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What Is Email Verification, and How it Works?

What Is Email Verification, and How it Works?
Last updated: May 18, 2024
Reading time: 8 minutes
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Email marketing, as you know it, is a space where each email address holds the promise of forging a valuable connection, delivering your impactful message, and boosting conversions. 

But, as enticing as it may sound, not all email addresses are created equal. In fact, some might just lead you down a rabbit hole of non-deliverability and wasted effort. This is where email verification steps in to save the day.

Think of email verification as your personal email guardian. It ensures the addresses in your list are not merely placeholders but active, authentic channels to reach your audience.

This guide will explain everything you want to know about email verification and how it works. We’ll answer what email verification is, break down the steps, highlight its key role, and help you turn potential pitfalls into golden opportunities.

What Is Email Verification?

So, you’ve put in the effort to compile a list of email addresses, each one holding the potential to be a customer or lead. Now, imagine not all of these addresses are the real deal or can even receive your messages. 

Enter email verification – a process to make sure each address is legit and ready to connect you with actual people or organizations.

Email lists normally experience approximately 22.5% invalidity each year. In simple terms, it means a significant portion of the addresses in your mailing list become invalid within a year. That’s a big chunk gone in just 12 months! Now, what goes down when you start off an email campaign to a bunch of addresses that are no longer valid?

Well, here’s the scoop: Your bounce rate shoots up, and that’s a red flag for ISPs. They think your sender rep isn’t up to snuff. And why does that matter? Because a less-than-awesome sender rep means your emails might not hit the inboxes of customers with still-good email addresses.

The outcome? Crummy email deliverability and open rates. Your messages? Straight to the Junk folder. Bottom line: you’re missing out on your subscribers’ inboxes, and that translates to a not-so-great Return on Investment (ROI). Frustrating, right? Don’t fret because email verification has your back.

Email verification is a vital process that entails a sequence of steps working together to verify the addresses in your list. Whether you’re dealing with a bunch of emails at once or checking them one by one, your email checker tool will ensure you have a fresh and valid email list every time. 

The best email verification tools ensure your lists go through a series of checks – syntax, domain, catch-all, and MX record, not forgetting the crucial email address ping. Let’s break down these technical processes and see how an email address validator works its magic.

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How Does an Email Verifier Work?

An email verifier uses a set of technical steps in a comprehensive email verification process. Most of these tools also offer solutions to find someone’s email easily.

Here are the five key steps that contribute to the verification process:

1. Syntax Check

How Does an Email Verifier Work: Syntax Check

In the first step, the verifier looks at the email’s format, ensuring it has the essential elements – the @ symbol and a dot (.). But it doesn’t stop there. It checks the placement of dots and @, making sure they’re in the right spots. 

The verification tool also keeps an eye on the character count, allowing no more than 64 characters in the local part. Plus, it looks for any special characters hanging out where they shouldn’t be.

2. Domain Check

This step takes a close look at the part after the @ symbol, commonly known as the domain. But it’s not merely checking if the letters are in the right order; it goes beyond that. 

It dives into the validity of the domain, making sure it’s not just a random set of characters but a legitimate, recognized domain name. This helps ensure that your emails are directed to places that genuinely exist in the vast landscape of the internet.

Now, it goes a step further. The verifier checks for the existence of the website associated with that domain. Why? Because having a valid domain doesn’t necessarily mean the website is up and running. This additional layer of scrutiny ensures that your emails not only reach a legitimate domain but also a live and active website.

3. Catch-All Check

How Does an Email Verifier Work: Catch-All Check

In the third step, the verifier generally determines whether an email resides in a catch-all domain. Now, what’s a catch-all domain? 

A catch-all domain is like a universal mailbox that generously accepts emails, even if they contain nonsensical or random characters in the local part of the email address. It’s the email equivalent of an all-accepting, open-door policy. However, while catch-all domains can be lenient, they also pose potential challenges for email marketers.

An email verifier adeptly uncovers whether an email address belongs to one of these catch-all domains during the verification process. This is pivotal because, while catch-all domains may welcome any content, the verifier, like a vigilante superhero, flags them instantly. This helps you avoid unnecessary detours and ensures your email stays on the right track. 

4. MX Record Check

MX Record Check is akin to checking your physical mailbox for authenticity. This step ensures that the mail exchange entry associated with an email address is not merely an entry but a legitimate, registered, and online domain. Its significance lies in the added layer of security it brings to the verification process, confirming the domain’s authenticity and online presence. 

By doing so, the MX Record Check acts as a vigilant gatekeeper, preventing potential threats and filtering out unwanted emails that may attempt to infiltrate the email list. The ultimate goal here is to contribute to the cleanliness and reliability of the email list. 

