Imagine creating an email campaign. You’ve dedicated hours of work toward it. Your content is crafted with the perfect blend of subject lines, call-to-actions, and information. You press send and begin to see the bounce rate rising. Internet service providers begin to get concerned that you’re a spammer.

Your campaign starts to land in junk folders rather than inboxes. Time, effort, and potential conversions are all wasted. The good news is it could all be avoided if you use some simple email verification techniques.

Email verification is more than just confirming emails on your list. Yes, that’s a large part of it, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. When you complete email verification, you’re also verifying the validity of your marketing efforts. You optimize your outreach. You protect your brand's reputation.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about email verification. That includes why it’s so necessary, the actual process itself, and if there are any best practices that you should be following. So, whatever your purpose of emailing is, lead generation funnel filling or cold email outreach, it’s a necessary step.

  • Can you use a tool for email verification?
  • Are there different types of email verification?
  • How can you avoid typical email verification mistakes?

What is Email Verification?

The first step is to understand what we’re talking about. Email verification is exactly as it sounds. It’s the confirmation that an email address is accurate and exists. When you verify an email address, it means that the email will reach an active inbox. There will be an actual human at the end of it. This gives your campaign the best chance of success and minimizes the chance that emails will fail to send.

Types of Email Verification

Email verification comes in two main forms: real-time and bulk. If you have real-time email verification active, then the users' email will be verified at the point of capture. This is typically through your website on a contact form or newsletter signup form. The verification happens immediately. It stops false or erroneous email addresses from being added to your list.

The other version is bulk verification. This involves taking large segments of your entire list and running it through a verification process. Many people run bulk verification periodically to ensure the cleanliness of their list. Even if they’re running real-time verification.

The Core Benefits of Email Verification

Enhancing Email Deliverability

Arguably, the most important aspect of email verification is the effect on deliverability. If an email is unverified, you run the risk of the email bouncing. Emails bounce when they are sent to an address that either is inaccurate or doesn’t exist. A high bounce rate is a drain on resources but is also seen as a negative by internet service providers.

Protecting Brand Reputation

If your bounce rate gets too high or regular bounces occur, then ISPs may mark you as a potentially spam or fraudulent account. This is a huge blow to your brand and your sender’s reputation. It could scupper any future campaigns. At worst, you could find yourself the victim of email blacklisting.

By regularly verifying emails, you can protect your account from being flagged as spam, prevent your emails from going to spam, and uphold your reputation.

Compliance and Fraud Prevention

Email verification is a necessity in many countries around the world. Businesses that need to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act or GDPR will find it incredibly helpful. It ensures that communication is sent to only addresses that have genuinely subscribed. That means a far lower chance of someone reporting you for sending unsolicited emails.

The added benefit is that by checking emails, you’re stopping people from fraudulently interacting with your business. People can’t put down a false or incorrect email to gain access to your content.

Email Verification and Marketing Efficiency

In addition to the three core benefits of email verification, there are other reasons why you should include it in your standard practice.

Improving ROI

If every email on your list is legitimate and verified, it represents a potential opportunity for a return on your investment. Your campaign will be working at maximum efficiency. Sending to email addresses that aren’t accurate is a waste of both time and resources, thus reducing your potential ROI.

Maintaining List Cleanliness

A clean list is a great list. Over time, emails become inactive, and people close accounts. These can quickly become accounts that bounce. This means a decrease in engagement rates and reduced open rates. Your campaign analytics will be skewed in completely the wrong direction. Any decisions you make based on the data will be inaccurate, and you could suffer the consequences.

This has the added benefit of your emails reaching people who are genuinely interested in your content. If someone signs up to your list with a verifiable email address, that means they’re far more likely to want to engage with your campaign. You can begin to nurture a relationship with them and guide them toward conversion.

Best Practices in Email Verification

If you want to maximize the effectiveness of email verification, there are certain best practices that you should adhere to. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Choose the Right Verification Service

Learning how to verify an email manually is a relatively simple process, but it takes a lot of time. That’s time you could be spending in a more constructive way. Instead, you should look to work with a genuine email verification service. These automated services can complete the task in mere moments, ensuring that your list is in good order quickly.

As you look for the best email testers, check for features such as speed, data security, accuracy, and integrations. Many of the options can slot into your existing tech stack without the need for manual transfers of data.

Verify and Maintain Regularly

You need to be consistent with email verification. Make sure that you have a process in place that is completed on a regular basis. This maximizes the effectiveness of your deliverability, and it keeps your list relevant. 

