How an Email Validator Can Improve Your Email Marketing

Melanie Balke
June 5, 2024

Few things sting as much as lost revenue. Unfortunately, that’s always a risk in marketing, and even the best campaigns can suffer unforeseen consequences.

It’s hard to predict how a television or print spot will resonate with your audience. Will their humor match yours? Will your message be clear enough? Even if everything is perfect, your campaign can still suffer from unfortunate placement.

The same can be said for most digital campaigns! In fact, there are entire internet communities dedicated to collecting the most humorously misplaced banners and print advertisements. (The Subreddit “UnfortunatePlacement” comes to mind, although many others exist.)

Fortunately, email marketing avoids many of these problems. Gmail even took steps to mitigate the issue by introducing dedicated promotional inboxes. Still, one significant risk remains.

What happens when that new subscriber mistypes their email address?

Defining and Exploring the Email Validation Process

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Well, for starters, they won’t get your emails. Instead, those campaigns will “bounce.” It’s the digital equivalent of undeliverable mail. There’s nowhere to send your message, so the mail servers repackage your content and return an error message. It’s not the end of the world; everyone has variable bounce rates. However, accruing too many bounces lowers your digital reputation. Sufficiently high bounce rates eventually lead to crackdowns by email service providers.

Email validation mitigates those risks and reduces bounces by checking each new subscriber’s email address.

The Anatomy of a Valid Email Address

Most web hosting software and e-commerce platforms have built-in email validation that checks for the basics.

A valid email address consists of two unique parts. The local address (or “email prefix”) comes first and is separated from the domain name by an “at” symbol (”@”). The first half of the equation, the prefix, is a user’s digital street address. The latter is comparable to their city or state.

There are also additional restrictions for email addresses, including:

  • Restricted Length: Is the first part over 64 characters long? Congrats! It’s one of many invalid email prefixes. Overly long addresses are more than a hindrance; they’re outright banned!
  • Restricted Character Sets: Valid email prefixes are (mostly) restricted to alphanumeric characters. Very few servers support emojis, and none support backslashes (“\”). Hyphens are allowed by some email service providers.
  • Set Domain Names: The domain name system is a universal standard. After that “at” symbol, an email address must have a valid domain. For example, “” is a valid email domain. Rarely, you may see bracketed IP addresses used.

What Is Email Validation Software?

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By extension, email validation software automates email verification.

A basic version checks entries to ensure they meet the requirements of a valid email address. It rejects blatantly invalid email domains and prevents easily identifiable hard bounces. In doing so, the software prunes non-functional email addresses and reduces your brand’s overhead. There are also advanced email verification services, which compare entries to massive mail server databases.

Regardless of depth and complexity, an email verification service ultimately falls into one of two categories. (Some services take a blended approach!)

Automated Email Validation

An automated email verification service is what it says on the box. It’s a fully autonomous series of checks to rule out invalid email addresses. Most modern sign-up forms have a bare-bones program that checks for valid email domains and acceptable email prefix formats.

However, there are other methods with additional features. These more advanced options often combine both simple and complex functions to validate an email address. An exceptionally advanced email checker may even utilize multiple screening functions, including:

  • Algorithmic: The most sophisticated email verifier options use algorithmic analysis to boost email deliverability. The algorithm builds on basic acceptable formats and uses learned information and statistics to determine the veracity of users’ data. Algorithmic solutions are an ideal option for capturing disposable emails, although they cannot protect against a maliciously entered valid address.
  • Browser-Based: A browser-based email validation process uses the user’s cache and profile data. Most browser-based email verification is trustworthy and individualistic, although its inherently invasive capture method may present privacy concerns. Browser verification is limited to HTML 5 users.
  • Reputation-Based: Some software uses sender reputation to validate email addresses. This option fills in gaps left by rule-based and browser-based verification, although it cannot prevent malicious additions to your email list. A reputational email verifier may also reject valid users who rarely utilize their email addresses.
  • Rule-Based: The most straightforward system uses rules to determine if an email address is valid. These automated email verification tools reject addresses with special characters and non-alphanumeric entries (i.e., letters A–Z and numbers 0–9). This approach is often free. However, there are exceptions to rules, and rigid rulesets may reject valid emails.

Manual Email Verification

Alternatively, brands can use manual verification. Manual email verification requires human interference. In most cases, that interaction is a simple link. The process is better known as double opt-in verification.

Unlike automated checks, double opt-in verification guarantees emails go to the intended recipient. It requires no additional DNS lookup protocols or SMTP server connections. Instead, it relies on human interaction and trust. Double opt-in also opens doors for non-standard email addresses.

The additional layer of protection boosts the efficacy of your email campaigns, all but guaranteeing successful email delivery. Soft bounces are the worst possible outcome, and they impact your sender reputation less than outright rejection. Opted-in users are also less likely to submit spam complaints.

Nonetheless, you’re not immune to disposable emails. Users may also freely unsubscribe, although there’s no foolproof way to wholly prevent lost subscribers. Double opt-in may also deter a small number of subscribers from your mailing list.

3 Reasons to Use an Email Verification Service

A 16th century print of frogs in a pond. "The Perks: Why Use Email Verification?"

So, why bother?

The occasional disposable email address won’t torpedo your ROI. Even a few bounces and mistyped email addresses are unlikely to destroy your marketing efforts. Avoid buying lists and using email scrapers, and you’re (mostly) in the clear.

For many small, local enterprises, an email verification tool may not be necessary. However, it’s an invaluable resource for everyone! (Yes, even the aforementioned mom-and-pop shop benefits from validation!)

1. Validate Email Addresses and Save Money

Everything has a price.

Emails may cost a fraction of a cent, but email campaigns have a tangible price. That price tag is often determined by your volume and frequency. A brand sending emails to thousands of subscribers pays more than a brick-and-mortar car wash with a few hundred people on Google Sheets. Even so, those pennies add up!

Email verification reduces marketing budget bloat by eliminating invalid email addresses. Pairing the process with re-engagement emails and regular list cleaning amplifies the savings!

2. Improve Your Marketing Metrics

Those DNS records also support your overall marketing strategy. Higher email deliverability goes hand-in-hand with better metrics, and those metrics support more accurate marketing efforts. After all, emails delivered successfully are messages reaching their intended recipients. They’re anticipated campaigns.

3. Keep Your Mailing List Clean

Having a process to validate email addresses will also reduce your maintenance costs. Discarded addresses improve your list hygiene and prevent unnecessary bloat in your email list.

As I noted, this is a financial perk. Fewer recipients relate directly to lower costs.

However, a clean email list also reduces your overall risk. A small list requires less maintenance and fewer resources to maintain. This fact is important for anyone operating internationally, as the European Union’s expansive GDPR requires that email servers retain specific user data.

How to Skip the Hassle of Email Verification

Even the most rudimentary email verification is worth its weight in gold. (Fortunately, most bare-bones software is free and integrated!) The same is true for sophisticated subscription-based email verification services. However, many businesses don’t have the budget for such extravagant additional features.

Don’t worry!

I founded The Email Marketers to make the digital world’s most lucrative marketing channel accessible to everyone. I’ve hired skilled professionals and vetted countless email verification tools to find the perfect combination of checks and balances. Both of these things — the experts and the email checker — are freely available to my clients.

Ditch the hassle of email marketing, and let us handle your email verification! Schedule a free strategy session to learn more. I’ll show you a personalized plan to fit your needs. I’ll also discuss the many, many perks of high-quality email verification.

But I’ll do more than that! You’ll also see how The Email Marketers uses your ideas and brand identity to send emails that truly resonate with your audience.