We don’t have to convince you of how important email is to businesses. Because it’s essential to our communication and to marketing, the quality of the email addresses we have for our contacts is critical. How can you ensure that your message will reach its intended reader? You need to verify email addresses.
“As much as 30 percent of an email list can change in a year, so it’s best to scrub your list regularly.”
The importance of verifying emails for email marketing
Sending to undeliverable addresses increases your email marketing campaign bounce rate, and that’s not a good thing. Too many bounces indicates a stale list. All popular email marketing systems will report to you which addresses and how many produced either a soft or hard bounce.
A soft bounce means the person was temporarily unavailable. Maybe their mailbox was full, or they were on vacation. It’s worth trying them again, but after several soft bounces, you should delete them. Many email marketing systems will do this for you automatically after a determined number of soft bounces.
A hard bounce means the address is no good. Maybe it contains a typo, or maybe the person no longer works at that company, or has deleted a personal email account. Hard bounces might also result from SPAM filters, so if your bounce rate is high, it’s a good idea to review that email to make sure nothing tripped the filters.
As much as 30 percent of an email list can change in a year, so it’s best to scrub your list regularly to keep the number of bounces low. One way to do that is by using a service such as that provided by Hunter.io. Their email verification tool, with information obtained from public sources, will tell users if addresses are deliverable. You can submit one address or the whole list, depending on the pricing level you opt for. Up to 50 addresses are free.
How to verify email addresses for one-to-one communication
Have you ever needed to get in touch with a specific person when you had their name, but not their email address? Hunter.io has you covered there as well, providing ways to come at that search from two directions.
If you know the company where they work, you can use Hunter’s Domain Search tool to make an educated guess at the email addresses. For example, let’s say you want the email address for Michael Scott at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. You know for sure that Dunder Mifflin’s website domain is dundermifflin.com.
By entering the company’s domain name into Hunter.io, you can discover the naming convention the company uses for employee emails. You see that email addresses are structured like email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Using the power of deductive reasoning, it’s safe to assume the email address for Mr. Scott is email@example.com. Now you can send Mr. Scott that invite to lunch at Chili’s!
You can also find email addresses for many professionals by entering their name and company domain in Hunter’s Email Finder.