Email Validation & Verification Tools

How to Choose and Buy an Email Verification Service?

Why Should One Verify?

One good reason for using an email validation or verification service is so companies can achieve the best results from their mailing campaigns. Having a high bounce rate on their email campaigns can damage the reputation of the sender.

Research shows that, in a year, more than 20 percent of all email addresses are found to have become invalid. This means that even if a vendor has acquired a list of 100,000 validated email addresses previously, it is highly possible that 20,000 of those email addresses will become inactive or invalid within at least a year. A validation service could be thought of as a quality control employee who is tasked to validate the email addresses that a business has or new ones that they acquire.

Another reason for validating or verifying is to have a good rate of return on investment in email marketing campaigns. An effective campain can drive up revenues by as much as 4300%. For those who want their earnings to skyrocket, this is a considerably attractive figure to consider. Again, sales conversion will only be possible when the email addresses that are used are valid.

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What is an Email Validation & Verification Service?

Email validation or verification is the process used by digital marketers to check if an email address is valid even without having to actually send a test email.

By using this service, the vendor can ensure that fake sign-ups using invalid email addresses will be prevented. It also helps reduce the bounce rates that the vendor can get from their email campaigns. Their marketing messages are received by more of their target customers becasue they are given email addresses that have been validated as legitimate.

How Does It Work?

There are three steps in the validation/verification process, all of which work in just a matter of seconds:

  • Checking the syntax and formatting of the email address – in this step, the service provider instantly checks the email address and compares it with the standard and provider-specific format requirements. When done manually using complex formatting rules, this task can be too tedious. By automating the email address check, any issues are identified within a matter of seconds. Errors such as missing @ symbols or invalid characters are detected from the very start.
  • Domain confirmation – after the format of each address is validated, the DNS records are then checked, making sure that it is indeed valid, active, and can receive mail.
  • Validating the mailbox – just like in the real world, emails addresses also need a mailbox. This is where the person will receive the message. This is done by using SMTP protocols to reach the mail server and verify that the messge is delivered and received for that inbox.

Pricing Guide for Email Verification Tools

Just like any other service that any business avails of, it is necessary to check the pricing of the email verification service company that a business chooses to work with. Various vendors would most likely have similar service packages and pricing schemes, but it is still necesary to get a detailed list for a more accurate comparison.

Some of the cost items that affect the pricing of email verification/validation services are:

Number of email validation passes offered

Getting a lower quote from one company does not mean that it’s a good deal. The reason for the lower quote might be the less ‘passes’ that the email addresses go through.

A service provider that charges higher because he subjects the email addresses to more validation passes would be a better choice. It means that the list is scrutinized more and they are likely to weed out all the duds. The process tends to catch more invalid and inactive addresses with more chekpoints.

More graylisting time

This is the time spent checking if the email address has temporary issues or has to go through slow mail exchangers. What this means is that it checks if email addresses can receive their message without too much delay.

An email address with less issues and faster mail exchangers are preferred, for the obvious reason that the customer/recipient gets the message almost instantly. This is important for time-bound offers and promos. The faster the email is received, the higher is the chance of getting more customers to click on their “Buy Now” button.

Number of validation limits per month

Even if the whole process of email verification can be done in a few seconds, many email verification companies have a limit on the number of email addresses that they can validate per month. The usual range of email addresses that can be checked in a month is between 2 million to 50 million. Those who want a higher limit will have to choose a higher priced plan too.

As budget is a big consideration for any business, especially for smaller businesses, it is necessary to choose a service package that is reasonably priced – affordable but offers good value.

What to Look for in an Email Verification Tool?

Aside from being within budget, the right email validation service provider for any business should also meet a few other basic requirements. Check for assurance on the following:

The validation service should never send an email to any one of the addresses on its client’s list

It is easy enough to validate an email address by sending a message and waiting to see if it goes through. This, however, is not a technique that should be used by legitimate email verification service providers. Such emails could be viewed as intrusive, or pesky at best, by the recipients. Any company does not want to earn a reputation as a spammer.

They have extensive experience and are well-equipped to do the job efficiently and effectively

The process of email verification is not as simple as it seems. With extensive experience doing similar projects for different companies, the service provider would have a better grasp of the validation process. They would also have the necessary software, databases, algorithms, and other tools to conduct a more thorough verification process.

Research on the background and track record of the email validation services providers under consideration. If possible, get recommendations from their previoius clients. It would not hurt for would-be clients to interview the service provider before they decide so they can probe about how the provider intends to meet their requirements and perhaps even negotiate on their service rates.

The company considers data security as highly important

This should come out during the exploratory discussions. But, talk is cheap, as the saying goes. Clients should make sure that it’s not just lip service. It is recommended to check their terms of service and ask to review documents on their data security policies. Clients should look at how all actions (downloads, uploads, reporting, etc.) are secured. Ask about HTTPS or SSL connections and client data storage. This is important to avoid information theft and hacking.

They offer clients the flexibility of choosing from multiple plan options

Like most services today, email validation services would vary depending on several factors. The client should be able to give their own specifications for the validation company to ‘match’ with their service packages. This does not only concern the size of the database that they have to work on and their rate sheet. This also has to do with the kind of validation that the client needs, the types of information that need to be validated, etc.

They have support services available when the clients need them

This does not necessarily mean that a client should demand for 24/7 support facilities. It would be more reasonable for clients to evaluate their own needs and ‘estimate’ the times when they are highly likely to need the service provider’s help. For instance, if the company only operates from 9am to 5pm and none of its employees are around after office hours, a 24 hour hotline would not really be a requirement. It is best for businesses to anticipate their needs and ask for the corresponding support services.

The verification service should be timely

The process of verifying email addresses takes only mere seconds. The client’s specifications will affect the processing time and the completion time of the entire project. The service provider should be able to give a fairly accurate turnaround time within which they can guarantee that they can finish the job. This is especially important for businesses that want real-time email verification so that time-bound messages are sent and received quickly.

The company should not give empty promises

Companies that claim that they can monitor spam traps, for instance, are not being upfront with their clients. There is no guaranteed way to reliably detect and avoid a spam trap, as this can be created on an ad hoc basis. Also, spam traps can only be detected if an email address has already been mailed to.

Email verification or validation tools are indeed useful for any kind of business no matter how long they have been in the industry. Since this service involves entrusting important information to another company, it is important to choose the best one for the job.