• Best Practices

Why Email Validation Is Vital For Your Inbox

Mary Dolan
5 min read
featured

Everyone has moments where we get nervous and feel the need to double-check ourselves. Did you fill in the right answer bubbles on a test? Did you type in the right password when creating your new bank account? Did you ever return your middle school library’s copy of Eragon, or is it gathering dust (and fines) in a box in your mom’s attic? Okay, maybe that last one only applies to us. In life, there are always going to be moments when you want (and need) verification. When it comes to your email program, there is one verification tool that stands out as a necessity: email validation. Email validation can make or break your email program… and we’ll give you the rundown on what it is and how it can be used to your advantage. Ready? Let’s dive in.

see title

What is email validation?

Put simply, email validation is a process that identifies whether an email address is valid and truly exists (hence, the word validation). When many people think of email validation, they think of tools that catch misspelled addresses or other typos. However, email validation can also be used to verify which domain an address is connected to (like Gmail or Outlook), and whether or not the address’s inbox can receive mail. Today, all of these uses are important when it comes to checking the health of your mailing list. Early email validation did indeed focus mainly on typos and common user mistakes but, with the rise of email “spoofing” and the prevalence of spam traps, it’s vital to focus on cleaning your list from all of these angles so that it stays reliable. Fifteen percent of emails on any given marketing list are estimated to be invalid, and fifteen percent of anyone’s mailing list is a large amount of would-be customers or spammers that you are better off either verifying or removing from your email program. Still not convinced? Only skimmed the last couple of paragraphs (so little time…)? Look ahead to see some of the benefits that email validation provides.

How can email validation help your email program?

Everyone likes benefits. 👍 When it comes to email validation, luckily, those benefits are many. Below are three major reasons why validation boosts your email program.

It keeps your email list clean

"What do we mean by a clean list? Well, we want to make sure that the email addresses have MX records...if an email address is missing its MX record, we don’t know where to deliver it.”

This one’s pretty straightforward. Having a clean list, keeping your list “hygienic,” and any other similar term basically means making sure that the email addresses on your list are deliverable. As Gavin Sherry, Senior Deliverability and Strategic Consultant at Exponea, said in a recent webinar with Mailgun: “What do we mean by a clean list? Well, we want to make sure that the email addresses have MX records...if an email address is missing its MX record, we don’t know where to deliver it.” You need a clear address with an attached domain to send a message. If your addresses are unclear (typos) or don’t have MX records with valid domains, you’re wasting time sending messages that will either go to the wrong address, or literally go nowhere. Additionally, if you’re not sending to incorrect addresses, you’re helping to cut down on complaints and avoid spam traps. Basically, you’re not falling into a sand pit like that poor kid.

It focuses your segmentation practices

Segmentation lets you easily target portions of your mailing list to manually or automatically send specific messages to—and email validation keeps your segments accurate and focused. By using email validation, all of your segments are free from toxic or non-engaged addresses that negatively impact your email program and its reputation. With more focused segments, you come out on top in both technical and marketing aspects. Your audience’s preferences and desires are more specific, so you can cater directly to their needs and grow your customer base. On the technical side, you have fewer problems with your mailing list and can more easily avoid spam traps, spammers, and other kinks in your email program.

It enables you to send frequent emails more safely

Are you sending emails frequently to your mailing list? That’s pretty awesome—but there is a catch, as Gavin points out. The more emails you send from your domain, the more scrutiny you receive from ISPs. These ISPs are constantly on the lookout for spam, and high-frequency senders can gather attention for what is seen as potential spammer behavior. If your list is clean, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you’re sending too much email to unresponsive or invalid email addresses… well, that’s pretty much the definition of spam. 😬 This is where email validation helps you out. By giving you that coveted clean list, it helps you prove to ISPs that your emails are legitimate, and helps you avoid penalties and bad reputations that stick to spammers and other bad actors. That way, you can continue to communicate frequently and safely with your list and keep your relationships strong.

Wrapping up

After reading more about the benefits of email validation, we hope you now know a little bit more about how they can benefit the health of your email program. After all, they keep your list clean, focus your segmentation, and help you avoid the (sand)pitfalls of ISP scrutiny. If you like the sound of that, and you’re looking for a tool that effortlessly validates your emails and cleans your list in seconds, check out Mailgun’s email validation feature. It has features like bulk-list validation and real-time email validation that make maintaining your contacts almost too easy.

For more great information on email validation, check out our recent webinar with Exponea.

And, after that, you may want to stop by your mom’s house. Those Eragon library fees won’t pay themselves. 🐉

Last updated on September 29, 2020

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