How to Verify an Email Address?

Currently, in 2021, there are around 319.6 billion emails sent per day, and over 4 billion people using email globally. Accordingly, such data shows that this technology remains one of the best platforms to communicate with others. Aside from personal use, today, email proves to be an effective channel for marketing, particularly for sending promotions and outreach campaigns. There are various email service providers that are making email marketing effective and reliable.

Yet, despite the benefits, it still has different shortcomings, including the lack of markers or identification for non-existent, deactivated, or closed email addresses, making some messages useless. Suppose, you are trying to send an email to multiple recipients but one or more of the email addresses are invalid. In this case, your email might not reach the intended user. Fortunately, email verification, or the act of checking the status of an email address, is now easier to do, so more users can prevent the issue from happening.

This article explains the reasons why to practice email verification and how to do it through several methods; please read on. 

5 Ways To Verify An Email Address Before Sending It Out 

While it’s possible and easier to verify an email address after sending a message, performing the method before doing anything else is still better. Apart from the lesser chances of bouncing, it can also contribute to more accurate campaign forecasts and, again, help prevent wasting time and resources. Regardless, the  following are the best five ways to do so:

Manually Check an Email Address Syntax 

Just by looking at an email address, one can verify if it’s valid or not. In detail, there are four parts of an email address: recipient name, @ symbol, domain name, and the top-level domain; these things appear in order resulting in a format like “name@mailservice.com” or something else. In the user or recipient name,  it’s possible to use the letters A to Z (both lower and upper case), any number from 0 to 9, characters (*+- /=?^_`{|}~!#$%&’), and the dot/period (.) sign. However, users can’t make names that start or end with the  dot sign, and two dots can’t appear successively. 

Likewise, for the domain name, it’s possible to use the letters A to Z (both upper and lower case), numbers from 0 to 9, a hyphen (-), and the dot/period (.) sign indicating a sub-domain (ex. email.company.com). Yet,  it’s forbidden to use other printable characters, and two hyphens can’t appear consecutively. Lastly, top-level  domains can vary heavily, but some of the most common ones are .com, .ru, .org, .net, .info, and .biz. Only by following these rules, it’s quite easy to detect earlier if an email address is valid or fake. 

Use an Email Verification Tool 

While checking the syntax might sound enough, it’s impossible to learn if an email address is still active or already closed with this method. Moreover, when managing a mailing list, the need for a faster and more accurate solution is critical. Thankfully, there are also now more email verification tools available than before. However, it’s important to note that free services are only for checking a few emails or verifying occasionally, and paying for a subscription is advisable to avoid bounces, especially in a large email list.  Nevertheless, the following are some of the best email verification tools users can get: 

Mailfloss – Among many verification tools, Mailfloss offers more control in terms of email deletion,  filters, and other functions. As such, it allows users to set custom whitelist/blacklist rules and pick what emails to delete or remove from the list. Besides that, there is an option for daily auto cleanups,  so the mailing list stays updated even if the user forgets to maintain it. 

ZeroBounce – ZeroBounce is another popular email verification tool that’s also widely used by leading companies. It features bulk and single email checkers, API for improving site forms (like newsletter forms), and support for automation tools like Zapier for seamlessly connecting to other email services. 

Also Read  How to End an Email Professionally?

Hunter – Like the previous two services, Hunter also offers bulk/single email verification and advanced API for securing site forms. However, it’s a bit more expensive, so smaller companies might be better off somewhere else.

Email Checker – As the name suggests, the Email Checker tool is all about ensuring the validity of email addresses. In fact, it prevented over 1.3 billion bounces (as per Email Checker’s words) and has helped famous companies like Box, Seagate, and EE. Apart from the bulk email checker, and automated and real-time site APIs, it also offers e-commerce platform integration to help customers avoid entering wrong email addresses at checkout or other forms. 

Perform IP Address Lookup 

Again, aside from marketers, email verification is also helpful for casual users, particularly in avoiding online scams. However, not everyone is willing to pay for a premium verification tool for this reason alone. In this case, a simple IP address lookup using a free tool like MXToolbox would suffice. In detail, this method can reveal the sender’s location, zip code, time zone, ISP, and registered company name (for businesses or organizations with verified DNS). Consequently, a user can decide whether an email is legit or if it’s a good idea to trust the sender or not. Yet, the IP address is only accessible by viewing the original mail, which, although easy, might be inconvenient for some. 

One of the most convenient tools to perform IP address lookup is Whatsmyipaddress. To perform IP Address lookup:

Step 1: Go to Whatsmyipaddress website.

Step 2: Insert IP address on the search bar.

Step 3: Check the availability of IP address.

DNS Lookup 

In emails, the DNS (Domain Name System) typically refers to the domain name of an email address; as  such, it’s the “company.com” in the address “email@company.com.” Regardless, performing a DNS lookup will check if the DNS and website tied to an email address still exists, has expired, or moved to another domain name. Whatever the results may be, doing so will help filter out inactive/closed email addresses,  which will result in lower bounce rates and more updated mailing lists. Lastly, in this method, one can use free tools like DNSChecker and MXToolbox, among many others. 

