Deliverability, , Marketing Tools

Why, How, and Where to Verify Your Email Marketing Lists Online

Email marketing is a blood sport. In the last 20 years, the only thing that’s changed with email is that good email senders continue to get punished more and more by email service providers. While ISPs and ESPs could totally coordinate if they wanted to, they simply don’t. The result is that there’s an adversarial relationship between the two. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block Email Service Providers (ESPs)… and then ESPs are forced to block clients.

If over 10% of your emails are bad, less than 44% are delivered!  Tweet This!

It’s not as simple as double opt-in in the industry. Sites like ours work with partners on shared campaigns with vendors and clients. We don’t give them access to our list, but many times we collect email addresses together to execute campaigns on. That’s been a huge headache. Email service providers don’t care about your optin methodology nor your audit trail; they simply assume you’re a spammer.

ESPs like MailChimp have implemented intelligence on email addresses in a system called Omnivore. With Omnivore, Mailchimp sent 50,000 warnings and shut down 45,905 malicious accounts in 2011 alone. They may promote the fact that those accounts were malicious… I’d argue that many of them were simply companies sending to their lists and not using best practices.

According to Jupiter Research, more than 20 percent of email registrations contain typos, syntax, domain and other errors. Doing something as simple as sending to an old list where a particular threshold of email addresses bounces can set off their threshold. That’s not malicious. Not to mention bots out there pushing SPAM trap email addresses through systems every day to try and catch you. The irony, in my opinion, is that I believe it’s easier for a SPAMMER to get email into your inbox than the average company sending a valid message.

Email Service Providers aren’t too honest about their deliverability rates, either. Often, they’ll tout a 99% deliverability rating, but the small print states that it’s after a few email sends. Well, duh… the first sends capture the invalid email addresses! The average acceptance rate for a Sender Score of 91 or greater is 88%. Having 1% of your list bad can drop your deliverability by over 10%!

Thankfully, there are email verification and list hygiene providers on the market who gather intelligence and will help you clean your lists before getting caught up in this mess. Keep in mind that there’s a huge difference between email validation versus email verification services. Email validation verifies that the email address is properly constructed, while email verification utilizes methodologies to predict its likelihood to be delivered.

Verify an Email Address with Neverbounce

This page has become incredibly popular, so we want to ensure we provide some guidance in selecting a provider and why we segmented the list below into recommended and unknown email list hygiene services. Our recommendations were based on the following:

  • Terms – does the service have terms and a privacy policy in place that ensures that they do not resell or release your email addresses to any third party?
  • Transparency – is the service registered openly online with contact information for their domain ownership and business location.
  • Support – whether or not the company had a means of contacting them via email, a contact form, or phone number and did anyone actually respond to the request.
  • Legal – whether or not the company resides in a country with privacy and email spam compliance legislation.

Leading Email Verification and List Hygiene Providers

Here are the leading email verification and list hygiene services. All of these include an online platform where you are not required to contact a sales team and they all have terms on data usage, are transparent, and actively responded to support requests:

  • NeverBounce eliminates invalid email addresses and dramatically reduces overall bounce rates for the ultimate deliverability. NeverBounce offers a comprehensive API with integrations to Marketo and VerticalResponse. NeverBounce is a partner and sponsor of  MarTech and we utilize their service for our own list hygiene.

