What is Email Validation and How Does It Help Your Email Deliverability?

by Meg Kawalkowska

January 21, 2021

What is Email Validation and How Does It Help Your Email Deliverability?

Preparing an outbound email campaign, no matter if your goal is to reach potential customers or find a VC to fund your startup, takes lots of time. You have to collect the addresses first, then do the segmentation and write a compelling, personalized email.

It would be a huge waste of your time if your emails weren’t delivered to your contacts’ inbox and landed in SPAM instead. And the deliverability of your emails depends greatly on your sender reputation. You should take good care of it and prevent it from any damage.

One thing that seriously harms your sender reputation is sending emails to invalid addresses, which causes them to bounce back. To avoid that, you should always do email validation before clicking “send”.

If email validation is something new to you, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to learn how it works and why it’s so important.

What is email validation and how does it work?

Email validation is a process of verifying email addresses to catch any nonexistent, invalid, undeliverable ones, and remove them from your list.

That’s the general idea behind it. In more technical details, the email validation process includes:

  • checking the syntax of an email address, for example, to see if there are any @ missing or misplaced
  • verifying receiver’s domain by checking its DNS records to confirm if the server is able to receive emails
  • using the SMTP protocol to determine if the receiver’s mailbox exists and can receive emails

That’s how the email validation process works in a nutshell. Of course, it can include some extra checks too, for example checking for disposable email addresses that lower the quality of your list.

Why do you need to verify your email list?

I already mentioned at the beginning that cleaning your email list of invalid email addresses improves email deliverability. It also keeps your domain safe.

Sending emails to addresses that don’t exist causes these emails to bounce back to your inbox. A high bounce rate (which is the percentage of undelivered emails out of all emails in your campaign) may harm your sender reputation, or even worse: get your domain blacklisted.

Why is that so? A lot of bounces alarms the email service provider, who flags you as a potential spammer because spammers usually don’t care about their email list quality. When your sender reputation gets damaged, your emails will go to the SPAM folder or won’t be delivered at all.

The worst-case scenario, when you ignore a bounce rate higher than 2% and you don’t do anything about it ASAP, is that your domain may end up on a blacklist. And in many cases getting off a blacklist is like escaping from Alcatraz prison: very difficult and practically impossible. Quite often it’s easier to set up a new domain, then removing the old one from a blacklist.

So to prevent this nightmare from happening, take good care of the quality of your email list. Don’t buy ready-made email lists and always verify the email addresses shortly before sending a campaign. This takes us to the next question…

How can you verify and validate emails?

The truth is, without an email verification tool, you can’t really check if email addresses on your list are valid unless you actually send emails to them, see if you get any bounces, and then remove all invalid addresses by hand. This makes little sense, though, because each bounced email poses a risk to your sender reputation, so you want to avoid bounces in the first place.

As mentioned above, to verify email addresses before sending, you can use email verification tools, or so-called email verifiers or email checkers. Such tools will identify which email addresses on your list are undeliverable (would bounce back) and which ones are safe to send.

How do they work? In layman’s terms, email validation tools connect with your email recipient’s server, analyze its response and give you the information about which emails are invalid. Without sending an actual email.

Side note: There are quite a few email verification and validation tools you can choose from. We’re working on putting together a comparison list featuring some of them. We’ll publish it soon, stay tuned!

What’s next?

Once your email list is verified, you can then upload it to your email automation tool.

However, if you use Woodpecker, you don’t have to worry about using an external email verification and validation tool because our app has built-in integration with Bouncer. Bouncer verifies your email list right before sending and if it finds any invalid addresses, Woodpecker simply won’t send your message to them. They will show up as “Invalids” in your campaign’s stats:

The best thing about this 2in1 solution is that you get additional security with no effort. You don’t need to worry about whether the email addresses on your contact list are deliverable, undeliverable, or risky – Bouncer + Woodpecker does that for you in the background.

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What’s in it for you?

Email validation is your safeguard, which can protect you from some serious problems. It’s a must if you want to maintain an impeccable sender reputation and keep a high inbox placement score.

However, there are more steps to ensure your email campaign gets delivered without any hiccups, which include technical settings and some best practices regarding email content. Check if you follow them:

14 Deliverability Checks to Carry Out Before Sending Your Cold Email Campaign >>

Meg Kawalkowska

Meg was the Content Manager at Woodpecker. She's passionate about educational content creation. You can always spot her either writing or reading.

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