Choosing an email verification service is an important decision. No matter how diligent you are about scrubbing bad addresses from your email lists, they can still accumulate a big chunk of invalid, out-of-date or deliverable-but-risky addresses that bring no value to your email program.
You need to identify these addresses and decide what to do with them, but a manual scan or simple MX check won’t track them down. You need to partner with an email verification service. But that can be easier said than done.
Don’t just look for the lowest cost. These seven essential tips will help you find a reliable email verification service.
1. Multiple assessment levels
Anybody can ping an email address to see if it’s deliverable. But not all deliverable addresses are safe to send. Your email verification service must be able to pinpoint which addresses deliver no value because they are “role” accounts (assigned to a job instead of being owned by a person), disposable addresses, from “accept all” domains or potential spamtraps recycled from closed email addresses.
2. API Integrations with ESP and marketing tools
How easily will your email verification prospect integrate with your email platform and your marketing tools? The easier it is to use and to work into your program, the more likely you are to use it.
Check to see whether the service is cleared to use with your ESP or marketing platform. If it is, there’s a good chance it has been vetted and found reliable.
How does it protect your data during transmission and processing? Never go with an email verification service that takes your list via email. Also, ask if the service has had its security practices audited and whether it complies with data-protection laws like GDPR.
4. Service guarantee
Does the email verification service guarantee a percentage of accurate results? If it won’t publicly stand by its results, look elsewhere. Look for client lists, testimonials and technology partners. This last group is important because these partners will vet any tech provider before they agree to work with it.
5. Real-time email verification service
A top-quality email verification service will offer both batch verification (processing your entire list) and real-time verification. This prevents undesirable addresses from getting into your database at any point where you collect an email address, like opt-in, account or event registration, downloads and more.
6. Names behind the brand
Can you get somebody on the phone to answer questions or resolve problems? Your service should offer several ways to get in touch besides filling out a support ticket: phone calls, support forms, chatbots, etc. Be wary of any company that lists only a phone number or contact form.
7. Industry standing and thought leadership
Along with being able to see who the people are behind the service, check to see if they share their knowledge with the rest of the email world. Look for these resources:
- Email newsletter
- Whitepapers, information sheets and user guides
- Active Twitter/LinkedIn presence
- Participation or leadership roles in trade groups like the Email Experience Council
- Speaking at industry conventions
Your email address database is the most valuable asset of your email marketing program. Don’t let dubious claims based on cost alone distract you. Look for authority, knowledge, multiple capabilities and a strong industry presence to find the most trustworthy email verification service for the best, most reliable and secure results.