Email Validation: Why and How to Do It


Anton Shabatov - January 17, 2018 - 1 comment

We talk about email validation, the reasons why it is required and how it works, and we talk about how to check the presence of the domain and IP in the spam lists as well as what to do if they are already there.

Email marketing is a very popular communications channel on the Internet. Its conversion is the highest when compared to other Internet marketing tools. According to the Marketing Insider Group, 59% of B2B marketers believe that email distribution is the most effective channel for increasing revenue. The advantages of email marketing lie in a direct and fast communication with potential customers, a relatively inexpensive cost of implementation, automatization, growth of targeted actions from subscribers, and having a growing loyalty to your brand.

But companies are faced with the problem of being marked as spam, which greatly undermines their reputation as the informational email sender. If you do not prevent the domain and IP addresses from getting into spam and blacklists, this will lead to the inability to use email marketing effectively in the future.

Experian’s research (USA) has found the following:

  • Over the past year, 61% of companies that deal with email marketing have faced the threat of their reputation as an email sender.
  • 35% of the emails from these companies go into spam folders.

Reasons for getting into the spam folders:

  • There are many nonexistent email addresses in the database.
  • The letter contains many links to external resources, especially suspicious ones.
  • There are a lot of spammy words in the body as well as exclamation marks and capital letters.
  • The domain is new and without a known reputation, so mail servers treat it with suspicion.
  • The subject of the letter is not related to the content, and users mark such letters as spam.
  • DNS records for the domain, used for mailing purposes, are typed incorrectly.

We will take a closer look at Cause #1 – a low-quality database of email addresses, and how to avoid being counted as spam because of this reason.

It is vital for successful sales via email to have a clean and high-quality email database. However, eventually any database will get duplicates, addresses with errors, and broken or unsupported emails. That is why an important step here is the validation of email addresses.

What is the purpose of email validation?

  • Obtaining a clean, up-to-date client base.
  • Reducing the risk of getting into the spam folder.
  • Maintaining the mailbox (or the domain) trustworthiness.
  • Increasing the delivery percentage.

85% of US companies use email-validators in order to protect themselves from invalid addresses in the client database. They constantly check and update the existing data, and replenish the databases for emailing. As a result, investments justify themselves to the fullest. According to Campaign Monitor in 2016, the return on investment in mailings was $44 per each dollar spent.

How often should you validate databases?

It is important to maintain the quality of the email database. It is recommended to clean it at least once every six months, depending on the size of the database. The larger the database, the more likely it will have invalid email addresses over time, and the more often it would need to be validated.

How exactly do the services validate the emails?

Most validation services do the following:

  • Email de-duplication. This means the email validator helps to get rid of duplicate addresses, and will show you only the unique ones.
  • Syntax check. The list of email addresses is completely cleared from addresses with syntax mistakes.
  • Domain check. The service marks all emails with inactive or inaccessible domains.
  • MX records сheck for each mailing address.
  • SMTP check. Service connects to SMTP servers, imitating the sending of an email message.
  • Checking the mailbox. If the box is full, this email will be marked as a risky one.

Why is the low-quality database dangerous?

Exceeding the number of invalid addresses and complaints leads to the limiting of the mail delivery to the inbox. If the email contains more than 5% of mistakes, the risk of getting considered spam is very high. Letters can be completely rejected by a mail box. Therefore, it is very important to control the percentage of mistakes. For example in Yahoo and Rocketmail, the amount limit of nonexistent addresses in the emailing is 10%. It is better to keep the rate of getting into the spam folder within 0.1%. However, some mail services allow the 0.3% rate.

Now, there are several services for domain and IP checking. Among them are:

  • http://multirbl.valli.org/lookup/
  • https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

What to do in case of getting into the spam list?

In case you decided to take a risk and skipped the validation of the email database, getting into the blacklist because of this, do not despair. There is a way out. Most spam and blacklist services are automated. So if your domain is blacklisted, stop sending emails using it for at least 10-14 days. In this case, it can be excluded from the blacklist automatically.

For example, you can manually remove the domain from the blacklist using the site https://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/. This is a large spam database that tracks suspicious activity in real time, and immediately places an IP or domain into spam. If you are blocked, the service will send you to the page with an explanation of the reason for the block and a guide about what to do next.

Before applying for an unblock and removal from the Spamhaus.org database, it is necessary to eliminate the very reason for the blockade in the first place. Learn how to resolve the issue to the spamhaus.org email by using the special number that is displayed in the address bar.

The second option is to buy a new domain and an IP address. This will protect you from the future getting into the blacklists as the responsibility for the reputation of the IP address and domain will depend on your actions only. But it will only work until the first mailing to the invalidated database.

To avoid unpleasant consequences and to increase your profits from email marketing, use the email validating service Proofy.io.

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1 comment

  1. Anna

    Great article! Thank you for the useful links, for checking my domain.

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