5. Email Address Ping (SMTP Authentication)

Imagine sending a quick “Are you there?” to the email. This step pings the address, making sure it’s not just there but active – ready to get and respond to messages. It’s like a double-check for safe and smooth email delivery.

Essentially, the Email Address Ping acts as a real-time confirmation, verifying the email’s responsiveness. It ensures your emails reach an actively monitored inbox.

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Why Is Email Verification Important?

Alright, let’s break it down for you – why should you care about email verification? Here are five essential reasons:

1. Keep Your Email Lists Fresh

As stated before, every year, around 22.5% of email addresses get outdated. It’s not your fault; it just happens. But guess what? Email verification helps keep your list fresh.

When you verify your lists regularly, you’re putting a shield around your bounce rate. 

What’s the bounce rate? It’s the percentage of emails that can’t be delivered. Now, if that rate shoots up, it’s like a red flag to email service providers – not good for your sender reputation. 

Regular email verification stops your bounce rate from going through the roof and saves your sender reputation. The result? Your communication stays fresh and efficient.

2. Reduce Hard Bounces

Why Is Email Verification Important: Reduce Hard Bounces

Sending an email and getting it bounced back? We all have been there. Now, let’s talk about those hard bounces – they’re like reputation wreckers. When your bounce rates are high, it’s not a good sign for your sender reputation. 

But here’s the deal – lowering those bounce rates through email verification isn’t just about keeping your rep positive but also about staying off the blacklist radar.

Think of it as a shield for your email campaigns. You want your messages to sail smoothly, and verification ensures your emails reach the right inboxes without bouncing back. It helps your campaigns run seamlessly, and your messages land where they’re supposed to. 

3. Improve Email Deliverability

Let’s cut to the chase – filtering out the fakes ensures your messages land straight in the inbox. High email deliverability isn’t just a buzzword; it saves you money and keeps your sender rep in the green. Your email marketing game gets stronger, reaching the audience that matters.

4. Provide Accurate Insights

A clean mailing list provides you with real insights. Genuine responses from verified addresses give you the lowdown on what works and what doesn’t. Your analysis is spot-on because it’s based on engagement from the real deal.

Think of the verification process as a secret formula for making smart decisions and crafting killer strategies. With a verified list, the responses you get are genuine and reflective of real interest. This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about understanding your audience and tailoring your strategies accordingly. 

So, having a clean list isn’t just for show – it’s your way to getting real, actionable insights that can elevate your marketing game to a whole new level.

5. Avoid Spam Traps and Filters

Why Is Email Verification Important: Avoid Spam Traps and Filters

Email verification is the perfect way to avoid email spam filters and spam traps. That means a better sender reputation and compliance with anti-spam rules. 

Spam traps are those sneaky addresses created by ISPs and anti-spam organizations to catch spammers. Email verification services perform checks against known databases of spam traps. If an address is identified as a known spam trap, the verifier will flag it right away. 

Also, the verification tools often analyze the overall quality of your email list. If they come across patterns of poor email list hygiene, such as a high percentage of invalid or outdated addresses, it could signal the presence of potential spam traps.

This proactive approach helps maintain a healthier list and reduces the likelihood of being identified as a spammer. 

Imagine sending emails only to real people who want to hear from you. That’s what email verification does — it flags potential traps, spots bad patterns, and cleans up your list. 

How to Verify Your Email List?

Want to clean up your email list without the hassle of manual verification? Go for a top-notch email address validator. These tools handle all the necessary verification procedures super quickly. Some even let you test the waters for free, verifying emails without breaking the bank.

To get started with email automation consider the best verification services, just upload your list and let the tool do its magic. Within no time, it will identify and flag the invalid ones, leaving you with a clean list that ensures better deliverability. 

But with so many bulk email verification services out there, how do you choose the best one? 

Consider these top players:

  1. ZeroBounce – Known for accuracy, security, and a full range of features. Thousands of users love this email finder and checker for its reliability. You even get 100 free verifications every month.
  1. Clearout – This is one of the best email finder tools and verifiers out there. Lightning-fast speed, excellent support, and a user-friendly platform. Start with 100 free credits and experience 98% accuracy firsthand.
  1. DeBounce – Simplify bulk email validation. Upload your list, and it identifies syntax, spam traps, bounces, and more. The process is intuitive, but keep in mind it might have a lower accuracy rate compared to other services.
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Investing in a reliable email verifier ensures your email list remains real, valid, and capable of accepting your messages. This not only keeps your bounce rate low but also elevates your sender reputation, resulting in a stellar deliverability rate. 

So, what’s next? Take charge of your email marketing, enhance your leads, and watch your sales grow.

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