Currently, 93% of digital marketers in B2B companies use email marketing as part of their strategy. They develop messages responsively so that they can be read on mobile devices and conduct tests to find the best subject lines that encourage their subscribers to open the emails. Finally, several CTAs are tested to understand which combination leads to the most conversions.

But if you don’t check if your emails are valid, and leave your email list outdated, your campaigns may not produce the results you want. If your emails never reach your contacts' inbox, you may miss out on a great opportunity of converting your leads into sales.

The success of your campaigns is linked to the quality of your email list. Do you remember the last time you removed unwanted emails from your mailing list? If several of your emails were not delivered in your last few campaigns, why should you keep these contacts? It might seem like a small thing to you now, but it is not.

Having an email list full of invalid or incorrect email addresses costs the company valuable resources such as time and money. To have a sustainable and successful email marketing strategy, you must check If an email is valid before you decide to keep it in your mailing list.

What is a valid email address?

A valid email is a deliverable email address, that is, one that reaches the recipient's inbox. In other words, when sending a message to a valid email address, the message does not return, and your hard bounce rate does not increase.

In technical terms, a valid email consists of an address whose username exists within that domain.

Checking if an email is valid or not is necessary for several reasons. Given below are some scenarios which end up lowering the quality of your mailing list:

·   The user entered the wrong email address. The first reason an email is considered invalid is a typo. When registering to your list, the user may have typed an incorrect email address by mistake or simply used a fake one. Users are increasingly suspicious of companies and data privacy;

  • The user deleted the account. It is common for email users to have more than one email account, such as a professional one and a personal one, or multiple personal accounts with different providers. The global average currently is 1.75 email accounts per person, and usually one or more accounts end up being unused;
  • The user changed the user name for the email address. In the same way that the user can delete his account or change their service provider, he can also change his username, and leave the old account unused or deleted;
  • The user left their company or changed jobs. A consumer might use their corporate email to sign up for a mailing list. In the instance where he leaves the company, he will not be changing his email address in all the emails lists he signed up to. This means that that email address is now useless for your campaigns;
  • The domain no longer exists. If a website with a specific domain ceases to exist, all the emails associated with that domain will also be deleted and no longer receive any messages.
  • The email does not belong to a specific user. There are also those accounts that do not belong to a specific person. For example, an email such as contact@forexample.com is created to reach a company's department, and not one person (whose tastes and interests are easier to decipher). Another example is an accept-all email address; also known as catch-all, it is an email account that is set up to receive all messages sent to a specific domain.
  • The same email address is in your list - twice. Finally, it is also common for mailing lists to have duplicate email accounts; this can happen due to a system failure or because the user registered the same email address under different names.

Why should you check if an email is valid?

Perhaps this is a question that has only recently crossed your mind, or maybe you know a significant amount on the subject. The answer is quite straightforward: validated email lists contain almost exclusively email addresses that correspond to active users. This means that your efforts to create a successful campaign are more likely to be fruitful, as actual people are going to receive your messages.

Consequently, you will be able to focus your efforts on creating attention-grabbing subject lines, email designs and quality content that will resonate with those who are more likely of  becoming your customer, instead of worrying about metrics such as bounce rates.

email validation

But that is not it - one of the criterias used by leading email providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo, to classify their messages as spam is whether the campaigns sent reached active users or not. So in order to be in the good books of email providers, you need to make sure that your deliverability is high.

It may sound strange, but email addresses do in fact expire. It is estimated that, of the 1000 contacts of a company, 4.5% lose their validity after just 28 days. People often create temporary accounts to receive particular promotions or communications, which are abandoned after the period of interest. These are also called throwaway email addresses that can be created when needed. They usually have a short life span - about 10 minutes, which is just enough to click on the link you send them.

ISPs (Internet Service Providers), to reuse their resources, recycle these inactive addresses by excluding them. One of the main delivery criteria is whether the campaigns you send are relevant.

If you send emails to email addresses that are not active, and your number of bounces is high, your sender reputation will automatically suffer, causing messages to be forwarded to the spam folder or not to be delivered.

Sender Reputation, if you are not familiar with the term, is essentially the trustworthiness of a sender’s email. There are various tools to check this and you need to make sure that you do not have a poor score.

If you analyze the reason why you should check if an email is valid from the perspective of ESPs (Email Service Providers), you will obtain a similar result.

Email marketing providers, such as MailChimp, Activa Campaign and NewsletterSoft, are careful about ensuring that their customers' mailing lists are validated, otherwise, their sending IPs may be blocked.

Many providers, such as MailChimp, do not clear new mailing lists, preferring to block customer accounts when the number of spam complaints is high. To avoid this scenario, checking whether the accounts are valid is essential.

Finally, checking if an email list is valid or not lets you reduce the number of spam complaints and avoid getting blacklisted. Best practice is that for every 5000 emails sent, you should receive less than 5 spam complaints (which is 0.1%). Similarly, getting blacklisted can mean your messages can be blocked (even those important transactional emails).

How can you check if an email is valid or not?

There are a number of ways to check if an email is valid or not – and we’ve talked about it here.