Find the Right Balance

That said, it’s important that you don’t over-verify. If you’re using a third-party email verification tool, you’ll likely be assigned an amount of credits to use monthly. Each time you run the verification service, your credits will be depleted. As your list grows, so will the speed at which your credits deplete. Look at how regularly you’re sending emails in your campaign and match verification to that.

Educate and Engage Users

Sometimes, mistakes are made genuinely. Users mistyped their address when they meant to genuinely sign up. These things happen. Try to provide them with clear communication that explains why they need to be accurate. There are also methods such as double opt-in that ensure they verify their account following signup. It’s beneficial for your clean list, but also an engaging user experience.

The Process of Email Verification

There are two methods of email verification. Both use either the bulk or real-time types, as mentioned above. The key difference between the two methods below is the technologies involved.

Manual Email Verification

Manual verification is only a genuine option for those at the start of their email list-building journey. It's also a good choice for those who gain new subscribers incredibly slowly. The process involves the administrator working through each email on the list in turn. They scan for obvious spelling errors. They check the validity of the domain associated with the email. Sometimes, they even test the email by reaching out to the owners.

It is an incredibly labor-intensive process that can take hours to complete. Even if you have a small group of, say, a few hundred emails, the amount of time is extensive. Generally speaking, it’s a far better use of resources to use the following method.

Automated Email Verification

The vast majority of email marketers and list owners will use the automated email verification method. This is especially true for businesses that have quickly scaling lists or extensive lists to start with. Administrators upload their list to the software, and it will automatically verify the emails in it. 

The software scans the list for domain validity and syntax errors. Some of the tools available will also check to see if the email address exists in other databases or within the server associated with the domain. It does this by using SMTP protocol checkers.

Automated email verification is quick, convenient, and easy to use. When you combine that with the hours saved, it’s a great use of resources, too.

Using Instantly to Verify Emails

Instantly offers email verification as standard for every account. You access it by using credits, which are topped up each month through a subscription. If you’d prefer, you can also select one-time payments at a slightly higher rate. The smallest amount of credits you can purchase is 5,000, which will allow you to verify 5,000 email addresses. That’s at a cost of $17 a month.

The first step is to ensure you have available credits. You can check this by visiting the billing section of your account. It’s important to note that for the verification to work, you need to have an active outreach account with Instantly.

email verification techniques

The good news is that these credits never expire. They simply get added to next month’s total.

Once you’ve checked your credits, you can now start the verification process. Choose between bulk verify and individual verification. Bulk allows you to upload a CSV with the emails in. Once uploaded, the software will detect the number of data rows and you can begin the upload.

how to verify emails

Individual verification is an option that’s available if you’ve already uploaded leads and didn’t use the bulk verification. Simply select the leads that you want to verify using the checkboxes. Then click the verify leads button. 

benefits of email verification

You’ll notice that before leads are verified, they have the “In Verification Queue” status. This won’t last long before they achieve the Verified status.

email verification tools

If verification fails, you’ll see either the “Risky” or “Invalid” status. These leads will not have any campaigns sent to them.

email deliverability

The Future of Email Verification

Email verification is currently at a fairly sophisticated level but still requires significant input from the user. How will verification systems evolve in the future, and what will that look like for email list owners?

  • Technology Advancement: AI and machine learning are already impacting email verification, and their use will become more pronounced as time moves on. Expect to see higher degrees of accuracy, faster processing, and effective removal of problematic addresses.
  • Integrations Across Channels: Business marketing strategies will focus more and more on multi-channel campaigns. It’s likely we’ll begin to see email verification become part of multi-channel software as standard. This will provide a more holistic view of the prospect’s data, allowing for sophisticated targeting techniques.
  • Data Privacy and Security: Concerns over how businesses use our data will continue to accelerate. Compliance will become a mandatory part of email marketing across the world.
  • New Email Patterns: Email has held firm through multiple technological advances. There will be more, and it might change how we interact with and send emails. Depending on outcomes, this will involve an evolution of email verification processes.

Key Takeaways

There’s more to email verification than just having accurate addresses. When your list is accurate and kept clean, your deliverability is enhanced. You also protect the reputation of your brand. Plus, your campaigns will deliver a higher ROI as you communicate with those who genuinely want to engage with your campaign. Email verification should, if it isn’t already, play a critical part in any email campaign that you launch.

  • Email verification is a major part of staying compliant and avoiding issues with email legislation.
  • An automated bulk method is the most efficient way of email verification.
  • Using individual or manual verification can help in situations where you want to contact one specific individual.

Looking for an email solution that allows you to find leads, manage email lists, and send campaigns? That’s precisely what you get with Instantly. Why not see for yourself and get started today?