Email Verification Dashboard

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  • BriteVerify – tools you need to remove invalid emails from your customer databases, email marketing campaigns, or online newsletters and keep them out for good. You can easily drag and drop a file, share the file via the cloud, and get detailed reporting on your list without ever contacting the company. They also have an API if you’d like to integrate your email verification with them!
  • Email Checker – Identifies fake or invalid email addresses for you.
  • Email Checker – (different from above) Email Checker is one of the original pioneers within the email verification sector, helping to improve the deliverability of email communications.
  • Experian Data Quality – an email verification solution that instantly identifies whether an email address is valid and deliverable.
  • FreshAddress helps companies that depend on email to drive revenue by building, updating, segmenting, and cleaning their email lists.
  • HuBuCo – market leading deliverability, low cost, and guaranteed bounce rate results.
  • Impressionwise‘s data intelligence platform is based on policy-driven rule sets and real-time scanning algorithms that use a multi-layered approach to identify, validate and protect against a wide range of e-mail-based threats.
  • Kickbox – Kickbox ensures you only send email to real users and helps you separate the low-quality addresses from high-value contacts. Protect your reputation, increase open rates, and save money with Kickbox.
  • Proofy – Quickly validate and verify your email lists. EU-US Privacy Shield compliant.
  • StrikeIron – Quickly and effortlessly verify and validate email addresses and domains to ensure their accuracy before you spend unnecessary time, energy and money, increasing your message deliverability by 90%.
  • TowerData – Increase your inbox delivery rate by cleaning your email list of invalid and fraudulent email addresses.
  • Xverify – Know you are emailing an account that will not bounce. Xverify can verify email addresses in real time and via batch.
  • Webbula – Email hygiene and data enhancement services.

Utilization of these list hygiene services can improve the percentage of emails that make it to the inbox, reduce your risk of being blocked by the Internet Service Providers, and reduce the risk of getting fired by your Email Service Provider… they’re worth the investment if you’ve got an old list or are collaborating on one. Keep in mind that you’ll simply never reach 100% accuracy on your lists. People change jobs and providers often, abandoning their old email addresses.

Most of these providers also offer an API so that you can integrate it into your acquisition process.

Other Email Verification Services Online

Here are other email verification and hygiene services that did not have the trust indicators of the companies above.

  • Ampliz – Ampliz verifies your customer email addresses in real-time and helps you to maintain an email hygiene delivering maximum response rate. This domain is also registered to the Bounceless service. Bounceless will clean your email lists by detecting unverified emails, spam traps, and disposable domains.
  • Block Disposable Email Addresses – Detect and block disposable, one-time, throwaway, temporary email addresses.
  • Bulk Email Validator – a web application that can verify if an email address is real or fake. Anyone who sends emails regularly can benefit from using the system.
  • CaptainVerify – check & clean your mailing lists quickly. Drag and drop your file in our tool and we do the rest. Simple, fast and secure.
  • CleanTheList.com – cleaning and validation of emails.
  • DataValidation – Validate your email list fast. Link a MailChimp or Constant Contact account for ongoing monitoring and list maintenance.
  • Emailmarker – Emailmarker helps you filter low-quality emails from high-value contacts. We ensure you only send an email to real users and protect your reputation, Boost your email campaign, and save money with Emailmarker.
  • eHygienics is a professional email verification company. They remove bounces, threats, protestors, litigators and all other perceivable hazards from subscriber databases. eHygienics offers real time API platforms which are used daily by subscribers worldwide.
  • Email Answers – secure email list cleaning and validation service that will scrub, clean, validate and verify your existing email address database.
  • EmailHippo – Email validation online service for professional marketers and their clients
  • EmailInspector – Cleanse and remove invalid email addresses from your marketing lists
  • Email List Verify – Email list verified protects you from penalties by offering the most comprehensive email verification solution on the market, making sure that your email lists are bounce free, valid and delivering high ROI.
  • Email YoYo – Professional email validation list cleaning solutions.
  • Email Validator – With the Byteplant Real-Time Online Email Validator you can easily verify if an email address exists and is valid.
  • Klemail – Klemail allows you to check that emails you send exist. Protect your domain’s reputation and increase your open rate.
  • ListWise – We analysed the results of the hundreds of millions of email addresses we have cleaned to design a new email list-cleaning engine that is more powerful than ever. Try ListWise II for free and take your email marketing performance to new highs.
  • MailboxValidator – connects to the mail server and checks whether the mailbox exists or not.
  • Mastersoft Group – focused on Australian data
  • Quick Email Verification – A web-based service to verify email addresses in bulk or real-time using a REST API. They detect invalid and non-working emails and provide you with complete detailed report.
  • SiftLogic – Email Verification & Scoring to help inbox placement and maximize sender reputation.
  • Verifalia – Verifalia is a web-based email validation service that lets you upload and validate lists of email addresses simply and easily.

