Free Email Checker
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Everything you need to know about using an email checker
Email verification software is an essential tool for every marketer. Okay, there are various methods you can use to try to check that the email addresses you’ve gathered are valid, with real people at the receiving end of your messages and campaigns. However, manual measures aren’t always the most reliable and are incredibly time-consuming.
Using a reputable email checker ensures that your campaigns will land in a valid inbox, protect your messages from soft and hard bounces, maximize your email deliverability score, and prevent your domain from being blacklisted. In the case of email deliverability, investing time and effort in cleaning and maintaining your contact database, as well as segmenting and engaging your audience, is key to achieving a better ROI.
If those reasons aren’t enough to convince you, then read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about using email checkers and just how valuable they are to email marketers of every level.
What is email verification?
An email checker, validator, verifier, or whatever other name they might come with is designed to scan your marketing email lists to ensure that all your data is valid and the addresses your campaigns are heading out to exist and are capable of accepting your messages.
An email checker will verify email addresses for spam, non-existent email accounts, temporary email addresses, fake emails, mistyped addresses, and more. It checks the validity of the email address by connecting to the mail server and checking the MX records. It helps to identify invalid addresses, such as disposable email addresses, which can lead to high spam complaints and hurt your sender reputation and email marketing efforts. We’ll look into all the types of faulty email addresses later, and why, if left undetected, they’re so damaging to your email marketing campaigns.
Most email verification systems operate as online services, often with desktop tools that integrate with your marketing stack to make their operation smoother and more accessible.
By utilizing an online service with dedicated mail servers to run their processes, you protect your company IP address—another crucial element in keeping your domain safe and away from any blacklists.
Why do you need email verification?
The answer to this question is all about email deliverability.
Email marketers understand that having the best campaign messages in the world won’t deliver the returns and sales they need if they don’t land safely in their recipients’ inboxes. To ensure that their emails get to where they need to be, there are factors each email service provider checks to protect their users and mail servers from abuse and low-quality service.
Typically, those measures include creating messages with content that holds true value to its recipients, is not spammy, low-quality, or illegal, comes from a reputable domain and IP address, and is sent to valid, current email addresses. Using an email validation tool improves your data quality, and helps to ensure that the email address is valid and that the domain is accepted.
A good email verification tool will check the actual email address, as well as the domain, to ensure that the customer information is accurate. This process is also important for sales teams and data enrichment.
Sending your campaigns to lists that contain fake, false, mistyped, out-of-date, or non-existent email addresses damages your domain reputation and email deliverability.
Email deliverability is a critical aspect of email marketing, as it directly impacts the ROI of your campaigns. A large number of emails sent to mailboxes that are not accepted can lead to low open rates and reduced engagement with your audience. One way to improve deliverability is to regularly clean and update your database of contacts, as well as segmenting your audience effectively.
Email deliverability relies heavily on sender’s reputation
Each business’s email sender reputation relies on information from email providers and their judgments about your IP address or email domain name.
They monitor attributes such as bounce rate, spam filtering, lack of engagement, and more, and from such findings, you’re given a specific sender score for your domain.
If your sender score drops too low, those same email service providers will punish you accordingly, with messages more likely to be blocked or delivered directly into the spam folder instead of an inbox. It’s tragic to see legitimate businesses’ emails end up in a spam folder or blocked because their marketers failed to clean their email lists.
How does email verification work?
Each email verification tool operates in its own way, but the majority follow the same types of process carrying out the following scans.
Checking for correct syntax
The syntax of every email address follows a format your checker can confirm.
It has a local part, the username or catch-all title, the at-symbol (@), and a domain name with its extension, each separated by a dot symbol (.):
As well as spotting any errors in the standard format, a valid address…
- May only have 64 characters in the local part (the username)
- Use a selection of specific special characters, but not at the beginning or end of their username and not in the domain name (apart from the acute accent and hyphen).
Checking for valid domain names
Domain checks look for businesses and websites that no longer exist and that the domain is spelled correctly. Websites are regularly shut down, businesses fail, and domains expire; if those instances occur for any reason, the domain disappears with them and any email addresses associated with it.
Checking for catch-all email addresses
A catch-all email option is designed to deliver any emails sent to the domain where a specific username doesn’t exist. So, for example, if you send an email to [email protected] and there isn’t such an address, the message is delivered to an alternative inbox where the business can check it to see if it’s something they need or would like to respond to.
So, what’s the problem with that? Returning to email deliverability, the email service providers spot that the email isn’t aimed at an identifiable person and is marked down as possible spam or unsolicited outreach. To protect your sender reputation and score, your email checker highlights all catch-all addresses and marks them as risky.
Checking the MX records of each email server
Another check is to ensure the email address has an appropriate mail exchange entry (MX record) that dictates the address is real and registered to a hosted domain name. Mail server MX records are available online, and verifying them includes a range of technical checks and validations that ensures each address is valid.
