What is Email Validation and How Does It Help Your Email Deliverability?: Everything You Need to Know

What is Email Validation and How Does It Help Your Email Deliverability?: Everything You Need to Know

The ROI of email marketing can be 122% or more without a doubt. But it’s possible only if you do it correctly. The foundation of any email marketing strategy is the email list, which should be clean and deliverable. The first thing you must do is email validation. But what is email validation? What are its benefits? And how to do it correctly?

I’ll help you answer all these questions in this post. You’ll get started with a bang in email marketing, even if you’re a beginner. So let’s get started right away. 

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's reputation. You should take good care of it and prevent it from any damage.

One thing that seriously harms your sender's 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?

So you made a great effort in collecting email addresses using different ways. And you sent an important email to the vast contact list. But you just came to know that most of the contacts were not even valid. Maybe some of them aren’t correctly formatted. 

The solution? Email validation, of course. It’s a process of verifying an email address to confirm its validity and existence. It also ensures that the email address is deliverable and has a reliable domain such as Gmail. But why must you do the email validation?

Email validation is a process of verifying email addresses to catch any nonexistent, invalid, or 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 the 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.

How Does Email Validation Work

Email verification and email validation are similar, but the former is more complex than the latter. Email validation consists of a process of improving your email deliverability. There are tons of ways of validating email addresses. 

But generally, you start with spell check; make sure you have not misspelled anything. And then hunt for spam traps. There are tons of email addresses created to capture senders who aren’t following the best emailing practices. 

ISPs (Internet Services Providers) and ESPs (Email Service Providers) make sure you don’t have those email addresses in your list. Or else they’ll block you. 

The next thing you’d like to do is check the format of your email addresses. Ensure you don’t miss any @ symbol in your email contacts. For example, email validation tools or services must catch if an email address is like [email protected]@dd. Do the syntax checking properly. 

Also, email validation works like individual mailbox validation. It uses the SMTP protocol to ensure that a mailbox exists for a particular address. 

Let me summarize and create an email validation checklist for you:

  • Check the spellings
  • Do the syntax validation
  • Hunt the disposable email addresses
  • Monitor the DNS behind the contact
  • Ping the email box

Email validation takes a second if it’s done correctly with software or a bunch of codes. There are tons of free and premium tools to validate your email list on the go.

However, you can do it manually, which may take a long time. And if you’re like me, you should dig deeper into the subject, especially if you’re a beginner.

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's reputation, or even worse: get your domain blacklisted.

Why is that so? A lot of bounces alarm 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's 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 than remove 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's 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 information about which emails are invalid. Without sending an actual email.

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.

An email address consists of an @ symbol, a dot, and ASCII characters. The first part has private information, and the second one has the domain name in which the email is registered. Let me get more detailed here.

The first part of the email address contains:
  • Uppercase and lowercase alphabets like A, b, c, and more. 
  • Special symbols like @, _, – or more. 
  • Full stop, dot, etc. 
And the second part of the email address contains:
  • Dots
  • Hyphens
  • Digits
  • Letters
These are the examples of valid email addresses:
While examples of invalid email addresses include:
  • j[email protected] (consecutive dots aren’t allowed)
  • [email protected] (no domain begins with a dot)
  • tony()$%^@mylife.com (go for characters, underscore, dash, and digits only)
  • promise.funtylife.com (there must be an @ symbol)
  • [email protected] (.e is an invalid domain name)
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