Disclosure: We do not take any responsibility for your success in selecting one of these providers, we just wanted to provide a comprehensive list with some additional trust verifiers.

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43 Comments

  1. 1

    Great overview, Doug.  It’s important to note, however, that
    avoiding and conquering email deliverability problems requires a comprehensive
    email hygiene, correction, and validation service as opposed to simply the “pinging”
    (i.e. SMTP checks) that most of the vendors on your list provide.  An SMTP check only provides information on
    whether an email address is deliverable at a point in time and the accuracy of
    these results still leaves much to be desired as many ISPs do whatever they can
    to discourage this practice. Moreover, bounces are not the scourge of email
    marketers as almost all companies fall well below the bounce thresholds allowed
    by the ISPs.
    The largest issues facing
    email marketers result from problematic email addresses (e.g. spam traps, honeypots,
    heavy spam complainers, malicious addresses, etc.) in their files as well as inadvertent
    hygiene errors as these deliverable addresses are the ones that Spamhaus and
    other spam-filtering organizations use to ferret out spammers and fast and
    loose marketers.
    To stay off the radar of the
    spam-filtering organizations and thereby optimize your deliverability and
    revenues, one needs to work with an email hygiene, correction, and validation
    provider that can:
    1)Block problematic
    addresses from getting into your database and clean out the ones that have
    already gotten there
    2)Correct typos and
    other hygiene errors as Spamhaus has turned many of the frequently made typoed
    addresses into spamtraps
    3)Validate the
    deliverability of each email address by checking against email-specific
    activity (e.g. opens, clicks, bounces, spam complaints, etc.), a historic
    archive of MX and SMTP checks, and real-time SMTP checks.
    Costs for the service above
    starts at a penny per email address and drops significantly with volume
    increases.  Furthermore, avoid any
    service provider whose service is not available in real-time, automated batch
    (i.e. 24x7x365), and full service batch mode, which includes manual
    reviews. 
    If you’re looking to ensure
    your email marketing efforts achieve the best possible ROI with a minimum of
    costs, hassle, and risks, partnering with an email hygiene company will prove
    to be the best small investment you can ever make.
    For more details on how 25% of
    the Fortune 100 companies as well as thousands of marketers, big and small, are
    keeping their email databases fresh and up-to-date, see http://www.freshaddress.com/services/email-validation/

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    Hello Doug,

    Have you tried http://www.bulkemailchecker.com ? I tried a few services from your list and after being less than satisfied with either the results or price, I continued my search and found Bulk Email Checker. I honestly can say my search for a high quality low price email validation service is over. I have been using them for the past 4 months and could not be happier. Check them out and hopefully you can stop your search too!

    Thanks Doug, have a great weekend!

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    • 8

      I am currently in the process of looking for a company to verify my list and wanted to find out why you were dissatisfied with some of the other providers? I am new to this and it’s overwhelming going through the many websites to determine what makes them different. So if you could possibly share why you were dissatisfied with the others and why you are choosing Bulk Email Checker over all the other sites. This will help me and maybe many of the others who read this. I do see that the prices are much better on Bulk Email Checker but I would also like to know other things that maybe make them better. Thanks in advance for responding.

      • 9

        Hi Simone, there are already risks associated with using older lists or purchasing lists. Email service providers, for the most part, despise any company importing email addresses that haven’t been vetted. And Internet Service Providers that accept the email will absolutely divert all of your email or even block your provider if a lot of those email addresses bounce or report the email as SPAM. As a result, utilizing a list verification tool is critical when rolling in email addresses of relevant email addresses. If you use the wrong tool, you risk yourself being blocked by the ISP and being kicked off of their email service provider.

