How to Check if an Email Address is Valid

Email remains one of the most important methods of communication that allows your company to stay in touch with existing customers and generate new leads. Strong email marketing strategies help businesses to easily reach out to their customers and boost their sales without significant costs. Although email marketing offers endless opportunities, there are also some caveats: undeliverable email messages can have a negative impact on your marketing campaigns.

Even though email validation is an uncomplicated process, and many studies have demonstrated that companies who regularly clean their email lists enjoy several key benefits, few of them are actually including email validation as one of the mandatory activities in their marketing campaigns.

With over 40% of people changing their email addresses per year, businesses should consider making email validation one of their regular activities. Email validation and list cleaning has plenty of benefits:

Lower your bounce rates

By removing invalid addresses from your lists or databases, a higher percentage of your emails will be delivered. Thus, you will generate more leads and, most likely, your conversion rate will go up. Moreover, high bounce rates have a negative impact on your overall sender reputation.

Protect your sender reputation

Email deliverability is directly depending on your sender reputation. In order to maintain a good sender reputation, you should avoid spam complaints, bounces and spam traps. Regularly validating your email addresses will allow you to keep your sender reputation intact.

Reduced costs

By sending emails to non-existent addresses you just pay for bounces. Send emails only to valid addresses with regular email list cleaning or use a real-time email validation API to reduce your email marketing costs.

Actionable campaign insights

An email sent to an invalid address is not going to be opened. In order to get accurate and actionable campaign statistics, it is therefore important to always have the addresses in your email lists verified and validated.

Increased revenue

As mentioned, undeliverable emails have a negative impact on your sender reputation. In turn, this causes your emails to be marked as spam by the email service providers. Thus, maintaining a clean email list is the best approach to make sure your emails are delivered to your customer’s inbox.

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The Importance of Checking Email Validity

Without the proper email address validity, businesses cannot make sure their emails are actually delivered.

If you send an email and it gets marked as spam, your intended recipient might never bother to open and read your message or might not even notice your email at all. That’s how you fail to reach the target client and lose on a potential sale, which will directly affect your profits.

If a message fails to be sent completely, it is called email bouncing. When the message bounces back to the sender it may mean that:

  • the email address doesn’t exist,
  • the email server is not available (due to temporary crash or maintenance work),
  • your contact’s mailbox is full,
  • or your email address has been blocked.

If your email bounce rate is high, it has a negative impact on your email deliverability rates and can ruin your email sender reputation.

Nowadays successful marketing is all about improving client satisfaction, which includes maintaining good relations with clients, which are based on trust and keeping the clients informed. Poor sender reputation may keep you from reaching potential new clients and discourage your existing clients from contacting you.

What is Email Sender Reputation

Email sender reputation is estimated by a score assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to a sending IP address. ISPs measure this score using a variety of criteria, such as:

  • quality of contacts (email recipients),
  • level of engagement from said recipients (how they react to your messages: do they read your content and/or forward it to their family and friends or do they unsubscribe from your emails, or maybe even block you?),
  • content quality,
  • the amount of emails being sent,
  • being included on a blacklist

Poor email sender reputation means your emails will most likely be considered as spam and the open rates will decrease significantly. If you notice a change in the pattern of your emails being delivered and/or open, you should consider that your email sender reputation has declined and it’s high time to consider solutions like an email validity checker.

How to check email validity

There are a few methods that will help you test and improve email validity, and they provide the best results when implemented all together:

Double opt-in method

The most popular technique used by companies to test email validity is probably double opt-in.

When a user registers with their email account, a unique link is sent to said account and the user is asked to click on it to confirm the registration process.

This double level process allows you not only to eliminate invalid email addresses but it also helps to prevent situations where a user can register with an email address that does exist, but does not belong to the given user.

This means that only users who really wish to receive emails from you will actually get them.

The double opt-in technique also prevents spam users from registering with fake accounts. However, it’s important to note that the double opt-in cannot verify the actual deliverability of emails – if a visitor has already left the website before you find out that the email address is invalid there is no chance to re-connect.

Double typing/re-typo method

It might be a little tiresome for Internet users to double type their email address every time they need to register somewhere but it is a very effective way to ensure they type their email correctly.

Double typing allows users to avoid typos or syntax mistakes. Creating registration forms that require users to repeat their emails is also a simple process that doesn’t consume too much time. However, just like with a double opt-in, this technique doesn’t ensure email deliverability. Another issue concerning this solution is that spam users can still provide you with an email that they don’t own.

Email verification services

The easiest and most reliable solution for email validation is turning to email validation providers who will bulk check email address validity for you. Real time email verification services include:

  • syntax verification,
  • domain name validation (DNS),
  • mail exchanger records (MX records) check,
  • disposable email address detection (such disposable email accounts are created by spammers),
  • misspelled domain detection, which prevents typosquatting, or URL hijacking (when a user accidentally misspells a website address and is directed to a domain owned by hackers who might be involved in phishing schemes, or to a domain which can install malware on the user’s computer),
  • greylisting detection (greylisting is an anti-spam activity: the MTA – mail transfer agent- temporarily rejects messages from unrecognized senders),
  • checking if a given mailbox exists,
  • SMTP connection and availability checking,
  • catch-all testing (a catch-all email account will receive all messages that are addressed to an incorrect email address for a domain)
  • spam trap (email addresses used only to collect spam) detection

Email validation services allow you to clean up your existing email lists, which may include fake or outdated emails, disposable email addresses, or emails whose owners have blocked and blacklisted your messages.

Such items on your list decrease open rates, increase email bouncing and ruin your email sender reputation. This means your content will be more likely to be treated as spam and less likely to reach valuable target audience.

