Friday, 24 June 2016

What is email verification?

Check your emails before you send marketing communications, or stop bad emails getting onto your database 

Email Verification, or validation as it is also known, is a process that checks email addresses to give you information about whether an email address is valid. So if you have a database of email addresses, root out the ones that are no good and save yourself from sending mail to bad addresses.

You can also use email verification to filter bad emails before they are entered into your database. This might be when a customer inserts a typo onto your online form, or it could be when a "bad actor" fraudster tries to use a disposable email address to steal from you via chargebacks.

 Who needs to use email verification services? 

  • Marketers use it to make their campaigns more effective - results are more accurate as bad email addresses don't mess the figures up. The benefits of having a clean marketing database are many-fold. If you are a marketer reading this you shouldn't need us to tell you why you need clean email data! 
  • Online retailers need to validate email addresses to prevent fraud. Good, clean email addresses are a mark of honest customers, so if you can keep bad emails from your transaction system you are stopping fraud. 
  • IT people welcome email validation as it helps keep data accurate and storage compact
  • Companies processing and selling data
  • Companies using data to drive sales processes

How does email validation work?

There are a number of specialist companies providing email validation. Quality and services range.

Basically, good email cleaning providers check email addresses without needing to send an email. Create an account, upload your database to a website and hit the go button. Your results will be returned and your emails split into groups (good, bad etc.) for you to download.

Larger, better companies also offer an API; code that can be placed into your own systems, allowing email addresses to be checked automatically and instantly, or periodically.

Points to note about email verification services

  • Your data should not  be stored outside of usual processing requirements - it's yours and it's valuable, be sure you know how your service provider works
  • Your email results should be separated into useful categories, so not only telling you if emails are bad, but WHY they are bad, so you can improve your processes and spot trends
  • Before you have your emails verified, it's useful to understand some industry terms so your expectations are in the right place
  • Email checking varies from domain to domain, so google domains are very simple to check, compared to say, Yahoo domains, which are notoriously tricky to get to right
Further reading:

If you want to know more about why marketers should verify email addresses, download our free, 11 page, informative whitepaper from the foot of our home page

To compare the speed and accuracy of email validation service providers, look at this comparison website.

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