How To Verify Email Addresses Without Sending Email

June 27, 2021
Written by Quazi M
email verification

For years, it was a common practice among marketers to verify the validity of an email address by sending a test email. The idea was simple - if the email hard bounced, the recipient doesn’t exist. But this is time and resource-consuming if your email list contains a few hundred or thousand contacts.

The solution?

Run the whole process on autopilot! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Today, email outreach requires detailed attention to get your emails clicked and a personal touch to get your leads to respond.

But first, let’s focus on one key issue that often gets overlooked - making sure your emails land in the right inbox.

What is Email Verification?

Email verification is the process of ensuring that the emails on your list are linked to an active inbox. In other words, it ensures that the messages you send have a destination.

Why Should You Verify If It Is an Active Email Address?

One word: Deliverability.

If you use email marketing for your business, you might know that every time you send out an email campaign, a good percentage of your message bounces.

This might seem harmless at first. But, there is a significant hidden cost that can build up over time.

Here’s a quick calculation:

Sending 600 emails to verified emails is way better than sending 1,200 outbound messages to unverified email addresses.

Chances are a high percentage of these 1,200 emails will bounce. The more your emails bounce, the more likely your messages will be marked as spam. This will cause the emails you send to valid addresses to not be delivered successfully.

Not only will you waste time on bounced emails, but you also lose the resources you spent on your email marketing.

Getting the contacts in your email list verified can help you with more than just efficiency:

  • Boost Your Delivery Rate: Valid email addresses are more likely to be delivered and received because you can be certain that they are verified.
  • Avoid Hard Bounces: Too much hard bounce can make your message marked as spam.
  • Check For Catch-all Emails: With catch-all addresses, there is a chance that no one is actively reading your messages and hence, may send a hard bounce.
  • Improve Your Outreach Metrics: When half of your list is made up of invalid email addresses, you may find an awfully low click-through rate or open rate.
  • Remove Temporary or Deleted Addresses: Sometimes, people create temporary emails to sign up or delete older addresses. That being the case, emails that once worked may stop suddenly.
  • Locate Typos: You may have bad email addresses in your list that are simply typos. A rigorous email verification process can find these errors.
  • Save Time and Resources: When you store email addresses and send emails, you are incurring costs of both IT resources and time.
  • Maintain Your Reputation: If service providers see that you are sending too many emails to bad addresses, they may blacklist you.

When Should You Check Email Addresses?

Email verification is not a recurring activity. You don’t need to do this every day or week. The frequency depends on the size and growth rate of your list.

The faster the growth, the more frequently you need to validate it.

It’s recommended that you create a verification schedule and set up notifications in your calendar so that you don’t forget to clean it up regularly.

Bear in mind that B2B lists need to be verified more often than B2C. Luckily, there is a more efficient way to do so.

You can Integrate an API to collect higher quality, deliverable, and valued email addresses, and run real-time verification. This method is applicable for opt-in forms, event registration, or other business forms.

Now we know how to do this in real-time, but when should we do so?

It is suggested to validate your mail list if:

  • New recipients are added
  • A new email list is added
  • Open rates and click-through rates are low
  • The bounce rate is approaching or exceeding 2%
  • It has been beyond one month since the previous verification process

How To Verify Email Addresses?

Email verification is a precious tool in any email marketer’s belt. There are a couple of ways you can verify email addresses easily.

Sending Emails to Manage Bounces

The simplest way to verify your email address is to send an email and check if it bounces or not. Bounces are typically two types:

  • Hard Bounce: It is a permanent issue where your email couldn’t be delivered. The most common reasons behind this are an invalid email address. It can either be an incorrect or fake domain name, or the recipient is unknown.
  • Soft Bounce: It is a temporary matter where your email reaches the recipient’s server but bounces back undelivered. The most common reasons behind this are large message files, the recipient’s full inbox, or an offline email server.

If you get hard bounces, it is recommended that you must remove the email from your list.

But this is an inefficient solution, as it harms your domain reputation, gets you added to spam lists or blocklists, degrades accounts authenticity and domain quality, and eventually messes up your metrics.

Despite the issues, it is still better than continue sending to bad email addresses. Make sure to check your bounces regularly, and run clean-ups if you notice issues.

Sending Emails From Dummy Account

This method of validating email addresses is quite easy and quick. You can just sign up for a free account and send test emails. When you get hard bounces, you can remove them from your list.

It doesn’t require any technical skills on your end and more importantly doesn’t harm your reputation. However, it is often inaccurate as you can not get clear responses and your message could be filtered to spam.

Additionally, you might need to create your own spreadsheet to keep track of your list. This process is overly time-consuming and somehow frustrating. It can also spam your recipients’ inboxes, which can land you on the block list.

In this process, you can use either free email verifier tools or email finder tools with built-in verification.

