This post is a breakdown of the email validation process; check for spellings, confirm if address, mailbox, and associated domain name exist. But this is not as straightforward as it looks.
Email contacts often convert silent followers to potential buyers. A good email can increase your lead and make a good branding image. But it happens only if you have a valid email list.
How will you know what mail will bounce back and who is actually receiving mail over the other side?. Let’s get to know that and start with the basics first.
If you’re someone who sends dozens of emails all day, you might have found yourself in a situation when you sent a hundred emails to different email addresses. And then you realized that half of the email addresses weren’t even valid or incorrectly formatted. Hopefully, you are not familiar with that feeling, but if you are, Email Validation is the solution.
To explain Email Validation in the simplest possible words, it is a process that verifies an email address to check its validity and if it even really exists. It also tells you if the email address you’re sending to is deliverable and if it has a reliable domain.
Why Validate Your Email Addresses?
In case this wasn’t enough to convince you to get Email Validation, there is so much more. Suppose you’re sending an email to 100 people and get hard email bounces from invalid email addresses. In this case, the other half of the recipients will receive their emails, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Hard bounces badly affect your sender’s reputation, and a poor reputation means a decreased email deliverability rate. So even if you’re lucky enough to have some valid emails, you won’t be able to reach their inboxes. This can cause a big problem for the email marketing team.
A few compelling reasons for you to validate your email addresses include:
- Decrease the number of hard bounces
- Avoid any risky email addresses
- Boost your reputation
- Improve your primary inbox deliverability
- Get to separate accurate marketing data from the inaccurate ones
- Avoid Spam complaints
- Increased engagement rates
- Enjoy low-cost Email Marketing
And the list goes on and on. Luckily, you don’t have to continuously validate email addresses. The only times when you should do it are:
- You get some new recipients added to your list
- Your bounce rate increases
- You get low open rates
Although you don’t need to be doing it again and again, it is recommended that you use Email Validation at least once every month, even if you have no issues. This is because it ensures that you are working with clean, accurate, and useful data.
Email Validation Process: How Does It Work?
Generally, the first thing you would want to do while Email Validating is to check the spellings. Make sure you’ve spelled everything correctly, and then look for Spam traps.
Plenty of email addresses is solely created to capture senders who might not follow the best emailing practices. Internet Service Providers and Email Service Providers ensure that you don’t have those email addresses in your list.
Moving on to the next step, you’d want to check the format of all the email addresses. Check for any missed @, or maybe you’ve even added more than one accidentally. Then, do a proper and thorough syntax checking.
Email Validation uses SMTP protocol to ensure that a mailbox really exists. So, in a way, email validation also works as an individual mailbox validator.
A general email validation checklist looks like this.
- Check for any spelling mistakes
- Do proper syntax validation
- Look for disposal email addresses
- Confirm if the domain name exists associated with the contact
- Monitor the DNS (Domain Name System) records to ensure if a mail server exists
- Ping the email box to confirm if everything is up and running
Email Validation may take just a few seconds if done using a tool or codes, or it may take longer if you decide to do it manually. Either way, it is a process that is worth your time because it takes away a lot of trouble that you might have to face in the future.
Check for Spellings & Do the Syntax Validation
After getting email addresses in your list, you must check for the spellings. Use common sense and ensure all the email contacts have accurate spellings. Now let’s move on to do the syntax validation.
If you break down an email address into its components, it consists of an @ symbol, a dot, and ASCII characters. The first part carries your private information; the second part has the domain name with which the Email is registered. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.
The initial part of the email address contains,
- Alphabets, both uppercase and lowercase
- Dots, full stop, etc.
The second part of any email address contains,
Here are some examples of a valid Email Address for you to look at:
On the other hand, invalid email addresses would resemble the following,
(More than one consecutive dot are not allowed in an email address)
(.e is not a valid domain name)
(A domain cannot begin with a dot)
This code can help confirm if the email addresses are valid or not. Of course, you can write a shortcode to check the validity of emails, but if you don’t know how to do so, you can hire a developer to do the job.
If not, you always have the option of using free or premium Email Validation tools that you can easily find online.
Email Validation Process: Detect Any Disposable Email Address
What is a disposable email address? It’s an address that is usually temporary and is used to avoid unwanted emails. It may be good for users but not for you as an email marketer. Tons of people use it to misuse the online services.
That’s why you must detect any disposable email address from your list. This is how you do it easily.
- Search the disposable email domains database
- Check if the email addresses are there in any database
- Confirm if the domain name exists
- Search for these addresses in services like Pastebin
If you want one step to detect a disposable contact, confirm the age and reputation of the domain name associated with the address.
Confirm if the Domain Name Exists
Confirming if the domain name exists is easy-peasy. Simply go to http://whois.domaintools.com and type in your domain name. Or else, you can ping any domain name in the Command Prompt.
Email Validation Process: Look for the MX Records
Email addresses are hosted on a domain name. There must be mail server records for that. You need to look for the MX records in the DNS Zone of the domain name. This is how you do it:
- Run the CMD (Command Prompt)
- Type in the ‘NSLookup’ command and ‘Enter’
- Write ‘Set q=mx’ and ‘Enter’
- Type in the domain name you want to check
- Press the ‘Enter’ button
And you’ll immediately see the MX records there. Or you can simply go to the MXToolbox to look for the MX records for any domain.
If no records appear, the email contact must be invalid. And if the records appear, you may ping the mailbox!
Ping the Mailbox to Confirm If Everything is Up and Running
Confirm if the mailbox exists. And that’s the most important step for the email validation process. You can get up to 100% accuracy for all the steps except for this one. It’s because you need to form an SMTP connection to verify a mailbox.
And there are a lot of issues associated with forming an SMTP connection. Let me explain. For example, if you want to open an SMTP connection, you need port 25.
And you cannot get port 25 if you use any email validator or verifier. The solution is to get the VPS machine that can open port 25.
Popular mail providers like Gmail or Hotmail don’t always help you form a connection with their SMTP server. They reject your request even before you stimulate the message. That’s another problem pinging the SMTP.
Also, there are tons of services that send a message to confirm that a mailbox exists even if it doesn’t.
Email Validation Tools and Services
There are a lot of email validation tools and services available right now. Let me enlist the top three here.
It is one of the most popular Email Verifying tools in the market. Several well-known companies, including TripAdvisor, use it. This tool provides more than one verification process. Therefore, it not only does single email verification, but it can also do bulk verifications as well as provide crucial customer data.
ZeroBounce offers 100 email validations for free each month. Other than that, you can call them and ask them for prices according to your needs.
To use this Email Validator, you need to have an H-Supertools account. You are able to verify 200 email addresses per day, with 20 email verifications at a time. It is free of cost and is supported by ads.
So if you are someone who does not want to spend any money on Email Validation tools, this is the tool made for you. Or else you can download the Super Email Validator by H-Educate to verify your email list.
Companies like Shopify use this tool. Like ZeroBounce, this is also one of the better-known tools. According to them, they have verified more than 5 billion email addresses during their lifetime. In addition, EmailListVerify does seamless integration with third parties as well as files with different formats.
Invalid email addresses lead to a bad reputation, which is never good for any company or domain. Not only that, but you’ll also be wasting a lot of time and resources in email marketing simply because of the high bounce rate you will have. So your first course of action after collecting a list of email addresses should be to validate them.
So that was the breakdown of the email validation process. Let me know what you think about it, in the comments.