On the outside, your email lists might appear legitimate. As far as you can tell, all of the email addresses included in your lists should be there. Or should they be? Email verification can give you insights about each one.
Let’s assume you manage massive email lists with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of subscribers. Email marketing is your largest channel and sending email campaigns is a big source of revenue for your company.
You’ve noticed your engagement rates are taking a dip. Your spam complaints are on the rise, too. And you haven’t been experiencing your usual conversions or sales. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to throw the shutters open on your email databases and explore the quality of what’s there.
In this article, we’ll explore what you need to know to verify your email lists, and why it’s beneficial to your marketing ROI. Instead of covering the time-consuming and cost-prohibitive manual validation process, we’ll reveal the verification tool you should be using and what to look out for during the verification process.
Why does email verification matter?
Visibility into the quality of the email addresses populating your database is essential to remedy data collection issues, remove invalid and problematic email addresses and maintain a healthy, high-performing email list.
By using specific and unique data and rules to review your email lists, email verification is an automated process that can identify which emails are safe for sending, valid (but potentially risky), disposable, accept-all, or invalid.
An email verification tool can grant you those insights, so you can choose what to do with those email addresses (i.e., keep them on your list, remove them, test them, or sunset them).
Tools and data you’ll need for email verification
- A trusted email verification tool with unrivaled accuracy and security
- An interface where you can easily drag and drop your email lists
- Or a tool that can connect to your preferred ESP or marketing tool
To take things one step further, you can also make use of verification in real-time.:
- Email validation at point-of-capture to keep your email lists as clean as possible
- API libraries to easily add real-time verification to your application, digital forms, or EPOS system
Issues to look out for before, during, and after verification
- Don’t send a test email to verify its validity
- Manually pinging an email for validity is time-consuming (and practically impossible) for massive email lists
- Manually pinging won’t give you insight into the quality of the email address, as in whether it’s safe for sending, etc.
- Don’t expect an email verification tool to clean your databases/lists for you. That’s your job!
- Be leary of services that remove or detect spam traps (aka, honey pots)
- Remember to regularly prune your email lists, as this isn’t a one-time process.
Step 1: Find the most accurate email verification service on the market
Manual email address verification, while possible, can be a time-consuming headache of a process, especially if you have massive email lists or full email databases.
Instead, you need the most accurate and secure email verification tool available. At Kickbox, we offer a user-friendly interface where you can drag and drop your email lists or import/export your email data from your ESP or favorite marketing tool using one of our 30+ integrations.
You’ll want to get into the habit of (semi)-regularly verifying your email lists since we all know even a valid subscriber might change jobs or otherwise abandon their email address for X number of reasons. You don’t want that type of sandbag in your database.
The frequency varies depending on your business and the composition of your contacts. B2B email addresses tend to have a higher churn rate than B2C email addresses. You should be validating your email data at least every 3-6 months as a rule of thumb.
Commit to the best practice of a two-step approach to email verification
At Kickbox, we believe in the best practice of a two-step approach to email verification. That means, that after you take the first step by validating your existing email lists (and committing to doing it every few months), you’ll then want to move on to the second step. That entails verifying emails during the collection process known as real-time email verification using our API.
Step 2: Verify your email lists
Here’s how to verify your email lists with Kickbox’s email verification tool:
Sign up or log in to your Kickbox account
Welcome to your Dashboard
At Kickbox, your dashboard contains what you need to begin verifying your email lists.
Click on “upload list” to start verifying.
Choose what you want to verify
You can validate a single email address or an entire list.
Verify an entire list
After you click +Upload List, you can then either select the lists you want to verify from your computer or drag and drop your .csv or .xlsx file here.
Start the verification engines
Once your email list populates the screen, click on Start list to begin verifying your emails.
No need to wait around for your results, either. So, feel free to tackle another item on your to-do list. You’ll receive an email or alert once they are ready.
Once you receive your results, you can download them at any time.
Step 3: Interpret the results
Finally, you have actionable insights into the health of your email database. But you may be wondering how to interpret the results in front of you, and then what the best steps would be to take care of any issues.
You’ll learn whether your emails are deliverable, risky, undeliverable, or unknown. Take a look at the following table to better understand what each of those results might mean:
- Deliverable: This means the recipient’s mail server acknowledges it exists, and Kickbox determines this email address is safe to send within our 95% Deliverability guarantee.
- Undeliverable: The email address does not exist.
- Risky: The email address contains quality issues that may lead to a bounce or low engagement. Use caution before sending an email to this address.
- Unknown: There was no response from the recipient’s mail server, often due to the recipient’s server being too slow or temporarily unavailable.
Don’t be afraid to seek further expert advice
Whether this process is new to you or not, knowing you have access to a team of experts that can aid you in understanding what your results mean can only be a boon. Our team of experts is always available via multiple channels to help you on your journey.
Step 4: Take appropriate action
Now that you have a clearer idea of the quality of your email lists, it’s important to note that only you can take action about what to do next. In other words, an email verification service won’t make that decision for you.
Of course, you can seek guidance about the best strategy and approach to take from Kickbox email experts in compliance, anti-spam, privacy, and more.
Eliminate invalid email duds
Let’s say, post-verification, you discover an influx of invalid emails in your database. Now’s the time to take action! Scrubbing your email databases of these emails is important because you don’t want to compromise your sender reputation by sending emails to bad or low-quality subscribers.
That’s because they could hard bounce. Too many hard bounces or sending messages to emails that show low or zero engagement raises the eyebrows of Internet Service Providers (ISP). Verification combined with the right sunsetting policies can help minimize the effect of undeliverable emails and cold/dormant, unengaged contacts.
Since an ISP wants to protect its inbox holders from spammers and other malicious senders. If you’re sending emails that bounce, etc. you’re positioning yourself in that same circle of bad actors.
When this happens, your sender reputation can take a hit, and, as a result, your email deliverability (aka, inbox placement) can suffer, as well. That’s why it’s so important to keep your email lists and your sender reputation in pristine condition.
Step 5: Adopt a proactive approach
You’ve verified your lists, read through the results, and taken action. Now, what’s left? To sum it up in a few words — you need to stay on top of the quality of your lists. We recommend verifying them often, say quarterly or approximately every three months, for example.
Ready to verify your email address list with Kickbox?
Email verification isn’t just a one-time process to check off your to-do list. As we’ve covered, there are numerous reasons why an inactive and invalid email can end up on your list. Even if the emails are valid, that doesn’t mean that the subscriber still feels the same about your product or service. So, you’ll need to handle that issue separately so you don’t end up with a spam complaint, a block, or low inbox placement.
Once you verify your email lists, it’s critical to take action so you’re left with a sparkling email database.
At Kickbox, your privacy is our top priority. Our commitment to privacy & compliance helps you maintain trust with your subscribers, mailbox providers & customers. We are fully GDPR-compliant, with verification & support based in the US & EU. When you sign up for a Kickbox account you can feel confident knowing your most valuable email marketing asset is in the most capable and trusted hands in the industry.
Plus, verify your first 100 email addresses are on us. Sign up today.