What is email verification and why is it important?
Email verification is the process of confirming that the email address is valid and deliverable. This is important for plenty of business activities: email marketing, cold outreach and professional correspondence. If you want to achieve your business goals, you have to make sure your messages are reaching their recipients.
There are dozens of ways to check whether the email addresses on your list are valid. The simplicity of these methods and degrees of their reliability vary greatly.
We will explain each of them in greater detail and yes - we will show you the simplest, most reliable solution for email verification. Before that, we’ll discuss the basics of good email practices, both in business correspondence and email marketing.
Why is email so important?
If you run a business and you only use email for correspondence, let us tell you something straight away - you’re doing it wrong. Email is one of the best ways to attract and engage new customers and business partners.
Email may seem obsolete compared to modern channels of communication, such as messengers and social networks. However, if you look at the numbers, email is firmly holding its ground and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Still sounds impossible? Here are some stats to back it up.
- More than half of the world’s population is using email. To be exact, there are 3.9 billion active email users. That’s almost half a million more compared to the number of social network users.
- Around 99% of people check their email every day, with some of them doing it up to 20 times a day. More than half of the users check their email before doing anything else online.
- 82% of workers check email outside of normal business hours.
So, it’s clear what you’re getting with email - a way to communicate and actually have your message heard by almost four billion people. If you take into account these basic email usage stats, it is understandable why email is so popular among digital marketers, both for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-clients) companies.
It is fairly easy to automate email marketing. At the same time, these solutions are incredibly simple to personalize. Email campaigns can be segmented in a plethora of ways, based on consumers’ demographics, preferences, and behavior. Email marketing is a gift that keeps on giving. With pay-per-click (PPC) methods, you have to pay for each time you attract the very same visitor to your website. When you have their email, you can talk to them wherever you want - for a fraction of the PPC price.
This applies both to the B2B and B2C businesses. Whether you’re talking to potential business clients or regular customers, email works. Here’s what the numbers say.
- Among B2B audiences, email is the third most influential source of information, behind colleague recommendations and industry authorities.
- 86% of business professionals prefer email as a channel of communication for business purposes.
- Click-through-rate (CTR - the percentage of users who clicked on a link or call to action in the email) is particularly good in the B2B world. It is 47% higher for B2B email campaigns compared to B2C email campaigns.
- 85 percent of US retailers consider email marketing to be one of the most effective ways to acquire customers.
- Consumers agree - almost ¾ of buyers favor receiving promotional messages through email.
- Buyers who purchase products via email spend 138% more compared to the customers who don’t receive email offers.
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 is made in return, a study by Campaign Monitor concluded.
By this point, you’re probably convinced that your email list and communication practices deserve special attention.
How to keep your email correspondence in check
Paying special attention to your email list means regularly checking the email stats. These regular checks should be conducted both on email marketing campaigns and individual business correspondence.
Email stats you should always check include:
- Delivery rate - the percentage of emails that reached the recipient’s server. Keep in mind that a delivered email doesn’t guarantee that the message will be seen by the recipient. Messages are marked as delivered even when they are sent to the spam folder by the server.
- Open rate - the percentage of emails opened by the recipients. This is an incredibly important metric. For business correspondence, you want to keep it above 90%. In email marketing, the average open rate is 15-20 percent.
- Click-through-rate - the percentage of opened emails where users clicked on a link or call to action. This metric demonstrates how engaging and effective email content is, and it is incredibly important in email marketing.
- Bounce rate - the percentage of sent emails that didn’t reach the recipient’s inbox. Bounce can happen due to temporary server issues, but most of the time it is caused by an invalid email address. Sending emails to invalid addresses can negatively affect your domain reputation. This could have a negative domino effect on your marketing campaigns and business communication.
Why are some emails invalid?
There can be a number of reasons for invalid emails. Sometimes, they are a consequence of a typing error made when somebody is subscribing to your email list or giving you their contact.
At other times, the email doesn’t exist anymore. This often happens with professional email addresses tied to a business domain. They are usually deleted after the employee leaves the company. Sometimes, the emails sent to this address are re-routed to another address on the server, but if there is a bounce, you’re likely to be dealing with an invalid email.
In other cases, invalid emails can be generated for the purpose of freemium feature abuse, malicious activities, phishing, and hacking attempts.
You should regularly clean up your email list and delete all the contacts that bounced. Of course, preventing bounces through email validation is a much better strategy. So, let’s see how you can do it.