Email Address Verification Process

To figure out if an email is valid, it is crucial to perform the following checks:

  • Verify if the email address adheres to the IETF/RFC standards
  • Check the DNS and perform a MX lookup
  • Connect to the mail server and engage in a ‘chat’ with the server in order to validate the existence of the mailbox.

In order to complete this process manually, you should have an in-depth technical knowledge. You must be familiar with several command line tools and understand a few underlying protocols that make the Internet work such as DNS, SMTP, and telnet. Furthermore, the process is likely to get more complicated due to the fact that many email servers do employ policies that deny a connection from untrusted addresses, like your computer.

Furthermore, with email lists containing thousands or tens of thousands of email addresses, it is unfeasible to use a manual process to check the validity of email addresses.

How To Check If Email Is Valid: Best Practices

Fortunately, Byteplant offers a state-of-the-art email verification service that is guaranteed to improve your sender reputation, increase the deliverability of your emails and reduce bounce rates.

In order to cater to all of our customer needs, we developed both a Real-Time Email Verification API and a Bulk Email List Cleaning service. Clean your email lists and get detailed and actionable validation results for each email address.

Byteplant’s services are designed to be easily integrated into almost any website or application. As you will see, the process is as simple as calling an HTTP method or uploading a text file using a web form.

How to Check if Email is Valid with Byteplant Real-Time Email Verification API

Today, more companies than ever are relying on the benefits provided by our real-time email verification API. There is a very simple reason: performing the email validation process at the point-of-capture ensures that your email contact database is always accurate. In turn, your chances of converting users into customers are significantly improved.

The process of filling out a form is prone to errors. Bad and unverified input could impact your marketing campaigns by decreasing your inbox placement rate and increasing the number of bounces. Byteplant’s real-time email verification API helps you mitigate these issues by attacking the problem directly at its source: your registration or sign-up forms.

Our API is designed to check if an email is valid in real-time and helps you alert the user if an invalid email is entered. Byteplant’s API was designed to be easily integrated into any web form, sign-up form or even mobile app. Make sure that your database is always free of harmful email addresses.

To test email validity with Byteplant’s real-time email verification API you will need to follow a simple process. First, create an account. By registering, you will get an API key that can be used to check up to 100 email addresses for free.

So how can our API be used to deliver better business results?

How Can I use Byteplant’s Real-Time Email Validation API to Check Email Validity?

In verify the validity of an email address, our API will use a multi-layer testing algorithm comprised of several important steps:

  • Email syntax verification against relevant IETF/RFC standards
  • DNS validation, including MX record lookup
  • Disposable email address detection
  • Misspelled domain detection to prevent Typosquatting
  • SMTP connection and availability checking
  • Temporary unavailability detection
  • Mailbox existence check
  • Catch-all testing and Greylisting detection

Byteplant’s real-time online email validation API can be integrated into any web form and desktop or mobile application by sending a simple HTTP/HTTPS request to Byteplant’s API servers.

Our servers will return the result as a JSON object containing:

  • Status, indicating the deliverability status of the email
  • Info, providing a short description
  • Details, providing a full status description
  • Freemail, a bool value that indicates if the email is a freemail address or not.

Furthermore, to make things as simple as possible, we developed plugins for WordPress, Node.js, and jQuery.

Byteplant’s real-time email validation API supports both single email validation and bulk email validation, engineered to process up to 100K addresses. Hence, virtually any use case scenario is supported. You just have to make the HTTP/HTTPS request to our servers and we will validate your emails list in real time.

How to Check if an Email is Valid with Byteplant Bulk Email Validation Service

If you have unverified email lists, Byteplant offers a great solution that allows you to verify email addresses in bulk, instead of having to check each address one by one. Bulk email verification services perform the same checks on your email lists and allow you to get high quality leads.

To use it, you just have to sign up and upload your text or CSV files.

When the upload is finished, you will get an email with a link that lets you download the results. For each email address, Byteplant provides a detailed email validation status that includes the reasons why a particular email address is valid or not.

How to Use Email Validity Checker Results

With Byteplant, you will gain useful information regarding email address validity. For each email, our service will return one of the following results:

  • Valid
  • Suspect
  • Invalid
  • Indeterminate

These results will allow you to decide on the right approach that will deliver the best results for your marketing campaign.

Here are some useful tips for you for interpreting your email verification results:

  • If an email address is marked deliverable you can use these addresses for your marketing campaigns.
  • If an email address is marked as suspect, you should use the status field to further investigate the reason. Furthermore, it is generally considered a good approach to segment these addresses based on the status field and handle them as you see fit.
  • If an email valid is marked as invalid, there are two possible actions. If the result is returned by our real-time API, you could prompt the user to fix it and resubmit the form. If the result is returned by our batch service, you could either try getting in touch with your customer using other communication channels or just delete the address from your database.
  • If an email is marked as indeterminate, you should take appropriate action based on the value of the status field. For example, if the SMTP address validation is still in progress, you should check again later.

Final Thoughts

By sending email to invalid addresses, you will get high bounce rates harming your sender reputation. This means that your emails will have a higher chance of ending up in the spam folder instead of the inbox. Thus, you are going to lose important leads.

Before launching your next email marketing campaign, it is crucial to validate your email lists in order to reduce the costs, improve ROI, and protect your sender reputation. An even better approach is to validate the email addresses once they are collected using our real-time email validation API and make sure that only valid email addresses are entered in your database.

With Byteplant, you will benefit from more than 15 years of experience in email processing for companies such as Adobe, Citrix, Autodesk, Salesforce and many others. Furthermore, our services are fully GDPR compliant and we offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.


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