To verify DNS using MXToolbox:

Step 1: Go to MXToolbox website

Step 2: Enter the email address on the MX Lookup box and press enter

You will now see if the DNS is correct or not.

Pinging Server 

Pinging the email server is one way to verify an email address. If unfamiliar, most email providers use the  SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) standard to transmit electronic mail. Moreover, such providers allow SMTP authentication or the ability to ping their servers to check the status of email addresses. In the process, a person will send a request to the server, and if the particular email address is still active, then a response will arrive. Currently, it’s possible to do a server ping using 3rd-party tools like Gmass for Gmail,  DNSChecker, and any command-line interface for manual yet more complex processes. If you want to ping the server in windows you can use Putty Tool. For mac you can use iTerm2 or any of the email client to verify an email address.

To verify an Email address using the Putty tool in windows:

Step 1: Enable and open Telnet in windows.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt (CMD) from the start and type in nslookup –type=mx domain.com

Step 3: Connect to the telnet server with telnet {mail server address} 25

Step 4: Type HELO and press enter to handshake with the server

Step 5: Insert a random email address as your identity mail from: {random email address}

Step 6: Now insert the email address that you need to verify rcpt to: {email address to verify} and press enter.

If the server responds OK, the email address is valid.

How to Verify Your Email List While Sending Out Cold Emails?

Again, email verification provides many benefits like lower bounce rates and better mailing lists for marketers and other related professionals while performing email outreach. However, this method is more useful when performed before starting campaigns, especially sending out cold emails; otherwise, a company, for instance, might receive bounce alerts and potentially lower the reputation score. Unfortunately, while it’s possible to check during mail transmission, there’s no way to undo already sent emails if results appear, and the only other option is to stop the current bulk sending process. Accordingly, based on such reasons, it’s better to verify before doing anything else. 

Also Read  The Best Email Outreach Tools for 2022

Why Should We Verify Email Addresses? 

Even though email verification won’t prove as helpful to casual users as for marketers, there are still benefits of practicing it, even for day-to-day communication. On the other hand, for professionals who use this technology more often or in advanced ways, the act of checking the credibility and statuses of email addresses is critical. In detail, the following items should explain the reasons why to verify email addresses: 

1. Avoid Online Scams and Exploits 

On the web, cybercriminals perform harmful acts each day, including sending malicious emails to countless people worldwide. As such, these types of messages typically contain phishing links, scams, and even malware attachments that can capture login credentials, inject ransomware, and steal money from users. As a result, many security experts advise people to review emails before replying or taking action. In this case, email verification helps in learning whether an email is legit or not, or at least knowing if trusting a sender is a good idea. Various fake proxy websites of online betting companies like 1xBet send tons of hoax emails to users for scams and exploits. For this reason alone, it’s safe to say that email verification is also helpful for casual users.

2. Maintain a Good Email List 

If unfamiliar, in marketing, an email or mailing list is a collection of email addresses that enables the easier distribution of promotional content and other messages. Moreover, while it’s possible for most to compile such records, maintaining a good one requires effort. A good mailing list is an updated collection of active or responsive addresses and which owners are interested in a product/topic. If a marketer will regularly verify email lists, then it’s possible to discover closed accounts, exclude inactive addresses, and better organize prospect priority groups, if any. 

Here’s how you can create and maintain an email group in Gmail.

3. Reduce Bounce Rates and Maintain Sender Reputation 

In digital marketing, email bounce is one of the main things that companies want to avoid. Apart from it wastes opportunities to reach more people, it also impacts a sender’s email score. Nevertheless, as bouncing is more often a result of sending to closed/fake accounts than full inboxes or server errors, verification can reduce the likelihood of this issue from happening. Also, email providers assign scores to companies according to varying rules, including commonly bounce rates, so taking such precautions will help preserve the sender’s reputation. In turn, the risk of server blocks and the identification of future emails as spam shouldn’t be of greater concern. 

4. Save Money, Time, and Effort 

Besides having a good email list, email verification can help companies save money, time, and effort. First,  as some email providers and outreach tools charge users per message sent, filtering out inactive addresses should lessen wasted capital and instead generate higher ROI. Next, even though having a larger mailing list is beneficial, if most of the addresses are closed, the time spent following them up is a loss. Also, if the reputation score goes down due to harder bounce rates, a firm will have to allocate more time and work to improve it again. Lastly, as verification finds out inactive accounts, marketers can stop contacting them and instead focus on responsive prospects, which will result in minimal but more effective efforts. 

Final Words 

Indeed, email verification is helpful for both casual users and professionals. In everyday communication, this method helps users review the legitimacy of email addresses and stay safe online, especially as millions of spam and malicious emails arrive at the inboxes of billions of people daily. On the other hand, for marketers and businesses, email verification protects reputation scores and improves the effectiveness of marketing or outreach campaigns. Overall, it’s a process with generally useful results, which thankfully is also easy to execute and quite affordable to fund for most companies.

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