to your database. Or, if you or your team enter customer and lead email addresses manually, you risk simple data entry errors.
About 60% of consumers provide false personal details. So there are instances where users submit and provide you with fake email addresses intentionally. You might require an email address or customers might want access to a single, one-time product or service but don’t want to end up receiving marketing or spam emails. In these cases, they might make up an email address or use an old one they don’t access anymore.
Spambots can also submit invalid email addresses on web forms. Spambots can try to access user data by filling out lead forms.
Another cause of invalid email addresses is time. If you don’t check and update your email list regularly, email addresses that were once valid when you collected them could become invalid over time. Maybe the account is abandoned when a user gets a new one, or maybe it’s a work email address and the user switches jobs or companies.
Regardless of the reason, this invalid data is useless.
How to Do Email Verification
There are a few ways you can do email verification.
Trial and Error
One way is trial and error. If you have one email address here and there that you aren’t sure of, you can always send an email using the address and see if it returns to you, or bounces. If you want to send email addresses to an entire list or for a campaign, this might not be a good option because you risk hurting your sender reputation if a number of those email addresses are no good.
Send a Test Email
You could develop a specific email account to send test emails and prevent damage to your personal or work email account. But you still want to avoid spamming your list by sending emails from an account that your customers, clients, and leads don’t recognize or sending messages with no useful information or content.
Check Email Syntax
You can also check the addresses manually. All email addresses should adhere to the same format: unique identifier + @ + domain name. So if you notice emails on your list that don’t follow the identifier@domain format, then you will either want to discard them or try to correct them. For example, you might notice an address on your list that says @yahop instead of @yahoo. That would be an easy fix to identify and correct.
However, if there is a typo in the identifier, you might not notice it or be sure of the correction. Maybe John Smith’s email is listed as johnsmth@domain, but you can’t be sure whether the “i” is left out intentionally or not. So not only is this method tedious and time consuming, but you also can’t always guarantee accuracy.
You also can’t tell the status of an email address just by looking at it. In the cases where a user provides an abandoned or outdated email address, it might look legitimate, but there’s no way to tell whether or not the account is active or even still exists.
The same is true of fake email addresses. Unless the user provides an obviously ridiculous email address, you won’t know for sure whether or not an email address is fake if the syntax is correct.
Email Verification Service
The best way to verify email addresses quickly and accurately is to use an email verification service. An email verification service allows you to validate (determine whether an email address is valid or invalid) individual addresses if you only have a few to check or in bulk if you have an entire list.
Benefits of Using an Email Verification Service
Using an email verification service to validate email addresses is quicker than manually checking your list or sending test emails. It is also more accurate. An email verification service takes the guesswork out of validating email addresses.
Not only do you save time by avoiding manually verifying email addresses and fixing bounces, you also save money. First, you can use the time you save to focus on other aspects of your task or business.
Second, you ensure your customers and leads actually get your emails. Even if the message doesn’t bounce, you want to make sure you aren’t wasting time and money sending emails to abandoned accounts.
Third, you want to protect your sender reputation. Your recipients also don’t see your messages if they end up in their spam folders. Having a bad sender reputation compromises future emails you might send, too. Then you risk the success of the emails you send to the valid addresses on your list if your account is flagged as spam.
Poor management of your email list affects your reputation as a professional as well. Taking the time to verify your email list pays off in the long run. You are able to send meaningful messages with consistent delivery success to your email list if you manage your list properly.
Once you’ve verified the emails on your list, you can then experience more successful email campaigns. This translates into more leads, more business, and more money in the end.
You also receive more accurate insights from those campaigns. If you can be sure that all of the addresses you email are valid, then you can more accurately interpret open rates and responses. You don’t want your data skewed by emails that never made it into the recipients’ inboxes.
How to Use Searchbug’s Email Verification Service
If you only have an email or two that you want to verify, you can use Searchbug’s email verification tool. All you have to do is enter the email address in question and click “Verify”. Results include the status of the address (valid, invalid, spamtrap, etc.), the substatus if available, and the name of the owner when available.
If you collect and use many email addresses for your job or business, you can upload your entire list of addresses with Searchbug’s self-service batch tool. Just upload your file, identify columns, review the cost, process, and download the results!
You can use the pricing calculator to get a cost estimate before you proceed. If you come across free email validators online, you want to be sure that your results are accurate. Websites that offer free email verification services don’t pay to access regularly updated databases. So when you pay for an email verification service, you ensure that your results are accurate.
Other Useful Verification Tools
If you want to prevent invalid email addresses from entering your database in the first place, you can set up validation error messages on your webforms. This prevents users from submitting their information if it isn’t correct.
You can also integrate email verification into your own website with an API. Searchbug’s email address validation API checks email addresses at the point of entry to prevent invalid email addresses from entering your database at all.
Now that you know how easy it is to verify email addresses and the many benefits it has for you, you might want to consider regularly checking your list. Once you get rid of invalid email addresses, you need to check the existing ones periodically because they can become outdated or abandoned.
These simple steps and useful tools save you time and money in the long run. Email verification could make or break your business.