Sending out an email address ping
Your email checker sends what’s called a ping to an email address to confirm it’s capable of receiving messages. If a ping is sent and gets a response, it shows that the intended recipient has an address and inbox ready and waiting for messages, is active, and is considered safe to send to.
If an email address is continually scored poorly, they become blacklisted by the service providers. These addresses are typically associated with spam addresses, bots, known complainers, fraudulent emails, spam traps, and more. Sending to blacklisted addresses will affect your bounce rate and impact your sender score.
The reasons email verification is so important
1. Keeps your email lists clean, healthy, and up to date
Removing inactive, fake, and inactive email addresses keeps your list full of engaged followers and your sender reputation high. Email verification is a necessary step for maintaining the quality and effectiveness of your email campaigns. The cleaner your lists and the higher your sender score, the better your chances are of having all of your campaigns delivered and converting to the sales and engagement you need from them.
2. Reduce bounces and lower your email bounce rate
There are two types of bounce rates: hard bounce and soft bounce.
A hard bounce is an email that will never be delivered, for example, to a non-existent mailbox or fake address.
Soft bounces are messages sent to deliverable addresses but have failed to land on that occasion. Further attempts may or may not land in their target inbox, but either way, too many soft bounces affect email deliverability and sender reputation.
3. Improves email deliverability
A strong email reputation ensures the highest levels of deliverability, ensuring messages reach the inboxes you need them to.
4. Elevates brand profile and reputation
With valuable content reaching your intended recipient, you build stronger customer relationships. Brand confidence and trust play a big part in conversions, showing just how critical reputation is.
5. Boost conversions
Email marketing is still one of the leading methods of marketing. The ROI of this method is one of the leading methods
6. Maintains your sender reputation
Every time you verify an email address exists, you’re protecting your sender’s reputation. The various success and failure rates associated with email deliverability aren’t something to take lightly. If you’re sending emails without checking your data is as clean as it can be, you’re heading for trouble.
Protecting your sender reputation is easy; verifying email addresses throughout your lists takes little effort, ensuring your best chances of delivery, sales, and ROI.
How many types of email verification tools are there?
Depending on where you are in your process, you’ll need different things from your email checker.
Bulk email verifier
Checking thousands of email addresses manually would be impossible, and if not impossible, ridiculously time-consuming. By the time you’d checked all those email addresses, your campaign would be out of date.
Uploading an email list directly to an email verification tool is designed to save time and effort. After running all of its checks, the software tells you which emails are valid, invalid, or risky, cleansing your email lists and protecting your email servers.
A bulk email verifier is ideal for checking new and old lists where the status of each email address is unknown or possibly out of date—quickly and efficiently.
Real-time email verifier
A real-time email checker can qualify your addresses at the point of collection or singly when required. Alternatively, you might need to quickly check if an email address exists, one that you’ve just received as a possible lead, or if it needs to be added to your email list of invalid addresses.
Checking emails at the point of their collection ensures that the data you use is of sufficiently high quality from the word go. Adding an email checker to data collection forms qualifies new emails as they’re added to your lists. It’s a great way of ensuring that anyone completing your forms doesn’t make a mistake or typo filling in the relevant form field.
Automated email verification
As discussed, business emails rarely last forever, many with an exceptionally short shelf-life. Using an email verification tool that automates regular scans of your lists helps you to stay on top of any addresses that have been canceled and no longer exist. The email verifier can check MX records, domain check and validate the incoming email to ensure that the email addresses are valid
A savvy marketer will check their lists before every campaign delivery to ensure the best possible results, but an automated email verification system can remind you to carry out those checks or automatically carry out the action for you.
When does a business need to verify email addresses?
1. When they’re new to marketing
Depending on the size of your operation, one team member may be responsible for various roles and activities. There’s a lot to learn about marketing and sales, and email is still one of the best and most cost-effective performers. Email verifications are significant in ensuring that ROI remains high and email addresses reach their intended recipient.
2. Ensure new low-subscriber lists are clean
Classifying marketing lists into appropriate statuses and groupings is essential to ensure you’re sending the most effective messages to each. Building new lists requires care, however small, so it’s essential to verify email addresses at all stages.
3. Carry out essential list hygiene
List hygiene should be paramount for email marketers. Ensuring email verifications happen before every delivery and at regular intervals throughout the year should be part of your process. This can help you avoid sending emails to invalid email addresses or disposable addresses, which can lead to a higher bounce rate and ultimately damage your sender reputation. Simply upload your lists and check for bad email data to retain your optimum list performance.
4. Qualify leads for your sales department
New prospects, and batches of such, are exciting acquisitions for marketing to deliver to sales. However, wherever they might fit into your marketing or sales funnel, you must verify email addresses before adding them to a list or sending it to your sales team. If an address isn’t set up correctly to receive emails, it’s of no use to anybody.