3 Ways You Can Verify Emails
1. Run a quick check (the old-school way)
This method of email verification comes for free, doesn’t offer a high degree of reliability, and can be pretty time-consuming.
If you want to find or validate an email address of a business partner or potential client, go to their business website. Click on the contact page, “meet the team” page or scroll to the footer. This is where you can usually find contact information, including the email. Compare it to the address you already have. However, that is not always possible.
Some businesses want to avoid spam or unsolicited messages, so they don’t share email contacts of (all) the employees. They either offer visitors a contact form or leave an email address for customer support. This could be a problem if you’re looking to reach a head of the marketing department or a CEO.
If you want to validate an email address of an individual email subscriber, google that address. Check whether it is listed as an email address in the info section of their social media profiles.
As you can see, this method of email validation isn’t exactly rewarding, so we suggest you turn to software solutions.
2. Use a free online tool
You can find plenty of good online tools to verify emails. These tools can be geared towards validating emails specifically or pack multiple features, allowing you to find emails and verify them at the same time.
For example, let’s imagine you’re doing a cold outreach and want to make a special offer for cooperation to 100 potential business partners. You compile a list of these companies, and start searching for the managers’ emails. Since you cannot find them by using the first method we described, you turn to software. Email finder will generate an email address based on the recipient’s name and associated domain. The results you get will have a varying degree of reliability.
If you already have an email list, you can simply get an email verification software, paste the address to the search bar, and get the results.
If your email list is relatively short (up to 50 recipients), this method is time and cost-effective, although it cannot guarantee total accuracy or additional information.
However, if your email list is longer, you’ll need a more robust solution. Most of these free email verification tools have premium versions. Premium versions usually provide a greater degree of accuracy and an option to verify email lists in bulk. What kind of tool you’re going to pick depends on your budget and needs. In general, you want this email verification tool to be reliable, fast, and easily integrate into your existing workflow and software.
So, let’s suggest the best.
3. Use a special Email Verification API tool
If you want a reliable email validation tool, you want this software to rely on a strong database. Email Verification API tool is a solution developed straight from the Whois XML API database that contains more than 6.7 billion WHOIS records, as well as the information on 1.2 billion domains and subdomains. It can be used both interactively and integrated into your existing or just developed software solutions as a RESTful API.
Since Whois XML API specializes in developing cyber intelligence solutions, you can expect the highest possible degree of certainty in the email verification. But this kind of tool won’t simply give you a green or red light - the analysis with this software runs deeper. Here’s a full list of things you can do with this advanced email validation tool.
Verify email validity with a high degree of certainty
Email Verification API will first check whether the user’s mail server exists by using DNS MX records. Additionally, it will examine whether the address possesses a mailbox, using SMTP connection and email-sending emulation techniques. Finally, this tool will check if the email is receiving re-routed messages from other email addresses.
Catch typos and fake tricks
Yes, you read that right. This API tool can catch the user’s typing mistakes as they are entering their email address. Not only that, but it can also prompt users to fix these mistakes before clearing them for registration. This tool analyzes the syntax of the email address and checks whether it conforms to the IETF standards. It will raise a red flag if there are curse words, typos in the names of popular email domains, or word and domain patterns typical for fake emails.
Watch out for disposable emails
Email Verification API will prevent users from signing up for your website with disposable email addresses. This validation tool will examine whether the contact is provided by disposable email address providers such as Mailinator, 10MinuteMail, GuerrillaMail and 2000+ more. This will allow you to prevent the abuse of freemium features or potential malicious activities.
Do bulk research
Of course, a tool that packs such a high level of cyber intelligence and real-time action also makes it possible to verify emails in bulk. If you register for Email Verification API, you will get 1000 Free Email ID Checks per month. While many email validation tools only accept one type of file for bulk verification, with this tool you can upload your email list in three formats - CSV, JSON or XML.
Email Verification API will allow you to check thousands of emails for as little as $18 per month. There are pricing plans for any type of business, from small companies to large enterprises. So far, we’ve been trusted by industry giants such as Symantec, Amazon, Apple, Google, American Express, and others.
We also love the challenge of creating custom solutions for our clients - so you can combine this tool with our other APIs. For example, if you want to build your email list, Email Verification can be coupled with our popular Website Categorization API.
Click here to sign up for the Email Verification API and get started for free! If you want to explore more solutions in the world of Whois XML API, go to our main page and find out what kind of solutions we have in store for you!