Without a doubt, the most effective and easy to implement choice is to use an email validation tool, like TheChecker. In addition to being simpler to use than other solutions (and faster), TheChecker verifies much more than just the address syntax, it also does the following:

  • Checking the syntax of the email: email addresses do not need to follow basic grammar, but there are some rules that you must comply with in order for the email to be sent. The tool does this validation for you;
  • Domain verification: the tool also checks if the domain is spelled correctly and if it still exists;
  • Checking unlikely names: it is also necessary to check if the email is not an address created at random;
  • MX Records check: Mail Exchange (MX) records are the Domain Name System (DNS) records required for a message sent to an address to be received by it. The tool checks the MX record to ensure that the message reaches its destination;
  • Catch-all email check: email validation also checks if the address is not a catch-all email (which receives all messages directed to a specific domain, even if the username was not created for that one domain);
  • SMTP authentication (ping test): finally, the tool performs a ping test, which checks if there are any obstacles in the path between the outgoing address (from where you send the emails) and the incoming address (of the recipient), to identify whether an account is active or not.

What is even better is that, TheChecker does it all with one of the highest deliverability rates on the market - with 99% accuracy in its checks.

Benefits of using an email checker

Cleaning and maintaining your email address databases is essential to ensuring that your email marketing campaigns remain effective, relevant and profitable.

Here are some benefits of checking if an email list is valid:

Improves your delivery capacity

If the concept of deliverability is still not clear to you, it is worth reading about our guarantee of deliverability.

But how exactly will a clean, qualified contact list help you out?

Avoiding rebounds: when your contact list is not filtered out regularly, it may contain invalid and outdated email addresses. These cases trigger bounced emails (error messages for each email that was not delivered), detected by the providers. As a result, your campaigns can be blocked momentarily or permanently. By keeping your bounce rate low, you reduce your risk of being blocked. This action optimizes the delivery capacity of your email marketing campaigns;

• Beware of spam traps: an outdated mailing list can also contain spam traps or "fraudulent emails". These are real email accounts, created by real users, that have been disabled (usually due to inactivity). These email addresses are recycled by ISPs to be used as traps to combat unwanted email addresses. Sending campaigns to these addresses is a signal to ISPs that your database is of poor quality and your reputation as a sender will be adversely affected. Even if you are not aware of it, you might have already collected some spam traps in your database - remember that, one spam tram is just as damaging as 10 spam traps.

Improves your sales performance

By having an up-to-date database with relevant and good quality information, you give the sales team more time to focus on what they do best to generate more results.

This not only allows the sales team to receive accurate data, but also improves your ability to segment your lists and send even more assertive campaigns.

Reinforce your brand engagement

A complete and qualified database allows you to adapt the message for each contact and personalize it thoroughly.

By regularly updating your contact list, you improve your brand image and increase your engagement rate.

brand engagement

Cut costs

This is something that maybe did not cross your mind straight-away, but if you are considering cleaning your lists, and find the prices a bit expensive, you may end up saving more money than you spent in the first place!

Many email automation services such as HubSpot, often charge you based on the emails that you have in your database. If you have emails that are simply not valid anymore (and chances are that you do), then you are wasting away your precious resources on something that won’t provide you any results.

Improves overall metrics and thus ROI of email marketing efforts

Everyone wants to have an email list with as many subscribers as possible. But a large list does not necessarily mean good returns on investment.

It has been proven that the ROI of email marketing (as compared to other forms of marketing) is one of the highest as it can reach up to 4400%.

But, if some of the subscribers on your list are unreachable, how will you achieve that ROI? Checking if the addresses are valid will allow you to prioritize the elements that have the biggest impact on your ROI.

After all, it is better to have a mailing list with fewer subscribers who read your emails, than 20,000 contacts that are not reachable. As always, quality over quantity right?

Furthermore, your post-campaign analysis may not give you a correct picture if you did not validate your lists to begin with. For example, your bounce rate might be higher, your open and click-through rates lower. Having a list with legitimate contacts ensures that your metrics give you a true picture of your email campaign results.

Concluding thoughts

Now you know how you can check if an email is valid or not, and also the benefits of doing so. Email Verification impacts your business in a number of ways.

It is important to say that, once you have validated your list, do not just sit back and relax and never think of it again. For any quality project, consistency is key.

Therefore, make sure you validate your lists frequently, the frequency can depend on the industry you work in, the size of your email lists and also the number of emails you collect.

What is even better is - you validate your lists in real time. This is when the user comes on to your website, and they are about to enter their contact details, an email verification tool can tell the website in real-time, if the entered email address is valid or not.

If it is not valid, it is prevented from entering your database, and the user is prompted to enter an alternative. For example, if they make a mistake, they are made aware of it at the moment, instead of both parties losing out on vital information.

Try TheChecker right away

TheChecker is the choice of market giants such as Netflix, Zumper, WeWork, openTable, RiHappy and thousands of other companies (of all sizes) in more than 170 countries. The teams that work with us have been receiving constant support since the very start.

Why do you think that is? The answer is straightforward - it is because our solution provides accurate, affordable and quick results. It removes duplicate email addresses, spam filters and also checks for "mask" emails, which are used to hide the recipient's real address.

You can integrate our solution using our APi, which fits seamlessly into your workflow. For an easy-to-install real-time verification, you can also try our JS Widget.

If you are still unsure, why don’t you give it a try? Sign up for free to earn 100 verification credits and start validating your email addresses right away! We also welcome any feedback that you may have. Let's kill the bounce!