5. To check ongoing campaigns will deliver
We can’t stress how too many bad emails in a list will drag your sender’s reputation and score down. Any black marks against your email servers, domains, or MX records, can hamper performance. You may think a slight reduction to your sender score isn’t too significant, but it can reduce the delivery success of a campaign, affecting your sales, ROI, and bottom line. Where every part of your marketing spending counts for so much, it’s imperative to ensure each email address is valid.
What kind of invalid addresses does email verification detect?
All kinds of email addresses can damage your sender reputation and lower your sender score; the following are the most prevalent and included in your email verification scans.
Fake email addresses
Why would people create fake email addresses? Let’s say that the user wants access to a free download or some other method of gated content. In these cases, it’s fairly standard for the provider to exchange their content for an email address they can add to their marketing lists. However, they only want the content, white paper, freebie, discount code, or whatever’s up for grabs without adding their email to the marketing list. The easiest way is to make up a false email address and use that in the relevant form field.
Without an appropriate email verification process checking that each email address is valid at the data collection point, the user gains access to what they want without being added to any more lists.
The disposable email address
A temporary or disposable email address is often used when a fake email address doesn’t provide access to the aforementioned gated content. These addresses have a very limited shelf life—just long enough to do the job needed of them. Once the content, offer code, or freebie is acquired, the email address disappears, further cluttering your mailing list with invalid emails. Ensuring you verify emails before delivery saves you from sending them to disposable or temporary email addresses.
Spam trap email addresses are used to track down marketers who have built marketing lists through improper means and also to catch spammers in action. ISPs and anti-spam organizations track these addresses to identify businesses that don’t check the validity of their leads and recipients, affecting their sender reputation. Avoid sending emails to spam traps and bad emails by regularly verify email addresses on your entire email list.
As discussed earlier, catch-all email addresses aren’t associated with belonging to a specific user and are considered spam or unqualified. An email checker will reveal all such addresses you need to avoid sending emails to.
Role-based email addresses are, once again, not associated with a specific user, so they are considered bad practices to market to. Emails sent to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] addresses, and more are all delivered to shared email inboxes and not to specified recipients. It’s another blackmarked practice that affects your sender’s reputation.
Whenever a recipient hits the spam button in their email client, it triggers a response from the service provider. Users who regularly dump valid email campaigns into their spam instead of unsubscribing are flagged up by providers. Given that excessive complaints affect your sender’s reputation, a quality email checker will scan for associated addresses and flag them up as risky recipients so that you can protect yourself from their behavior.
Inactive email addresses
Users change email addresses all the time. They move jobs and providers, change roles, and more. As a result, what was once a healthy and valuable marketing lead could disappear within a few months of being added to any list.
Another type of registered inactivity is when users continue to delete your marketing messages without opening them. Low engagement rates, again, affect sender scores, so cleansing out this type of inactive email address should be another essential part of your list hygiene.
In similar situations, users may set up an account with a free email service with the sole intention of using it to access special offers and gated website articles. Despite the free email address being quite valid, it’s unlikely the user will check it, given its intended use. As you see, it’s not enough to verify an email address but also to check how active it is.
Email verification FAQs
Can I link my email checker to my marketing platform and email delivery software?
A good quality email verification tool will integrate with your marketing stack. Whether with an API or another option, you should be able to run your checks in-app to verify email addresses.
Is using a free email checker a good idea?
Getting a valuable free email service sounds like a great idea. However, free email checkers tend to be limited in what they supply. Some merely check through the major free account providers (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) with a simple SMTP check. Sadly, this type of check rejects some valid addresses and approves others that aren’t.
If you’re not a heavy user, some trusted providers offer basic or trial accounts, offering credits for 100 free email address checks. If you need to check more emails, upgrading from the free email service to a paid account is simple.
Can I check if an email address exists in different lists?
A reputable email verifier will check for duplicates in lists, and if you manage several lists, you should be notified of duplicate email addresses throughout your account.
Do you have to have any technical experience to use an email verifier?
Not at all. Again, a good quality email verifier will be easy to operate, and for the things you aren’t sure of, there’ll be handy walk-throughs and user guides. The software carries all the technical checks, leaving you to concentrate on marketing to your healthy lists and tracking down more emails from your best leads.
What happens when I get the results of my email verification scan?
Depending on how your email checker operates, you’ll be able to download the results of your scan; then again, depending on your list management tool, you can delete, quarantine, or filter the problem email addresses out of your sender lists.
How accurate are email verification tools?
Bouncer has an accuracy of over 99.5%. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t as accurate as we possibly could be.
Need to verify a whole list of emails?
Use our Bulk Email Verification Tool.
|Number of emails||Price / verified email|
|1,000 – 4,000||$0.0070|
|5,000 – 9,000||$0.0060|
|10,000 – 49,000||$0.0050|
|50,000 – 99,000||$0.0040|
|100,000 – 249,000||$0.0030|
|250,000 – 499,000||$0.0025|
|500,000 – 999,000||$0.0020|
|1,000,000 – 2,499,000||$0.0015|
|2,500,000 +||Contact us|
Free Email Checker – FAQ
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