Email Validation: Why You Want Quality Versus Quantity

Melissa IN Team | Email Verification | , ,

Of all the communication channels used by companies to reach out to customers, emails continue to be the most preferred. The global e-mail market valuation is expected to reach $17.9 billion by 2027. 

Most marketers would rather stop their social media activities rather than give up on email marketing. Emails are a great way of staying connected to the existing customer base and reaching out to a new customer base.

That said, one would assume that you need a large email database – the more email addresses in a database, the more customers the company can reach out to – right? No – when it comes to email databases, quality matters much more than quantity. It’s better to have a small, yet validated mailing list rather than a large, unverified mailing list.

Potential Effects Of An Unverified Email List

Over 306 billion emails are sent and received every day. This includes both legitimate email campaigns as well as spam emails. Customers hate spam. When a customer receives an email that he/she hasn’t signed up for, there’s a high chance of the email being tagged as spam. Or, they may delete it without opening the email. When this happens to a few consecutive emails, the server may automatically classify them as spam.

If emails are sent to non-existent email addresses, they will bounce back. In general, a bounce rate of less than 2% is considered okay but anything higher than that can be detrimental to the sender’s reputation.

A company with a high percentage of emails being classified as spam or a high bounce rate may find itself blacklisted.

Why Worry About The Risk Of Being Blacklisted?

Being blacklisted can be disastrous for a marketer. All content coming from blacklisted accounts is disregarded and deemed untrustworthy. Emails from this sender will be blocked from the recipient’s inbox.

No matter how well you design the emailer, your customer won’t receive it. It can take quite a bit of time to get your company off a blacklist. In some cases, there may even be a fine.

Even if you aren’t fined, being blacklisted could cause financial losses. After all, your emails aren’t reaching customers, so, they don’t know when you’re holding a sale, when you’ve got a special offer running or when there’s a new collection out. The result – the loss of potential sales and lower profits.

How To Verify Email Addresses?

While people usually have just a single street address, they can have any number of email addresses. There is also no comprehensive database to lookup email addresses. Email addresses don’t always have to be formal – iliketodrivebigcars@gmail.com could be a valid email address.

The good news is that there are many email verification services that can check emails for accuracy, syntax and validity. Email validation typically involves checking an email address against a reliable, third-party database to check that it is correct, complete, formatted correctly and valid.

Common errors include misspelled domain names, additional spaces and incorrect domains. Email addresses like abc@gmial.com could be flagged for incorrect spelling while abc@gmail could be flagged for incorrect syntax.

The verification service provider will also ping the email address to ensure that it is valid and that it is held by the person who claims to own it.

Simple syntax errors may be corrected automatically. Similarly, obviously incomplete addresses such as abc@gmail may be completed to abc@gmail.com. Others may be flagged for the database owner to address.

Some of the most common validation responses reported by email verification service providers are:

  • The existing mailbox is unreachable
  • Mailbox exists but is currently disabled
  • Non-existent mailbox
  • Full mailbox
  • Corporate role mailbox account such as sales@, support@, etc.
  • Spam trap mailbox
  • Domain name or mailbox may contain profanity
  • No active servers
  • Domain unresponsive to validation requests
  • Typographic errors in the domain name
  • Domain issued by a disposable email service provider
  • Accept all domains where the specific username cannot be validated
  • Unknown

There are varied reasons for an unknown validation response. It could be caused by mail server configurations, domain responses or the overall global platform load. Assuming addresses with an unknown response as valid can have unanticipated results that could take weeks to recover from.

Finding The Right Email Verification Service Provider

Of course, the first criteria on your checklist would be your budget. Most email verification service provider fees are dependent on the number of validated emails.

That said, this should not be the only aspect you look at. Look for a verification service that focuses on quality rather than quantity and does not just assume all accepted domain addresses as valid.

The emails in your database should be verified by business domains, international domains and consumer domains. And, not to forget, the service provider must keep your data protected.

Learn more about Melissa’s email verification solutions

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