  • Email Verifier Tools: You can find both free and paid email verification tools to choose from. If you’re operating on a tight budget and all you need to do is to send a low number of emails or verify an email address every now and then, you can consider using free verification tools.
  • Email Finder Tools With Built-in Verification: If you are scaling email campaigns and don’t want to risk bouncing, you can go for an email finder tool that will automatically find and verify any given email address.

How To Verify Email Address Without Sending an Email

As we got to know, sending an email to verify email addresses can harm your domain reputation. In that case, verification of an address without sending an actual email is possible. You can either set it up manually or use an email verification tool.

Keep in mind that manually setting up verification procedures can be quite complex, and might also require technical knowledge.

Setting up Email Verification Manually

1. Check The Email Syntax

The first phase of identifying inaccurate email addresses is to validate the syntax of the email address.

A valid email address contains a local part and a domain, separated by a “@”. The local part can contain uppercase and lower case letters, digits, special characters, and dots. It can be a maximum of 64 characters long.

Domain part can consist of uppercase, lowercase, digits, hyphens, and dots.

2. Ping The Server

The next step is to ping the mail server and ask if the address is valid or not. The workflow is slow, risky, and cumbersome, as you can tell.

However, it guarantees accurate results. First, you need to have a tool named Telnet on Windows or PuTTY or netcat on MacOS.

  1. Search for the mail server using the command “nslookup-type=mx” followed by the domain name.
  2. Then you will get several servers. Pick one of them and connect to it through Telnet.

Windows: Use “telnet {mail server address} 25” command for this.

MacOS: Use “nc {mail server address} 25 command for this.

  1. Then type “HELO {domain name}”
  2. Finally, check the email address by typing “mail from:< {email address}>”
  3. After the response code, type “rcpt to:< {the email you are verifying}>”

Using Email Verification Tools

This is the easiest of all. Just manage an email verification tool like VerifyBee, and stay stress-free!

You can find a number of free and paid options for validating email addresses. However, the issue is: when should you pay for one?

If you want to validate one email address at a time, send a handful of outbound emails per week, or just to have a prompt check on an email, free verification tools should serve your purpose.

Keep in mind that free tools come with limited access, and can lack key features, especially when it comes to security.

A paid alternative can help your outbound email efforts become more efficient and scalable. Rather than spending hours validating email addresses before sending a single email, you can simply automate the process.

Even if you’re on a tight budget, paid tools like VerifyBee can offer you high-quality email verification services at an affordable rate.

verifybee email verification

Why Should You Use Email Verification Tools

Deliverability:

It is the most important service a tool should provide. If you use VerifyBee to clean your lists, you can rest assured that your emails will be delivered and your message will be received.

Accuracy

The email verification tools are very thorough and go through every single procedure to make sure your list is as clean as it can be.

VerifyBee is guaranteed to be 99.5% accurate. It checks MX records, duplicates, CatchAll addresses, domain validity, spam traps, and more to ensure accuracy. VerifyBee also offers a bounceless email verification service to optimize the success of your campaigns.

Speed

The tool-based approach is very quick, compared to pinging the server. In addition, you don’t have to do any work to check emails. Just upload the list and let the system do the rest.

GDPR Compliance

You need to ensure top-notch security while handling email lists. Make sure you check if the tool you’re using meets security frameworks like GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation.

While not every tool is GDPR compliant, VerifyBee surely is! It complies with all the GDPR requirements and all additional laws and regulations that govern issues like data privacy.

How Do Email Verification Tools Work?

Email verification is a complicated process consisting of several phases. Many verification tools use a range of methodologies and procedures. However, few steps are common for the majority of verification tools.

Syntax and Formatting Check

It is typically the first step of the email verification process for most of the tools. In this step, it is possible to check if the spelling is correct or not, and if there are some unnecessary dots, at signs, semicolons, commas, or apostrophes.

For example, [email protected]@gnail.com doesn’t pass the test.

Domain Check

It is essential as some domains expire and some companies migrate to different domains and create new ones tied to them. During this process, the tools ensure that the domain linked to the email address actually exists is registered, and works properly. To do so, the tools check the DNS records and MX records to check for the domain name.

Email Ping

During this step, tools use the SMTP protocol to make sure that the mailbox exists and receives emails. After this step, the response could be either positive or negative. If it’s positive, you are ready to go.

Wrapping It Up

Email verification is a key aspect of your email marketing campaign. Picking the right verification tool optimizes your efforts and boosts the effectiveness of your campaign.

If you are looking for an intuitive, feature-rich email verification platform at an affordable rate, VerifyBee can help you meet all your requirements. It is accurate and reliable, has a user-friendly interface, and provides brilliant customer support.

To make it more interesting, you can use it to bulk verify your emails, all the way up to 1,000,000 addresses.

The best part? Pricing starts from only $19 per month! Get started for free and see the magic yourself!

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