5 Features to Demand from Your Email Verification Service

When choosing an email verification service, too many choices can quickly overwhelm your decision-making process if you don’t know which options are essential. Most providers offer the basics—syntax validation, server check and mailbox verification. But which features are really important?

Everybody loves options, right?

I know that I do.

But if you don’t know which options are essential, too many choices can quickly overwhelm your decision-making process.

That goes for selecting an email verification service too. Most providers offer the basics—syntax validation, server check and mailbox verification. Some others offer various additional features. But which of those are really important?

To some extent it depends on your company needs, but here are 5 that our clients find essential:

1)  Spam Trap Detection

What is a spam trap? This one is important, so if you don’t know, find out.

Simply, spam traps—also known as honeypots—are valid email addresses which exist for the sole purpose of catching spammers at work. And emailing spam traps is possibly the most serious offense an email marketer can commit.

A single spam trap hidden in your list of emails will affect your deliverability and could even get your domain blacklisted with an ISP.

The easiest way to end up with a honeypot in your data is by purchasing mailing lists; so avoid that for starters. But sometimes spam traps can turn up in organically collected lists too—an expired email or an accidental misspelling could slip a ticking time bomb into your database.

Email verification will weed them out for you. The top services update their spam trap databases weekly. While no service can guarantee to identify 100% of spam traps, regular validation of your mailing list will keep you as protected as you can be.

New to email verification? Check out our Complete Guide for more information.

2)  Catch-All Server Check 

What should I do with catch-all email servers?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions and one of the most challenging to answer.

Email addresses from catch-all servers are often valid. If you have a double-opt-in list then chances are much better that they are indeed legitimate. But sending to any address that can’t be fully verified is risky, and could result in your message bouncing or being reported as spam. 

Each company must create their own strategy for handling catch-all addresses but your email verification service should have the ability to identify them for you, so you can treat them accordingly.

3)  International Email Verification 

Do you know that 7 of the 10 most spoken languages in the world don’t use the Latin alphabet?

Do you know that 14% of all the people in the world speak some form of Mandarin as their native language? 

According to Wells Fargo, 81% of US-based businesses expect growth in their international business in the next year and China is the #1 target for that growth. You may think that international email isn’t important to your business but do so at your own risk. 

Support for International Domain Names (IDN) and international email addresses has exploded across the internet in the past few years. The use of Punycode to convert Unicode characters to ASCII has become more common, allowing email users around the world to utilize their native script or alphabet to create email addresses. 

Whether your product is shoes, soft drinks, marketing advice or tech services there are people out there searching for you. And you don’t want to reject them just because their keyboard is Cyrillic. 

4)  Service Level Options

No two email lists are created equal and no email verification plan is a one-size-fits-all solution. 

For instance, a list of high-value, vetted leads would have more value to you than a list of your most recent landing page conversions, right? But both of those need to be verified. 

Basic services are generally designed for speed and, as a result, will return a certain number of inconclusive results. Slow mail exchangers and advanced anti-spam systems are usually the culprits. 

But advanced verification techniques can validate even the most difficult of these addresses, including ones protected by enterprise-level anti-spam systems. An email verification service should give you options to verify your emails with different settings—including longer timeout settings and repeated attempts—for those times that you need 100% definitive results. 

5)  Free Email Provider Identification

Are you a B2B service whose lead generation efforts are overwhelmed by low-quality leads?

If so, you may want to consider eliminating free email providers (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) from your lists, or not allowing those addresses to register at all. 

It’s true that some business people use free email accounts but those people generally have a business account too. By permitting only emails from business emails you add a level of vetting to your email collection process; so that you can focus your valuable energies on pursuing quality leads. 

If this is your case, look for a verification service which highlights known free email providers for you. That way you can eliminate them from your database or configure your API integration to notify the user to enter a business address in order to sign up.

Make Sure You Get What You Need: 

Email verification is simple in concept but extremely complex to execute. All services have their own techniques and service options. Be sure to check them out thoroughly and make sure they offer what you need before you commit to them.

Are there any optional verification features that you find indispensable? Just let us know!

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