Tufan Erdogan November 20th, 2019

Is Your Email List Checker the Best You Can Get? Here’s How to Find Out

Are you using an email list checker to maintain your email hygiene? Way to go! If you want your email marketing to succeed, pruning your database periodically is an essential practice. But is the service you chose doing a great job?

What if you could get even better results? Let’s see how you can tell whether your email list checker is the very best you could have picked.

What is an email list checker?

Just in case you’ve never used one and you’re not familiar with the term: an email list checker scans your list of contacts and removes invalid, outdated and other types of risky email addresses. We’re going to explain them in detail below and see why it’s important to get rid of them.

Now, let’s see what a great email checker should be able to do. There are many email validation services on the market, and this will help you choose the best.

1. An email list checker should remove invalid email addresses

First, how do invalid emails end up on your list? There are several ways that can happen:

  • You don’t use the double opt-in to ask new subscribers to confirm their subscription via email.
  • Also, there is probably no reCAPTCHA on your signup form to automatically establish the difference between humans and bots.
  • Most likely, you’re not using an email verification API to check emails in real time.
  • Lastly, some email addresses may have been valid and active when they were added to your list, but were deactivated in the meantime.

A reliable email list checker should be able to spot these addresses right away and weed them out. Otherwise, they bounce and affect your sender reputation and deliverability.

2. Can you get rid of spam traps?

In a nutshell: identifying them is difficult, but yes, some email verification services can detect them and isolate them from your list.

Spam traps prevent email fraud, so they’re a necessary tool against the huge amount of Spam that’s being sent. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers place spam traps in key places on the Internet to attract Spam senders and block them. Their impact on your email marketing can be devastating.

So, search for an email list checker that uses more complex algorithms to detect spam traps. Eliminating even half of them from your list will make a difference.

3. Say goodbye to those who mark you as Spam

You’re a legitimate sender who follows email marketing practices. However, some people mark you as Spam. Why does that happen? Here are a few reasons:

  • You haven’t emailed your list in a long time and certain people forgot they subscribed. They may have no idea who you are, so they hit the Spam button. Email addresses that belong to these frequent complainers are known as abuse emails.
  • Does your subject line include any spammy-looking words? Apart from this triggering Spam filters, it can also prompt your subscribers to use the dreaded button.
  • Some people are not on board with your emailing frequency. Maybe you email them too often, so they label you as Spam and unsubscribe.

The good news is that, if you choose the right email list checker, it can detect users who have a habit of marking emails as Spam and remove them from your list. 

Furthermore, an email validation API checks emails in real time and can identify these users and prevent them from getting on your list. 

4. Why keep temporary email addresses in your database?

Let’s say you wrote a great ebook and put it up on your website, gated behind a registration form. Content offers are an efficient list building tool, but they can also attract people who don’t want a long-term relationship with your business.

So, they use a temporary (or disposable) email address to register, get the freebie, and leave. While you may be glad you just added another contact to your list, that contact turns out to be a dead end. 

The email address self-destructs (sometimes, within minutes) and bounces. A high bounce rate will cause you trouble with your Email Service Provider (ESP) and trigger the MailChimp Omnivore warning, for instance.

That’s why it’s important to allow an email list checker to remove disposable emails and protect your sender reputation. 

5. Catch-all emails are risky. Can an email list checker detect them?

It absolutely should. Nonetheless, take a closer look at your email validation results: sometimes, email checkers will just mark catch-all emails as “risky” and advise you to remove them. 

But are all catch-all emails bad? Not exactly. 

Catch-all emails are set up to accept all email sent to a particular domain, even if the recipient doesn’t exist. Many organizations use them to ensure they’re not missing any email and stay on top of their communication. But because of their very nature, catch-all emails tend to be flooded with email and some of them will bounce. 

Which ones? That’s a great question that no email list checker can answer. As we explained above, some services can’t even detect them and only label them as “risky.” Other can spot them, but are not able to tell you whether they’re valid or not. 

The best solution to validate these emails is to score them. Look for a trustworthy email scoring system and run your catch-alls through it to get a better idea of their validity.

What else should my email checker do?

Now that we covered some of the crucial features an email list checker should offer, let’s move on to other aspects. They’re equally important to help you get the best possible results.

Does your service offer an API?

As we’ve mentioned before, an API checks email addresses in real time and ensures there will be no risky signups in your list. The API is a little piece of code that you install on your forms. Once it’s there, it runs quietly in the background and keeps your list clean. 

How does your email list checker protect your data?

Is your service GDPR compliant? What kinds of mechanisms does it use to keep your email lists safe during the validation process? Also, for how long does it store that data? These are all questions you have to ask when picking a list scrubbing service. The more layers of defense against breaches and cyberattacks, the safer your information is.

Can I get 24/7 customer support? Yes, you can

Not all email checkers offer 24/7 customer support, but some do, and you don’t have to pay anything extra for this perk. Being able to reach out to an expert when you stumble is a useful service to have. 

Let’s wrap up

Competition is strong in the email verification landscape. But that’s a good thing: it forces services to refine their algorithms, innovate, and become increasingly accurate. 

What’s hard, though, is picking the very best service at the most reasonable price. So, we hope this article has shed some light on the topic and will help you find the email list checker you were looking for. 

Getting access to the benefits we mentioned above is possible and doesn’t cost a fortune, so why settle for anything less?

Tufan Erdogan

Tufan is working in the marketing department at JotForm. Even though he was born in Ankara, his spirit belongs to Brooklyn. Taking the brute force algorithm to the heart, Tufan had tried many jobs from various fields but he found his passion to be Marketing. You can reach him via his email tufan@jotform.com

4 comments

  1. Thank you for your insights on this.
    Every day new challenges but I can not give up, Please Keep doing this worthy work and updating me.

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