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 jim.halpert@dundermifflin.com and dwight.schrute@dundermifflin.com. Using the power of deductive reasoning, it’s safe to assume the email address for Mr. Scott is michael.scott@dundermifflin.com. Now you can send Mr. Scott that invite to lunch at Chili’s!

Chili's is where business happens

You can also find email addresses for many professionals by entering their name and company domain in Hunter’s Email Finder.

How to avoid the SPAM filter

The Federal Trade Commission provides some guidelines for making sure your emails are complying with the CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets rules for commercial email messages. Following them will assist you in engaging with your market in a positive way, help you avoid SPAM filters, as well as prevent the hefty fines violators are required to pay. Their guidelines include the following:

  • Use accurate header information. It should clearly identify who is sending the message.
  • Create appropriate subject lines. They should accurately reflect the content of the email.
  • Include a valid mailing address. This can be your street address or a post office box.
  • Tell recipients clearly how they can opt out of receiving future messages. Make it easy and honor such requests promptly.
  • Realize it’s your responsibility. Even if another individual or business handles your email marketing on your behalf, you are still responsible for compliance.

HubSpot, a leader in email marketing and marketing automation, adds a strong caution against ever using a purchased mailing list. Most email software providers won’t even allow it, because the contacts on such a list did not give their permission for you to email them, and therefore you would be violating the CAN-SPAM Act by sending anything to them. You could end up being blacklisted and fined up to $41,000 per email sent. It’s just not worth it.

Furthermore, it is critical for U.S. businesses to make sure they follow data privacy requirements for both GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. You can read more about GDPR, CCPA, and data privacy here. Trust us, it’s well worth your time!

What measures are you taking to verify email addresses and ensure a clean email list?

Are your email marketing campaigns performing as well as you would like them to? Do you need clarification on what your metrics are telling you? We can answer your questions and help you plan and execute a successful email marketing and marketing automation strategy. Contact us at 720-722-2987 or click the blue button below to request a meeting with our team.