Many digital marketers look at their email list like it’s their superpower. It is – when it’s accurate and you grow it the right way, the return is worth the effort. But is your email list safe to use? Have you gathered valid, genuine subscribers you can communicate with? Let’s talk about what “safe” means in email marketing and how email verification helps you restore data quality.
Why your sender reputation matters
If you’re familiar with email marketing, you know your sender reputation is important. But why? Because it has an immediate impact on your email deliverability. In other words, the better your reputation, the more people are going to receive your emails.
How does this work?
For Internet Service Providers (ISPs), your sender reputation is essential. It’s what helps them to determine how to handle your emails. Deliver them to people’s inboxes? Direct them to the Spam folder? Or block them altogether? Depending on several factors, such as the quality of your list, ISPs are going to make a choice. Email verification is key to maintaining a healthy list and reaching people’s inboxes.
Email verification: what does it do?
An email verification system is a smart piece of software that usually doesn’t require any download and cleans your email list of bad data. It eliminates misspelled and fake email addresses, weeds out spam traps, disposable, catch-all and abuse emails. All you have to do is upload your list on an email verification platform and you’ll get it back ready to perform.
Once you have your fresh email list, you’ll be able to:
- keep your bounce rate within acceptable limits (the industry standard is 2%)
- maintain a good sender reputation and gain the trust of ISPs
- communicate only with real humans, which increases your chances to convert
The riskiest types of email addresses – do you have them in your list?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the riskiest types of email addresses that can end up in your list. Emailing these addresses taints your reputation and prevents your genuine subscribers from receiving your emails.
Abuse emails: they belong to people who have a habit of labeling emails as Spam. When that happens repeatedly, ISPs will start believing you are a Spam sender. What are they going to do next? Naturally, deliver your messages in people’s Spam folder.
Catch-all emails: they’re set up by organizations to “catch” all the email that’s sent to that specific domain, even when the ID is not correct. Some catch-all emails will bounce and affect your deliverability.
Spam traps: these email addresses don’t even belong to real people, so if your email hits a spam trap, no one is going to see it. The purpose of spam traps is to attract and block spammers. As an email marketer, you don’t want to be in that position.
Disposable (or temporary) emails: they have no value to your email marketing, as they’re only meant to be active for a short period of time. After that, they autodestroy and any emails you send to them will bounce.
Misspelled emails: if you’re not using the double opt-in to collect email addresses, you may have lost some leads. There are people who may have wanted to subscribe to your emails, but they made a typo, so you’ll never be able to reach them. Also, because those addresses are invalid, they’ll bounce.
How you can prevent your list from spoiling
Let’s say you used an email verification service to clean up your list. Now that it’s safe to use, how do you maintain it? Running it through an email verifier a few times a year is ideal. But if you want to go the extra mile, install an email verification API on your website.
What does the API do?
It verifies emails in real time, which means that every time someone tries to join your mailing list, the API will check their email address. If the person makes a typo, the API will prevent that address from being added to your list. Furthermore, it will suggest a correction, so your new subscriber can make sure they’re hitting the right keys.
That’s not all: the API works just like a bulk email verification system, only in real time. It detects all the risky addresses we talked about and does a great job at keeping your email list safe for longer.
Installing an API on your registration and signup forms isn’t hard at all. Once you choose your email verification service, you’ll receive an API key – a piece of code you’re going to add on your platform. The API will quietly run in the background, preventing bad signups and protecting your reputation.
Savvy marketers focus on building rather safe, than large, email lists. They implement the double opt-in from day one and use an email verification system to constantly weed out bad data. It’s not worth risking your deliverability for the sake of having a large number of (fake) subscribers. Keep a clean list, email it regularly, and enjoy the benefits.
About the author
A former journalist, Corina Leslie is the PR & Marketing Manager for email validation company ZeroBounce. She is passionate about communication and helping others email successfully. You can find her on the ZeroBounce blog, where she shares her best tips on digital marketing, copywriting, PR and everything in between.
You can connect with Corina on her LinkedIn profile.