  6. 10

    Hello,

    Thank you for the list!! I have a question. I want to start my own email cleaning service. Could you recommend any good software to buy. I have looked with no luck so far. I want it automated as possible. thank you

  7. 12

    Simple way to check the database mail address, The most advanced email checker. Proofy.io.
    We are in beta test now but we have the most accurate way of testing.
    We need feedback. You can get provide some amount to test the service.

  8. 16

    Hey Douglas. I’m a bit surprised you didn’t mention Verifalia in your list. Not only it appears to be one of the greatest email validation providers in Europe but they also offer unique features I didn’t see anywhere else, including support for email addresses which do not use the Latin alphabet (we have many clients in our lists from Singapore, Japan and Saudi Arabia, for example), and ability to perform in-depth validations spanning multiple passes, to validate email addresses with temporary issues like mailbox over quota or greylisting. This provider also exposes a RESTful email validation API for software developers and libraries for major programming languages and platforms… And they even have a Free plan which comes with up to 125 free email validations per day.

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    I used some of the recommendations in this blog to pick an email list verification service. I ended up going with emaillistverify.com, and while I was happy with them on my first list, every subsequent list I’ve tried to run on their service has been problematic, mostly in that I can’t download a list of the clean emails afterwards. What’s the point of using their service if I can’t find out which email addresses are valid? Aside from that, their support isn’t very responsive and they’re not preoccupied with retaining customers.

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    Hi Douglas,

    I am currently using https://www.emailverifierapi.com/ to verify email addresses in a fortune 500 company’s email marketing application. I have no complaints as the quality of service is perfect, however we are looking for a lower cost alternative that offers the same quality. Can you suggest an alternate enterprise grade api that could be used? “Enterprise grade” being the keyword. Thank you for your help!

  14. 26

    Hi Ron,

    I hope, you are doing well, just to update you, We are running our Email verification process.
    where you don’t need to waste your much money. I will be more than happy to answer you about our process How we work actually.

    We are getting the list from the clients who wants to verifying emails, then we called the receptionist or the General Manager of the company then we collects their Valid emails,
    by doing this way after 15 days we check it with our email verification process we do Eblast .

    If any one have any confusion or question on this regarding costs.
    Feel free to mail us we will get back to you as soon as possible

  15. 27

    Thanks for the article! I have been using the proofy.io and fairly pleased with it. Price wise it is less expensive that others and as far as quality and speed.

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      Proofy.io is a scam company. The service doesn’t work. I have paid for 10000 checks, uploaded my list of 4000 emails and it’s been “Processing” for the last 2 days.. The Live Help on site and all the info about the site I could find online, through Google is always from a man called Roman (who is also probably a owner of the site) and his friend Anna. I have found no other credible reviews and shouldn’t have given them money as they are now completely silent. They mentioned something about “programmer working on the server right now” but since then – no communication and no money back. DO NOT USE proofy.io!!!

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    Thank you for the post!
    We are looking for a company who can give officially approved document about that the verified e-mail addresses are really valid and checked.
    Do you know any company like that?
    Thank you

    • 32

      Hi Anna,

      I’m not sure anyone can provide an official verification since people discontinue use of emails and change email addresses every day. At best is a platform that tries to capture email address changes and your list can be scrubbed against that.

      Doug

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    “The irony, in my opinion, is that I believe it’s easier for a SPAMMER to get email into your inbox than the average company sending a valid message.”

    You’re probably right on this, but that’s because generally businesses don’t use email marketing correctly, or frequently enough for their lists to become more usable and for them to learn the best practices. They (everyone) should email more frequently.

    But about the list of tools… awesome!

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    Hello,

    I am looking for information regarding verifying email addresses in real-time as a new customer comes to my company. Is that software/technology available for me to add into our current software? Or would we need to change over all of our current software? Pretty much we have a problem of our team typing in customer email addresses wrong or the customer doing so as well. I would like to stop it at the point of purchase instead of the list being cleaned then us just holding out a bad email address instead of reaching our customer.

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